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Old 21st August 2013, 18:44   #16
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Default Re: WSJ Article: The Problem With Delhi's Rich Kids

What is wrong with kids having fancy gadgets and sport cars? I don't blame there parents for providing the best for there kids. Yes I agree that there is a thin line between pampering and spoiling. I really don't see the problem in a father giving his child 1 Lac rupees till he knows where the kid is going to spend it.

As far as mental depression among these kids goes, please see the statistics for students committing suicide under pressure of studies etc because there parents would not be able to get them all the luxuries like these rich kids. Its never white and black with these issues.

And for all the members comparing the 1000 rs notes of today's kids with there own 50-100 Rs notes in there childhood, go ask your dad how much did he used to get as pocket money. Mine used to tell me that he used to get allowances in "paise" and that too infrequently.

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Old 21st August 2013, 18:49   #17
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Default Re: WSJ Article: The Problem With Delhi's Rich Kids

Excellent topic for today's time and generation!

I was provided with a good upbringing, education, value for money and most importantly to differentiate between wants and needs.

Today as I look back and stare at the current generation there is a huge disconnect in terms of value for money. I completely blame the parents for not spending time with their kids and managing to cover it with money or other benefits and with technology and information at finger tips, it is just a matter of time for the kids to choose the wrong path! More over they do not have any purpose or direction and hence go nuts!
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Old 21st August 2013, 18:53   #18
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Its amazing how similar your and my experiences (one post above) are!

I believe 'pursuit of happiness' and not 'pursuit of money' is something that needs to be instilled in kids from very early in life.
Exactly. Agreed on the similarity part too. I got the feeling I was reading about myself.

Dad was an avid amateur cricketer in his early youth. He fondly remembers how in his early days, he had to help roll the pitch and carry drinks for the local club team the entire week before he would get to bat/bowl a few overs after a game, if he got lucky.

One of his views on the current generation goes like this: "We could barely manage a complete cricket set among the entire locality's kids, but we shared & played till we could play no more, then went at it again the next day. Today, every kid has full kits for multiple sports/games, but no one wants to play or share".

I feel sad for today's kids. They have all the toys (and some more), but will probably never discover the joy of playing. The enormous sense of entitlement in kids barely out of their diapers is mind-boggling.

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Old 21st August 2013, 19:01   #19
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What is wrong with kids having fancy gadgets and sport cars? I don't blame there parents for providing the best for there kids. Yes I agree that there is a thin line between pampering and spoiling. I really don't see the problem in a father giving his child 1 Lac rupees till he knows where the kid is going to spend it.

As far as mental depression among these kids goes, please see the statistics for students committing suicide under pressure of studies etc because there parents would not be able to get them all the luxuries like these rich kids. Its never white and black with these issues.

And for all the members comparing the 1000 rs notes of today's kids with there own 50-100 Rs notes in there childhood, go ask your dad how much did he used to get as pocket money. Mine used to tell me that he used to get allowances in "paise" and that too infrequently.
There's nothing wrong with spending money, but most kids today only get the money, not the education needed to go with it. What's wrong with giving a child expensive stuff without teaching them its 'value' is that they grow up not knowing how to differentiate between 'need' and 'want' effectively. An adult may 'want' a new gadget for the feel-good factor, but a teenager feels he/she 'needs' it to keep up with their peers. Ask any kid why they want something, and the most common answer is 'because others have it' or 'how will I keep up with my friends otherwise'. Peer pressure is doing all types of nasty things to kids' mentality these days, and the parents are to blame for not showing them the right path. In lots of cases, the parents are themselves lost in trying to keep up with their peers. These are the same people who missed the 'value' lesson as kids themselves.

Nobody's enforcing poverty on rich kids. On the other hand, the article is about kids who never got a 'NO' to any demand, and still ended up unhappy with their lives. The relatively poorer kids are being forced beyond their capacity to excel just so they can join the 'rich' league in the future. As multiple people have said before, we're taking the wrong approach with kids, and the results will show later on in their lives. Our entire education systems is designed to be a rat race (who lands the best job/pay packet), which is causing issues that are just starting to show up. It's going to get worse in another generation.

As for the money aspect, it's not about inflation. I'm 28 years old and my Rs. 50/week experience is less than a decade old. As bad as the rupee is today, I don't think the world has changed that much in a decade. I had friends in college who got pocket money several times that per day, and I wouldn't lie I didn't feel like I should get more too (what kid doesn't want more stuff?). My father could afford giving me more money too, but he explained patiently why he wouldn't, and I appreciate that a decade later.

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Old 21st August 2013, 19:38   #20
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Default Re: WSJ Article: The Problem With Delhi's Rich Kids

I think many of you are comparing then with now, might not be the right comparison. The right comparison would be between bad parents and good parents from the same generation.

I have seen bad parenting leading to characterless kids even when I was growing up. I had distant relatives who were like the people in the article, in the 80s. So, don't blame it on mobile phones and drugs of today. Think of kids with personal Betamax or VHS players in the 80s. I have seen rich good parents and poor bad parents, but they are in minority. Rich kids are always in lot more risk of getting ignored by parents and thus picking up bad and expensive habits.
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Old 21st August 2013, 19:46   #21
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I think many of you are comparing then with now, might not be the right comparison. The right comparison would be between bad parents and good parents from the same generation.

