While I was on a plane ride to Hokkaido, I…
I’m one of those people that just can’t help but debate with their parents. So today my mom and I were discussing about how Jaycee Chan (Jackie Chan’s son) was sentenced to imprisonment for a couple of months, and my mom thinks that going to prison for him is good since he is so spoiled. As the constant devil advocate to my mom, I immediately question her, “How do we know that he is spoiled?” My intention was to tell her that maybe it was just how the media was portraying Jaycee to be (she changed topic before I could do that). But I do agree with my mom that Jaycee is spoiled… sure I don’t have the concrete facts, but sometimes you can just ‘feel’ from the person that they have a sense of entitlement.
Which leads me to my mom saying that spoiling your children isn’t a good thing. I even remembered waiting at the bus stop with a grandma next to me saying how my generation and the younger ones are so spoiled that they do not respect the elderly as much as before (she was saying this to her daughter). In my heart, I agree, and that has a lot to do with changes to society’s attitude; how the importance of family has gravitated towards the importance of self (due to increased working hours, lesser need to depend on other family members, increased distractions etc.).
Anyway, so like I was saying, my mom said spoiling your children isn’t a good thing (although I think I am quite spoiled), which is the obvious, but being her son I countered her perspective.
Let’s talk about the not so goods of spoiling. Well, the person can become lazy. The person may feel a sense of entitlement to everything. The person can grow up being disobedient. The person may not learn to appreciate things as much, especially when it comes to money.
Alternatively, parents can choose to discipline their children instead so that they learn to be obedient (which may or may not always work, some people are just born rebellious). My problem with disciplining is that these people seem to be more likely to adopt passive and submissive personalities and may be easily taken advantage of. For example, even when there is a huge salary discrepancy between them and their boss, they are more likely to not speak up to address this issue. They may also choose not to question or challenge the authority’s decisions, when those decisions can be questionable at times or require clarification. Those who have been severely disciplined live in a world where they are taught to listen and obey to authorities, because that’s how they were brought up. They weren’t taught to seek for opportunities; they were taught to obey. It’s as if they can’t control their own life. As such, they are more likely to adopt pessimistic outlooks as well. They also may not become great leaders or may lack leadership potential because they’ve always had to listen to someone and was guided by an authority. Another tendency for disciplined people is that they may take on the traits of how they were disciplined. If they were spanked, they are more likely to spank their children. If they were yelled at, they are more likely to yell at their employees or colleagues to “motivate them”, which may not be the best method in most cases.
Of course, you can be not spoiled and not disciplined so harshly. But what I wanted to address was the opposite of spoiling someone so as to bring perspective to the disadvantages of being disciplined. Basically, everything needs to be balanced.
Spoiling a person can also bring some desirable traits. For example, while an excessive sense of entitlement may drive the people around them to go nuts, the right amount can gravitate people to want to be around them. You know how people say act like the person you want to be and you will become that? And you know how sometimes we just become attracted to those that think they are important and well liked, regardless if that’s the case at all? A person with a sense of entitlement can do just that – there is this aura about them that just creates a room atmosphere so that people perceive him or her to be important, because they themselves think they are important, and it just attracts people.
Additionally, being spoiled can mean that the person has had an abundant of experiences and may lead the person to think of new ideas and possibilities.
Also, while those constantly being reprimanded and disciplined may see the world in a more pessimistic lens, the person who’s been spoiled may be more likely to see the world in a more optimistic lens.
Because of the privileges spoiled people were born into, they may have shared their fortunes to their friends as well. As such, this allows them to not only build up relationships with people, but also strengthen their people skills and leadership skills too.
Of course, as with everything in the world, moderation is the key. Raising children is no easy task, and whether to spoil them or to discipline them really depends on each person and each situation and requires a lot of guesswork. And don’t expect immediate results… patience is the key.
What are some other things that are often perceived as negative but can actually be positive as well?
Image Courtesy of The Straits Times