The thread about the girl in the pageant made me think about this again. It is NOT meant to cast criticism or blame at anyone, just something that, at least to me, is thought provoking. What privileges are left that are just for adults? When I was little we did not get to drink soda. On either Sat or Sun we could watch an old movie on tv with my dad and have popcorn and half a bottle of coke - we got 8 oz. It was the ONLY time unless we were out and it was a very special occasion. Sodas were for adults. Many movies were for adults. My mom would watch a movie and if it wasn't too adult would let us see it, maybe. My father believed in the rating system - they said adults then we didn't see it unless mom over-rode him - and that was very very rare. My father was NOT happy when pg-13 came out. He told me I could not go see them, but I had JUST turned 13 (he regularly thought I was 2 yrs younger than I was, until I was driving, lol!) and informed him of that. I actually had to make him go find my birth certificate and do the math before he let me got to a pg13 movie. There were a LOT of things that we were not allowed to do when I was a kid. I look at kids now and don't see much of anything that they have to wait for. Soda is part of daily life for most of them, so are energy drinks. clothing? well many preteens dress more provocatively than I ever have and it is seen as normal. When I was a kid there was no lingerie for kids. Now we have stores devoted to it (limited had one in a mall here - claimed it was sleepwear but no way sheer training bras are sleepwear, Know what I mean??), actual chains of them. Staying up late? We had bedtimes. Many of my kids' friends do not, and have not since elem school. Mine do because they jsut don't cope with-o them, esp thank you. Kids today have far fewer chores than we did, and far more money and freedom. We got allowance, but not if our chores were not done. Most of the parents of my kids' friends think that kids have too much on their shoulders with having to get good grades (even though some think c's are good grades for kids perfectly able to get A's - I spent enough time in the classroom working 1:1 to be pretty sure of that in most of the cases) so they shouldn't have to do chores. Or the kids don't do the chores "right" so the parents stop making them do them at all. Many of these kids are involved in very expensive activities. By 5th or 6th grade if you want to play most sports you are on a travelling team and drive up to 2 hrs each way for a game. NOT on a school bus, in your parent's car or iwth another family. Parents see this as another thing more important than having the kids do any chores. I have had these kids in my home and if it is the night that J has dish duty, then the friend is invited to help - and I actually had to teach some of these kids (friends of whicher kid, J was an example) how to wash a dish, load the washer and start it, even use the vacuum. Lots of them think it is cool to do that stuff here, mostly because it is a total novelty to them. As a kid if I wanted an activity I generally had to pay at least a part of it. Went with-o allowance for a year to have riding lessons every other week. I get not making difficult children do some things, even chores. there are other, more important battles to fight and truly it isn't that important with that set of circumstances. But easy child's? Every kid I knew had chores when I was a kid. No exceptions. Now they mostly don't seem to have chores. J has TWO friends with chores from a group of 8-10 girls who have been friends since grade 1. One girl, E, lives out on a farm and her folks have several businesses besides the farm and they all have to do chores. The other has a mom in similar/worse physical shape than I am in and a little sister who is easy child/difficult child/stemwinder and J's friend, S, does a lot to help her mom and raise her sister - Dad works a ton of overtime that is mandatory and also does a lot, but S still has to do a lot. The other girls? Think they are worked like slaves if they have to clean their rooms. I am NOT getting this from the girls, it is from their MOMS. I can remember as a kid that I could not wait to be an adult because then I could do a, b, c and twenty other things. Now? Why should a kid grow up and act like an adult? There are no incentives left to be rewards for doing the hard work that is part of life. Kids get all the privileges, none of the responsibilities and then have no idea how to behave as an adult. Why should they work or be responsible or follow basic safety rules and the laws in our country? They never did before and it was never a problem that they really had to handle. So why would a birthday make a change in that in their mind? I KNOW that most of us here are NOT raising kids like that. Our kids generally have chores, and even the easy child's learn "do to get" and logical/natural consequences. But that sure is not the norm in many homes, at least not here. I have actually been accused of child abuse for not letting Wiz watch certain things on tv at certain ages! In fact, Wiz was about a year old when a parent asked me how I could be so "mean" as to drink a coke in front of him and "only" give him water, juice or formula. For close to twenty years I have been told I am mean and unfair for eating/drinking certain foods in front of the kids and not letting them have any or have as much as they want. I understand that line of thinking about as much as I understand why people enjoy golf. I know people do enjoy golf, and I am happy for them, but it is as foreign to me as the idea that it is unfair to have a cola unless you let your kid have one, even if that kid is still drinking from a bottle and barely eating solid foods. Am I crazy? Is this something that you see in your area? Are there any privileges left for kids to enjoy when they are adults, and left to be incentives to actually become adults? because if they have all this stuff, why should they become adults? Heck, can I go back to being a kid in one of those families?