I have seen bad parenting leading to characterless kids even when I was growing up. I had distant relatives who were like the people in the article, in the 80s. So, don't blame it on mobile phones and drugs of today. Think of kids with personal Betamax or VHS players in the 80s. I have seen rich good parents and poor bad parents, but they are in minority. Rich kids are always in lot more risk of getting ignored by parents and thus picking up bad and expensive habits.
Agree with you. That's why I clarified my point above. It's not about the numbers, but about the parenting. I'm not even 30 yet, so experiences of my college-going days are still relatively relevant. I had plenty of 'spoilt rich kids' in my peer-group and I'm not ashamed to admit the lure of expensive things was hard to resist sometimes.

As an adult now, I'm seeing bad parenting all around me too. Recently on a social visit, one of my colleagues daughter (barely 5 now) threw a tantrum because she wanted her Dad's iPad immediately to play, but he was doing something important on it. She actually knocked it out of his hands in anger, and refused to apologize when her mother softly but firmly asked her to. The guy tried to shrug it off with a 'kids are kids' expression and extended the iPad to the kid with "daddy will work later", but the mother intervened and told her daughter (again softly but firmly) that she will only get the iPad once she apologizes to her father and promises not to do it again. The kid initially stubbornly refused, but ultimately got around to saying sorry.

It's all subtle things, but go a long way in teaching kids how to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

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Old 21st August 2013, 23:08   #22
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Default Re: WSJ Article: The Problem With Delhi's Rich Kids

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but the mother intervened and told her daughter (again softly but firmly) that she will only get the iPad once she apologizes to her father and promises not to do it again. The kid initially stubbornly refused, but ultimately got around to saying sorry.

It's all subtle things, but go a long way in teaching kids how to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
In fact, it is the mother, to a great extent, who plays a major role! The fathers work ended at gifting the fastest swimmer. Many of us forget this! Furthermore, it's always "Baap ka beta", if the child is successful. This is not correct IMHO!

And I think it's not about Delhi alone. The tier II cities suffer from the same problem, too!
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Old 21st August 2013, 23:34   #23
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In fact, it is the mother, to a great extent, who plays a major role! The fathers work ended at gifting the fastest swimmer. Many of us forget this! Furthermore, it's always "Baap ka beta", if the child is successful. This is not correct IMHO!
The only way this is making sense to me is if it was said sarcastically.
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Old 22nd August 2013, 12:01   #24
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Default Re: WSJ Article: The Problem With Delhi's Rich Kids

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What is wrong with kids having fancy gadgets and sport cars? I don't blame there parents for providing the best for there kids. Yes I agree that there is a thin line between pampering and spoiling. I really don't see the problem in a father giving his child 1 Lac rupees till he knows where the kid is going to spend it.

As far as mental depression among these kids goes, please see the statistics for students committing suicide under pressure of studies etc because there parents would not be able to get them all the luxuries like these rich kids. Its never white and black with these issues.

And for all the members comparing the 1000 rs notes of today's kids with there own 50-100 Rs notes in there childhood, go ask your dad how much did he used to get as pocket money. Mine used to tell me that he used to get allowances in "paise" and that too infrequently.
Nothing wrong with sports cars, but honestly, at that age, is a sports car neccessary? That too in India, where it would just sit in traffic all day long and move at like 10 km/h? If i had a fast car when i was 16, i would have done a lot more stupid things, i can tell you that. The problem is, the vast majority of young people today, in India, dont know how to use that money if given to them. I saw it in my own college, both engineering and medical side; arguably it was much worse in the engineering side. I wouldnt doubt the same is true at many other private colleges.
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Old 22nd August 2013, 13:49   #25
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In fact, it is the mother, to a great extent, who plays a major role! The fathers work ended at gifting the fastest swimmer. Many of us forget this! Furthermore, it's always "Baap ka beta", if the child is successful. This is not correct IMHO!
I agree with this 100%

In fact my wifey keeps saying this and she is the one who I must credit for all the good things we see in our kids! Can't thank enough but she is the one who many a times curbs my urge to gift expensive things to my kids. There was time when I was kid and did not have any conveniences. And I continue to think that my kids should not grow up in that environment. But I have very much learnt to deal with those cravings (again thanks to wifey).

It may be shifting gears again but its mostly fathers who carry this feeling of "chalta hai" or "you know kids" attitude or give in to kid's "wants". More so for the ones who just have started earning descent and stay away from family/ tour out often. I still remember my dad telling every time I spoke about rupaiyya - A 1 rupee coin to him is as big as a wheel of a old wooden bullock-cart he once made living with! So spend it wisely!
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Old 22nd August 2013, 17:17   #26
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Default Re: WSJ Article: The Problem With Delhi's Rich Kids

The problem is not with the richness, and certainly not just with Delhi. The problem is with the value system the earning generation is imparting to the next generation. This is not time bound, as Samurai said, in the 80s it was VHS, now it's the iPad in the hands of a kid used as a yard stick to measure everything that's wrong with the society.

