Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where Have the Parents Gone?

When I participated in the "Shopping Death March" this weekend, I mentioned that the mall we went to was one of the more upscale ones in Orange County. Which is saying a lot. It is located in the city of Newport Beach, and close to two dozen people on the Forbes richest people list live in Newport Beach.

Thus, it was not surprising to me to see there the alarming evidence of overconsumption that is the mainstay for America these days.

My cousins wanted to go into the Juicy Couture store. I went in with them, curious to see what the store would have inside. I knew I was a bit older than their target audience, so I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

Lo and behold, it had a bunch of twelve year olds in it, mostly.

I looked around at these giggling girls who were eyeing T-shirts that cost fifty dollars and wondering why their parents were allowing them to look at purses that usually start at one fifty for a teensy little bag.

Perhaps I just don't have enough money to think that a twelve year old should own a purse that expensive. Likely a child that young has not earned their own money, so it is coming from the parents. It saddens me that a specific type of purse is tied to social standing and self esteem among such young girls. The parents I saw were encouraging, I never saw one shaking their head gently and pulling their daughters out of the store.

What are they thinking? Are they thinking at all?

I read this article today about how children are maturing at an alarming rate, grappling with adult issues their minds may or may not be able to handle.

Why can't we as parents put an end to the exploitation of our children just so a company can make more money? When did we stop caring?

Sometimes I am glad that Mr. Personality is only four. That means there are still a few more years in which people can come to their senses.

But for whatever reason, I'm not holding my breath.

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