Kids These Days..

December 14, 2011

Political Theory


My friend showed me a video recently that Jimmy Kimmel had on his show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4a9CKgLprQ&feature=share

Kimmel gave parents of America a challenge, to let their kids open one Christmas present early and then have them open the gift that was completely terrible and not something that any child wants to get ever for Christmas.  Some popular gifts were rotten food, half eaten sandwiches, and even some girly items for some of the boys.  While this video was highly entertaining, it made me a little disgusted with our youth today.  This was not the only gift these kids were getting.  Actually, in most of the video clips, a Christmas tree was in the background and you could see several other gifts sitting there, well wrapped in shiny wrapping paper.  However, almost every single child had a temper tantrum over their undesirable gift and told their parents they were “stupid” or that they “hated them”.

I understand they’re young and getting a hammer for Christmas is not exactly fun, but crying?  Screaming, throwing things at their parents, telling them this is the worst Christmas ever?  I’m sorry but if my parents ever did this experiment on me and I tried to pull this, they would tell me that I could forget about the rest of my presents and I needed a reality check.  It’s definitely not okay to be that focused on materialistic things in the world and think that the holiday season is ruined because of one lousy gift.  Not to mention, this wasn’t even their gift on Christmas Day.  The gift these children received was an early, extra gift their parents were letting them open a few weeks before they were supposed to.

What happened to the older days where children respected their parents and would never think of talking back?  I understand we have the freedom of speech and parents nowadays encourage their children to think for themselves, I don’t find this to be acceptable.  The times of Socrates, Machiavelli, and the rest of those philosophers are a lot more strict, but they also had children that were more orderly and obedient.  What do you think?  I really find this Jimmy Kimmel video hilarious and entertaining, especially during a study break from exams, but is there something internally wrong with this being socially acceptable with our kids these days?

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9 Comments on “Kids These Days..”

  1. William Burton Says:

    Well, Firstly, I have to respond by say, “getting a hammer for Christmas is not exactly fun?” There’s tons of fun things to do with hammers.

    On a more serious note. I agree that people should not be so materialistic, but at the same time, I’m not sure the reactions kids have are simply their desire to have stuff, but more of a reaction to the disappointment of not having reality meet their expectations. The same way I throw a temper tantrum and cry into a pillow when I get my paycheck.

    But, I’m not a psychologist… they might just be spoiled little brats. I don’t know.

  2. Rainyo Says:

    God, that video was absolutely hilarious, especially the chubby kid crying over his ‘Hello Kitty’ gift and the very last clip. I don’t put it past the kids for throwing a fit over their ridiculous christmas presents, I think for the most part all kids that age would be hurt about receiving gifts like those. I mean, if I was 7 years old and my parents got me all worked up and excited about a present I was able to open early, and I was to open it to find a moldy banana, Id definitely throw a fit. There were kids in the video that were polite about their gifts, but for the most part they were generally upset, and they rightfully should be. Kids are emotional, and toying with their emotions in such a way will most definitely elicit a negative response. That’s the nature of kids. It’s not that children these days are inherently bad as opposed to children living during the Renaissance, these are just different times. Back then kids got excited over a piece of lint. If there is someone to blame over how children act now a days to receiving gifts, blame the media. The media is saturated with advertisements for the hottest video games, electronics, and toys. Of course a kid would be pissed off if they got an encyclopedia over a new video game. And I’m sure that if video games existed back during the Renaissance, the encyclopedia gift wouldn’t do the trick in appeasing a kid.

  3. andgoldberg Says:

    I think you need to take into account that this is the first gift these kids are receiving. Opening a gift early basically sets up the mood of how Christmas is going to go. All of these children have waited for this holiday (It’s personally my favorite holiday) and I know I would be mad too if I received a rotten banana as the first gift I got for Christmas. While Christmas is the “season of giving” people naturally expect something in return. I would be extremely shocked if people did not have expectations on getting something for what they give.

    The only way I would agree that the new generation is materialistic would be if one of the kids cried about getting a PS3 instead of an Xbox 360. With this in mind, there is a much larger difference between a game system and a rotten old piece of fruit. This is why these children reacted in this way.

  4. Baihan Li Says:

    Partially, I believe the disrespect of parents come from the fact that nowadays children don’t rely that much on their parents. They go to public school. They think they will be independent of their parents as soon as they are 18 years old. They believe that their parents do not teach them much useful stuff. Similarly, if those kids have to fully depend on their parents for everything, from food to education and even living after their college, would they be that rude?

