My son told me that a boy in his school has said things to him like, “My house is bigger than yours,” and, “We have really expensive cars.” It’s not the first time I’ve heard this happen in this town, and it won’t be the last time.
So, disclosure here–we know what house this boy lives in. Yes, it’s…um…large. As an automatic response to my son I mumbled something about the fact that his parents must work all the time to pay for that house, that lifestyle, followed by “people make choices about how to spend money,” blah, blah, blah. I figured I better back up that claim so I did some research and though I may only be surmising, I actually may be correct.
Why am I telling you this? Because there are still (and always will be) families, kids, parents, etc. who believe they are better than someone else because of the size of their house and the type of car they drive. Insanity in this day and age, I know. Though this kid is only in middle school, I don’t necessarily blame him–he’s still young–part of the blame goes out to his parents, to the media, to whoever or whatever influenced him in his beliefs.
So what’s a parent to do or say? Here’s what I have said to my son (who has somewhat enviable athletic abilities and we didn’t want him to grow up thinking he’s all that) since he was little: “With great talent comes great responsibility to be a great person who is humble, compassionate, and respectful.” I stole it from a line in the “Spiderman” movie when Peter Parker says, “”With great power comes great responsibility.”
My wish for these affluent parents would be for them to realize that they have great power to influence their kids with the right kind of advice. I wish these parents would tell their kids this: “With great ‘wealth’ and square-footage comes great responsibility to be a great person who is humble, compassionate, and respectful.” (Note: And look below to reader Maria’s comment about what we should ALL be teaching our kids!)
Or, can they just tell their kids to stop being so obnoxious!?
I can only wish!