In case you missed it, The Learning Channel has a new reality show, and it’s a runaway hit; Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. It stars seven year old pageant queen Alana Thompson and her self confessed red neck family. I have not watched the show for a multitude of reasons, but I have seen plenty of her this week as she has been on a publicity tour. What struck me was what a complete brat she is. Throughout many interviews she was out of control, even hitting one TV host with a pillow and yelling at him. Her mom made futile attempts to get her to behave but the bratty behavior could not be stopped.
Honey Boo Boo is the tip of the iceberg. You don’t have to watch TV to see precocious behavior. If you have been parent enough to raise a polite kid, I’m sure you have encountered some of their disrespectful friends.
Bratty spoiled kids are taking over, it’s pandemic. My neighbor broke her foot over the summer, one afternoon someone was ringing her doorbell repeatedly and pounding on the door. Thinking there was an emergency she hobbled to the door, imagine her shock when she opened it to find two kids who wanted to sell her something for their school fundraiser. The reason they gave her for banging on the door? They knew she was home so figured she was ignoring them. Needless to say not only did she not buy anything, but they got a brief lesson on manners.
Where do kids like that get the idea that being rude will get them what they want? Maybe because we all teach them that, our kids get praise for nothing. When my kids we younger they signed up for soccer and softball. At the end of every season they were given a trophy for participating. Everyone got one, even if you came to only one game and spent most of it sitting on the sidelines whining because you didn’t want to be there.
In schools now kids get a PBIS certificate (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) for being caught doing something good; holding the door for someone, helping another student, using manners, breathing. Okay the last one is a joke….or is it?! High school kids can even win a Dunkin Donuts gift card for being awarded one. Are you kidding me? We are rewarding them for doing the right thing? What’s next, paying them to come to class on time? No wonder there’s no incentive for them to be polite and respectful all the time! If there’s no prize involved, why should they?
I was raised by Scotland’s answer to Emily Post. I didn’t get a prize for being polite, it was expected of me. My self esteem didn’t suffer because I didn’t have several trophy shelves from every activity I did, any prizes I did win meant a lot to me…because I didn’t have scores of them.
One day the bratty kids will enter the work force. That’s going to be interesting, when they realize their paycheck is based on turning up and actually working…and there are consequences to being rude. I hope I have retired by then!