    Or more precisely, they think they deserve whatever they have now. Probably, though offensive, it is the law that deprive the respect parents deserve. While the state announce it is the responsibility of parents to raise their kids until eighteen, it gives children an illusion that it is reasonable for their parents to nourish and care them.

  5. mcdonmeg Says:

    First off, this is probably the best post that I have read so far in that I appreciated you having the youtube link for me to actually watch. Secondly, I couldn’t agree with you more. Children these days seem to run the parents, and are unruly and not appreciative. I see kids all the time having temper tantrums and I don’t understand how parents let that happen. If I cried over stuff like that or had temper tantrums my parents would take me to the car and go home. Being whiny and complaining was not an option. Going along with the Christmas present theme, it just shocks me how much emphasis parents place on the gifts. I don’t know when the shift has occurred that kids just get more and more and don’t even seem thankful. I have a cousin who is in first grade who wants a lap top for Christmas. First grade? I got my first lap top the summer before I left for college. Kids are demanding more and its no one’s fault but the parents. Parents need to take authority over their kids and discipline them more.

  6. acicurel Says:

    I think that no matter when you gave the kids the bad gifts they would be disappointed. Whenever you open a gift you hope that it will be something you want. Opening a present with gifts as bad as these would disappoint anyone, probably make them mad, and wonder why their parents would think they’d want it. If my parents gave me a gift like this I would probably laugh because I’m older than these kids and get my parents sense of humor. If I was that young I wouldn’t get the joke at first. Many kids have a sense of entitlement, but I do not think this is necessarily bad around holiday time. Some families have the means to give their kids gifts and these kids grow to expect them. They are kids and they don’t know better. At the age the kids in the video are its hard to explain the true value of the dollar. If the family can afford the kids sense of entitlement I see no problem with it at that age. All of that being said, the tantrums some of these kids had were ridiculous. Not getting the joke or being disappointed is one thing, but a tantrum shows these kids have a bloated sense of entitlement that borders on arrogance. Obviously this was the point of Jimmy Fallen having parents make these videos and he was successful.

  7. kirtip Says:

    While this video emphasizes that our nation, especially the younger generations, have begun to be much more materialistic. I mean, ten year old kids have iphones now. However, I think this video emphasizes one side of an argument. As some people say, there are two sides to every story. I believe the same is true for this one. These videos were obviously selected from a huge pool of videos sent in because they were the most ridiculous and funny. Furthermore, I am sure these videos were taken by many parents who did not end up sending them in because their children did not actually throw a tantrum. Lastly, there surely are thousands of people with children who would react with disappointment, but also being polite. In my opinion this is a skewed view of materialism in kids because it only shows a small skewed portion of society.

  8. albosco Says:

    First of all, I would like to thank you for posting this video, because it is hilarious. I think that this argument could really go both ways. I agree that it shows how materialistic kids and people have become and how Christmas has become more about what things you get, not the sentiment it should be about. But I think that is a whole other issue in our world today, not just revolving around Christmas. Everything in society has become increasingly more reliant on materialistic things. When I was younger, I would never have imagined having a cell phone, let alone an IPhone at the age of 12. Kids are being exposed to these items at such a young age, they just don’t know any better.

    On another note, these kids completely overreacted to the fact that they didn’t get good presents. However, it is important to realize how young most of them are. It could be easy to say that they just don’t know any better. If this experiment were done with high school aged children, I doubt that they would have the same reaction. Yes, it is hard to not be disappointed when you open a half eaten sand which as your Christmas present, but the ability to maintain composure and not overreact is something people learn as they grow up. I am sure that all of these children will watch this video a few years from now and realize how spoiled they look.

  9. ryanjcarney Says:

    First of all thank you for the link – that video is hilarious!

    It is pretty sad how materialistic our culture has become but at the same time I don’t really blame the kids. As you said, they were kids after all and going back to the days of hitting them with switches wouldn’t change that. Also it’s funny, every generation has probably complained about how undisciplined the youth is, there’s always been that retrospective “back in my day things were better and kids did what they were told!”. In my first semester at Michigan I took Classic Civilization 101 and was assigned to read Aristophanes’ “The Clouds.” In it there was an old man who complained about how disrespectful the youth of the day was and how back when he was young all were stoic and respected their elders.

    Even back in Ancient Greece folks were asking the same question, “What’s with kids these days?” and I doubt it’ll ever change.

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