I remarked about this to my parents, and it was explained to me that some parents actually had nannies to care for their children, and those parents only saw their children maybe once a day, after they had been fed, bathed and looked presentable. They actually preferred to have their children living close but separate. This was a novel concept I just couldn't get through my head. After that I’d occasionally look at my parents with a bit of apprehension, wondering if they'd subscribe to the idea of handing off their progeny. But I needn't have worried. Much as they might have liked the idea, it just wasn't in their budget!
Media, money and munchkins
Convenience food was yesterday’s leftovers, just as it is in this family today. The food pyramid would have been laughable. We ate a wide variety of foods without complaining. Not only that, we learned to prepare them too - all kinds of offal, meats and vegetables. I don't think too many of today’s kids venture into eating liver of any kind, unless it's in those health capsule things. Fruits came off trees. Usually you climbed them for the reward.
You can't avoid commercials if you want to watch TV. But for some time now I've noticed changes in the focus of them. Think about who they're aimed at - the parents of pushy children, and the little darlings themselves. It's all designed to make children pushy and wanting ever more in life.
Spoiling - or what?
On their return they give juniors the trashy sugar-filled puddings-in-a-plastic-cup they wanted. Rude child sits with both elbows on the table, devouring this treat for the camera, with simpering wimpy parents in the background knowing they've pulled out all the stops to make precious Junior happy. And just to help them feel even more virtuous, they know there’s no added sugar in the puddings! ( it might just be in an altered form.)
Everything seems to be about keeping children extraordinarily safe, entertained and happy, mostly from their perspective, which is hugely governed by media exposure. Cars are bought for their mobile entertainment features that Johnny will approve of. Commercials depict groups of them swarming like locusts to see just that one feature on a new car. That's it. That's the main feature.
And of course, comfortable seat belts are nice too.
In another, a child acts as the car customer, eventually kicking a tire, thus giving his seal of approval to parents, who can then buy it knowing he'll like it, even if only for a short time. That's how popularity is in our consumerist society - fleeting.
Me, me, first!
Pushy parents and their pushy children may be seen everywhere. Children don't hesitate to intrude on private conversations between adults, and add their input, unchecked by unwise parents. You open a door for someone, and children will barge through it first, then slam it closed on the next person. They're precocious, childhood without technology and media interference is a rare thing now. They take part in most adult activities.
I'm sorry parents seem afraid to try teaching their children manners and compassion. I know it's still there in most of them. This comes to the fore usually after a crisis, when a bullying situation has caused a suicide, or some such thing. It's usually media driven, and allows for possible opportunity of getting in front of the cameras. Ask almost any teen what they'd most like in life, and the answer is “to be famous.” To be famous you have to be in front of the cameras. You have to become a celebrity.
A lot of them do, at ever younger ages. They're bright and beautiful. But unless they and their parents are also pushy they'll never reach that high pinnacle of success they dream of. Just too many years of pushing make you exhausted. And it's interesting to speculate on whether they'll be able to overcome focus on themselves to give it to their own children instead.
On the other hand, it's kinda fun to see some more mature folks like the incredible Susan Boyle, become instantly famous in her late forties . And it's good to know older guys can teach cute dogs new tricks too. This one is phenomenal. And notice how humble and appreciative these two stars are in spite of making it big?