Tobe Frank: Too much stuff, too little respect

To be frank I think kids have way too much stuff these days and too little respect for all the stuff they have.  And I think it’s largely our (and our children’s – their parents) fault… oh and that of the local $2 Shops! Damn you Crazy Clarks!




They get so much stuff… from their grandparents, their own parents, friends at birthdays, Santa Claus (whose production capabilities have more than doubled since moving his factory offshore to China) and any other random events in between such as a trip to the supermarket for butter, or at dinner… you know meat, three veg and a toy… well that’s what Maccas would have you believe… just without the three veg!

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In fact I think kids get so much stuff so regularly I don’t think they ever have time to truly appreciate what they get. The next surprise is just around the corner. Is it any wonder they just don’t care… we’ve never given them a reason to have to.

Sure, life is good, stuff is relatively cheap and it’s far too easy to just replace something or buy something new and keep your grandkids or kids sweet.  The by-product is toys get forgotten, smashed up, dismantled, left out in the rain and melted.

I know for a fact, my granddaughter’s 3-inch shagpile rug is a proverbial cemetery, littered with the heads of Spiderman and Batman, Lego, remnants of loom bracelets and other crap the dog finds littered around the place.  He hoovers them up, chews like crazy and spits them out on said rug (sharp side up in the path of travel ready for ones foot).  The general expectation is that they’ll get another one all too soon.  You try and instil a sense of respect for their things, but I think we’re pushing against an incoming tide.

When I was a kid we had only a few things.  We had to wait… we had to save… we had to bust our guts doing chores, so the things we got (or god forbid bought ourselves with our own hard earned money) were special and because they were special we looked after them. We treasured them like a bungie jumper treasures dark underpants!

To amass the whole series of something (like collector cards or star wars figures) was quite an achievement not a birth rite. It took blood sweat and tears not just a tantrum in the supermarket aisle.

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If we lost our things, broke our stuff or something else untoward happened to them, our parents took little sympathy, shrugged their shoulders and said ‘tough shit, you’re not getting another one’… so typically we learnt a valuable (and sometimes expensive) lesson.

These days parents be like, “awww honey, let’s go to the shop and get you another one, a bigger one… oh bugger it, let’s get two of them so they won’t be lonely when we’re out at the shop buying more shit!”

It’s funny though… we might have looked after our toys and things, but we didn’t mind blowin’ up the neighbours’ letterbox with a double bunga or chopping up his hose into two inch bits with a tomahawk!

But that’s a whole other story…

Are you a culprit in giving your grandkids “stuff”? Do you think the “stuff” problem is getting out of control? Tell us in the comments below…