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Are all Americans such spoiled brats?

I’m listening to the current show and can’t believe my ears with respect to the little spoilt brat complaining that daddy won’t pay for her petrol/repair costs any more. Is this normal in the USA? For parents to pay for all running expenses for a TWENTY-TWO YEAR OLD?!! Frankly, they weren’t nearly hard enough on her - sure her dad may have some unusual requests, but for the sake of writing down a few numbers once a week, couldn’t the little brat just suck it up? Then to make a “conscious adult decision” and then complain and moan about the consequences of failing to follow a basic direction. Unbelievable.

It made me so physically angry to listen to her, I felt compelled to join and vent my frustration here. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

I have not yet heard the show, but I sympathize with you. Many people seem to treat their adult children this way. These people never learn to be responsible for the results of their actions. Sad.

I would not call it normal, but it is not out of the ordinary either.

For some, the word ‘parent’ doesn’t really integrate itself into their world; they want to be ‘friends’ with their kids(it’s what the namby-pambys tell us to do) THEN expect them to know everything they should after they’ve grown older. Then, they turn 18 and are sent out into the world with little experience on how things really work.

You guys are looking at it wrongly though - the father’s benevolence may be the cause of the daughter’s obstinacy, but the girl was completely out of line. Even the way she spoke about the situation would have made me think she was closer to 15 years of age than 22. The father did exactly the right thing by cutting her off, and for some reason the silly little brat couldn’t understand it.

I’m not sure why you think they’re looking at it wrongly.

What both posters said is basically that a lot of parents turn their kids into those brats by wiping their noses for them their entire lives. Yes - she’s out of line. But if you don’t think the past parental benevolence produced that kind of thing, then what do you figure? Genetics?

You didn’t say where you are. What is it that has you listening to one single person on the radio and then making statements about “Americans?” There are spoiled brats the world over.

Did not hear that show and don’t need to. It is a shame to see a person act in such a foolish manner. BUT, the problem is not an American problem. It happens all over in every country. It is not a regional problem but a human problem and humans from all countries make bad choices.

As an American who has lived in several countries (in Europe), Americans in general are seen as loud, obtrusive, and a populace who just wants their way. I found over and over it was easier not to be a target and learn a couple simple phrases that didn’t make me stand out as an American.

Quite honestly, I was embarrassed by my fellow countrymen on more than one occasion. If the adults are anything to go by, then the kids would surely just be following in their footsteps and examples.

Americans are NOT the only country who acts like this in the presence of others (Germans are almost as bad), but we seem to hold the title.


I think the call being referred to here is the one where a 22 year old had just graduated and was objecting to her father requiring that records be kept of filling the gas tank - and her father's reponse was to mention who was paying the bills!

This was not about spoiled brats - it was about the transition to adulthood and how it sometimes hits a bump or 2!

I have to agree about the way that so many parents baby their children.
In my neighborhood–an upscale suburban/rural community with a crime rate that is almost non-existent–parents typically drive their kids (including teenagers) 2 or 3 blocks to the stop for the school bus, and then wait with their kids in the car until the bus arrives. I could understand this type of behavior on a rainy or frigid day, but on a clear day with temperatures in the 60s & 70s?

When children get older, sometimes this babying does not stop.
Case in point:
One of my former co-workers continually complained that the teachers, principals, counselors, etc at the local elementary school “do not understand” his son. The result was continual transferring from school to school, including several private ones that still “did not understand” his son. Apparently no school personnel ever thought that this boy was quite as wonderful as his parents believed him to be.

The boy was bright (although probably not the genius that his father and mother believed him to be), and did manage to get into a very good college, and later to be admitted to law school. After graduation from law school, he began his first job as an attorney.

After a few months, the young guy left that law firm because “they do not understand or appreciate me”. This began a quick succession through several other law firms that also apparently did not appreciate or understand him. With his checkered resume, he actually had to change careers for awhile, as he was beginning to run out of law firms in the area, and he began selling furniture–which was surely a great utilization of his very pricey higher education.

At last report, he is once again working as an attorney, but apparently all is not well at home. While he is married, his mother goes to his home once or twice each week in order to clean the house and iron his shirts, as the young guy’s wife “just doesn’t understand how to do housework to his standards”. Clearly, these parents created a monster.

While all Americans aren’t spoiled brats, a good number of parents aren’t doing a real good job of parenting. Therefore, kids expect pretty much everything, get everything, and the parents seem happy to get a smile in return. Kids brought up in this way don’t know the value of working for something, because they haven’t had to do it yet. The transition to a responsible adult starts in elementary school with basic lessons, like chores and allowances, and earning some money to buy a new bike. By the time a kid is in their 20’s and still feeding off mom and dad, yeah that could be a spoiled brat.

My parents never paid for my gas, and I never expected them to. Their attitude was that if I wanted the responsibility of driving, I’d take the responsibility of paying for it.

They did cover half of my car insurance until I graduated from high school (and I paid the other half out of my earnings from my job) but that was it. I went to college and didn’t get a car until the end of my sophomore year–why? Because I couldn’t afford one! They actually bought me my first car as well–a 13-year-old Ford Ranger with 175K+ miles on it. It promptly needed almost $1K in head gasket repairs. Then three months later it was the alternator. Then three months later it was the fuel pump. Then three months later… you get the picture. After two years, I put a new clutch in it for $750, sold it for $700 to a surfer who wanted a truck for his board, and convinced myself it was the best $50 I’d ever lost.

