The Age of Entitlement

I grew up in the era where every child did not get a prize.  The pass the parcel at the birthday party only contained one prize, in the last layer of paper. And the person in charge of the music didn’t have to have one eye open and a list of all the kids names to tick off, making sure each cherub got a gift.

There was one best and fairest award given at the end of the Netball season. If your team didn’t win, you didn’t get a Runners Up Ribbon. You got bupkis. And you didn’t whine or complain about it because you didn’t know any different.

You rode your bike until you outgrew it so bad, you rattled around on the streets looking like this.

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Your parents ignored the situation until you got a combined birthday and Christmas present of a bike so big, you could barely reach the pedals.

But somewhere over the generations, the Age of Entitlement appeared. New bike needed? No problem. Here is your bike. Want an ice-cream? Told no. No problem. Chuck a massive tantrum in public and shhhhh. Here is your ice-cream. EVERY CHILD RECEIVES A PRIZE!

Which leads me to think… are we raising a generation of assholes?

I do not want to add more assholes to the planet. In my opinion, we have too many as it is. So when Horatio came to me and showed me a picture of an iPad that he desired along with the times that the Apple store was open, I looked at him and said “You are kidding son.”

I pointed out to him that he already owned an iPod and had free use of the household iPad, but he wanted one of his own that only he could use. And he wanted to set it up so that his very own thumbprint was the only way anyone could have access to it.

“Get a job.” I told him. And so he did. He is now the car-service boy at the local fruit and veg. He also bags potatoes. Even last night, as I peeled some, he told me that he had packed that very bag himself.

I told him that for every dollar saved, I would match it. He has almost hit his target of $200. Horatio has also unwillingly become my own ATM.

“Can I borrow $20?” I ask him only to be told yes, but I would have to pay him back $22. He tells me that it is baksheesh.

A few weeks ago, he hit up his grandmother and they made a deal. He would borrow $100 to take him up to his tally immediately, and he would pay her back. He was so excited when he told me about it!

Not so excited at my reaction. I told him stories about credit card nightmares, about how payday lenders are the scum of the earth and that how if you couldn’t afford something, save goddamn it!


After the dream was crushed and the dust settled, he just started saving again and tomorrow…


His next saving goal is an iPad cover and after that, it is a two bedroom apartment in Chatswood. He tells me that he will set up the spare bedroom for me in case I ever wanted to visit and use his iPad.

What are you doing to stem the entitled generation?

Did you ever save up for something special?