Alyssa Duff ’19, Website Editor/ Social Media Manager
Over time the amount of responsibility for kids and teenagers has decreased, which has led to a greedy and unwilling to work society. Therefore, throughout the years, the amount of holiday spending has increased substantially. According to the American Research Group the average amount spent during the holidays in 1985 was $289 compared to the $983 averagely spent today.
“The average last year was above $800 for a household income of $50,000,” financial expert Dave Ramsey said in his podcast The Dave Ramsey Show. This means that more than 1.6 percent of the annual income of a household is spent on one single day. Ramsey believes that the current average is an appropriate amount to spend on the holidays. This is arguably the mindset of majority of Americans today; however, it has led to a greedy culture that expects to always get what they want.
More times than not, children are given everything they want, and when they aren’t, the tantrums begin and continue until they get their way. To walk inside of a children’s store and find a kid crying and screaming at the top of his or her lungs is a common sight. Junior Juliette Gassner said, “The kids I babysit, their dad will bring in packages, and one of them will ask if it is for him.” She added, “If it isn’t, he will scream and run up to his room. In result, their dad will go out and buy him a toy to give to him the next day.” She later went on to explain that he expects all packages to be his, and they are not then his dad is teaching him that in return he will get a toy. Except the idea of getting everything ever wanted does not stop after the child years have passed.
Junior Jacob London said, “I typically end up getting most of what I ask for, and if I’m being honest I usually don’t fully appreciate what it took for my parents to get those things.”
According to the website Slate, only 25 percent of teens have a summer job as of last summer compared to the 45 percent to 60 percent of teenagers that had a summer job from 1950 through 1990. “Indeed, over the past decade, summer employment among people ages 16 to 19 has plummeted to the lowest level since the government started keeping tabs after World War II,” said Annie Lowrey for Slate Magazine.
Even though there is a decrease in the amount of teenagers who are getting jobs, there are still adolescents that are expected to get a job. “I got a job because I thought it would be nice to have the extra cash. As I get older, my parents expect me to become more independent and provide for myself,” junior Katelyn Barton said. While there is nothing wrong with giving little kids gifts, when they get older there is a need to push them to get a job. Unfortunately, this is not as common as it once was.
In decades prior, teenagers had to work for the money they would use for activities with friends. Now, however, teenagers are more likely to be able to borrow money from parents, leading them to have less of a need for a job. If adolescents go their whole life without having to work for what they want to do, they will have no idea how to function in the real world, when they are no longer under their parents’ wings. Society pushes parents to adopt a parenting style that leads to raising kids by giving them everything they ever wanted. This societal issue fails to teach self-discipline, responsibility, and the idea that you have to work for what you have.
If society continues to give adolescents everything they ever desired, the core value that you have to work for what you want will no longer be installed into future generations. So next time you receive a gift, just remember not everything comes without work.