In fact, I’ve owned five cars in my life (I’m 32 now.) Three of the five (including my current car) cost no more than $1500. Why? It’s what I could afford. And my car now runs well, and I like not having a car payment.

Oh, and I paid for college, too. Still paying it off. But it was worth it, for me anyway!

So yeah. She’s spoiled and entitled, and as a high school teacher, I deal with that attitude all the time, and it sets my teeth on edge. I currently work at a school for at-risk kids, and that’s one of the reasons I love working there–because they’re primarily low-income kids, there’s SIGNIFICANTLY less of that “you owe me” attitude present. It’s refreshing.

Want to see the really bad side of this? Read this article:

worst part, mom won’t press charges for fear of her not getting into an Ivy League school. Guess what, her name and face are all over the news, I don’t think she has a chance in hell now.

Mom doesn’t have a choice about pressing charges. That’s up to the DA’s office. All mom can do is develop memory problems.

Well, the kid’s in juvi (according to the article), so charges have been filed, at least to some degree. Her wonderful Ivy league days are done, in any event.

We now have a generation growing up (Generation Y???), that is commonly known among the bigger businesses as the 'What does it do for me?" generation. If they can’t get whatever desire they have fed, they simply quit and move on.

It used to be, many folks (like me), worked for any number of reasons, but there was some loyalty to a decent boss and business. Not so with this new generation. There are papers after papers about it, some more thoroughly researched than others, but they all come to the same conclusion. If you don’t satisfy whatever desire they have in their heads, they’re gone.

While in principle, I say “Later!”, it’s hard to justify that from the business sense. You hire someone on, get the insurance, etc, all going, train them, and they jet because of some reason you can’t quite pin down.

It’s crazy, but it exists, and we’re all going to have to deal with it at some point.

The callers are screened in advance. It seems to me that the brat of the week might have been given a slot on the show precisely because she is spoiled. The entertainment value outweighed the other aspects of her conundrum.

We now have a generation growing up (Generation Y???), that is
commonly known among the bigger businesses as the 'What does it do for
me?” generation. If they can’t get whatever desire they have fed, they
simply quit and move on.

We’re now on Generation Z. Next comes two syllable generations, three syllable generations, then generations named after flowers and trees.

It used to be, many folks (like me), worked for any number of reasons,
but there was some loyalty to a decent boss and business. Not so with
this new generation. There are papers after papers about it, some more
thoroughly researched than others, but they all come to the same
conclusion. If you don’t satisfy whatever desire they have in their
heads, they’re gone.
”</Abe Simpson voice>

The fact that people in their twenties have options is not a new development. Who wouldn’t bolt if they had options? At my previous job I told my boss in a casual conversion “Of course Jennifer could leave at any time” and he said “What? Have you heard something?” and I explained that she was 28 and probably underpaid, and since she’s married she can take a temporary salary hit. He paused then agreed with me. She was a great colleague and could have done better elsewhere.

Decent bosses are thin on the ground these days. The few there are, are vulnerable to cuts because they are well-compensated . Middle managers (80 - 120K) are evaluated on how well they can cut costs, i.e. reduce staff, whether through outsourcing, offshoring, or simply abolishing positions. Generation Z will continue to work for temp companies and try to fill the roles of people who actually knew the jobs. That’s also a great way to get offered a job. I’ve done it three times. The people at the top, at the CEO level only care about being able to tell the Board that they have cut X number of positions, so they can keep THEIR jobs.

And that’s the way it is. The cult of Change Management.

It’s really that simple. My last good boss’s position was abolished before mine was.


Maybe where you come from, people kick their sons and daughters out on the street on their 18th birthdays, but here in the USA, that can make the difference between a successful life and an unsuccessful life.

My father worked his way through college, and his grades suffered for it. Meanwhile, his classmates had a free ride, and made grades good enough to continue on to graduate school. In today's economy, most of the parents I know want to give their sons and daughters a competitive edge by not only financing their sons' and daughters' baccalaureate degrees, but advanced degrees as well. It's one way to pass down a culture of wealth to your children without giving them a trust fund or a completely free ride, allowing them to do the work and achieve some things for themselves.

The college in which I work is basically a prep school for future graduate students, so it comes as no surprise to me to see a 22 year old woman whose parents are still paying her expenses. I think Tom and Ray gave her the advice she needed to break free of her father's crazy rules. In her case, she should be paying her own way in the world, but your blunt judgement of all Americans is both rude and empty-headed. You obviously have no control of your temper, proving you lack both education and refinement.

When our kids were growing up, I was determined that they be independent after high school - mostly because that’s the way I did it. However, that thinking changed, largely due to the reasons Whitey noted above.

I learned when a kid is in college studying harder than I ever did, and getting better grades than I ever did, the last thing I want to do is to tell them to study less so they can go earn $8.00/hr in a part time job.

One thing that has happened in the last 15 years is that tuition costs at many public universities has far surpassed the rise in inflation. This rise in college costs certainly has not been reflected in faculty salaries. For young people of this generation, a public university may be out of the question.

At many public institutions, when the state appropriations to the institution are cut, the institution makes up the difference by raising tuition. Some states have become wise to this and have put a cap on the amount the tuition can be increased. The next decade should be interesting for higher education.

At any rate, working one's way through college at a public institution is much more difficult than it was even 20 years ago.

"This rise in college costs certainly has not been reflected in faculty salaries."

But it is reflected in the salaries of the football and basketball coaching staffs. This is college - where are your priorities?