Happiness = more things is the easiest association a occupied mind can make. I feel sad looking at my nephews and the way my elder cousin is bringing them up. I compare my childhood with theirs, and I fail to put any blame on these kids for what they have become today.

I remember my childhood with fondness today, although by generally accepted middle class standards, we probably never belonged to the middle class. By Indian government's present definition of poverty line, I think there were days we lived below it. Me and my brother have been brought up by my mother, all alone. She walked out of my dad's house when she was disrespected in front of my brother. I was 10 and my brother was 7 then. She was a housewife, could not speak English very well and lived in Mumbai for the last 14 years. But she was determined to give us a good upbringing. She supplied packed meals to ever hungry engineering students, taught Hindi to grade 10 students and did everything that was physically and mentally possible for her, even stretched beyond her limits to pay our school fee. I still remember days when we used to have a fifty rupee note in our house, nothing in the bank. That's all we had and she used to send me to buy bread and milk. She never asked me to give the change back. I was free to buy biscuits or chocolates if I wanted to. But she always made me take the money out of her purse on my own and always get the bank passbook updated. At an age of 11-12, she taught me money management like no economics lesson can teach me. All my friends used to sympathise with us, but we as kids were oblivious and naive to understand that we are under-privileged. We had a great time with whatever we had. The best time I remember is when we used to sell ice-creams in front of local schools on those Kwality Walls push carts when mom was teaching inside. We made great friends not only with school kids but also graduate students from a nearby engineering college! They are still friends and a source of inspiration for us. All this when we were in grades 6 and 4, we had a crazy and awesome childhood

I can't help but compare that with my nephew's life. I have seen him grow up from a baby to a kid in grade 10. He was always very naive and innocent. He still is. He was always curious about things and never accepted anything without questioning it. I remember when he was 3-4 years old, he asked me why all Ferrari's are red in colour! I said I really don't know. He then replies back, they should make it yellow in colour, like lemon, it will look very good!!
But all of that has been wasted by his good for nothing parents. When he asks a question, he is given a "thing" to keep him busy and stop pestering them. When he tells them to teach him something, they find a coaching class and send him there. When he asks for a responsibility, he is told he is useless and doesn't know anything. Another talented kid being wasted in the assembly line we call "the metropolitan society".

All is not lost though, with a little diligence and common sense, it's not that hard to inculcate the right values in kids. They are the easiest to mould. I just hope I am able to be a parent as my mother was, even if I reach half way there, I would be at peace
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Old 22nd August 2013, 18:14   #27
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This WSJ is written with the assumption that money must bring happiness, which is incorrect.

Second, there must be 1000s of rich kids in Delhi. If 100s are them are unhappy, by a very optimistic exaggeration, that is 10% of rich kids. I think it is normal for any 10% of population to be unhappy in a country like ours.

So this article is faulty generalization and hence is trying to make mountain of nothing.

Note: BTW, what is the definition of rich? Who qualifies to be rich? Is there any annual income cutoff?
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Old 22nd August 2013, 18:34   #28
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Nothing wrong with sports cars, but honestly, at that age, is a sports car neccessary? That too in India, where it would just sit in traffic all day long and move at like 10 km/h? If i had a fast car when i was 16, i would have done a lot more stupid things, i can tell you that. The problem is, the vast majority of young people today, in India, dont know how to use that money if given to them. I saw it in my own college, both engineering and medical side; arguably it was much worse in the engineering side. I wouldnt doubt the same is true at many other private colleges.
But do you think it is any less dangerous to see these kids drive recklessly in there swifts and Polos? Or see them perform stunts on there bikes. I see school kids in front of my house go crazy every day when the school closes on there scooters. And being school kids its pretty evident that none of them possess a Licence. Also wearing helmet and other protective gear for them is a suicidal mistake in impressing the girls. So bottomline is that these kids drive recklessly regardless of the vehicle they are in. It depends more upon the type of values and teachings that you have developed while growing up by observing your parents etc.

And in our Indian scheme of things due to lack of reliable, safe and comfortable public transport, most college kids are not wrong in asking or getting a car for there daily drives.

I agree that VFM is fast eroding from there characters. But you also have to take into account that the overall spending nature of an Indian family has changed over the years. We have started showing a lot of forwardness in spending on the latest gadgets and cars and clothes etc. and equally important is the fact that there are so many more options too in the market today compared to lets say 10 years back. So as a kid I used to be on top of the world when once in a year or may be 2 years my dad used to buy me a pair of Action sport shoes for around 500-600 Rs. But I wont blame today's kid for wanting to buy the 6k worth Nike sneakers.

Last edited by drmohitg : 22nd August 2013 at 18:38.
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Old 22nd August 2013, 23:14   #29
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But do you think it is any less dangerous to see these kids drive recklessly in there swifts and Polos? Or see them perform stunts on there bikes. I see school kids in front of my house go crazy every day when the school closes on there scooters. And being school kids its pretty evident that none of them possess a Licence. Also wearing helmet and other protective gear for them is a suicidal mistake in impressing the girls. So bottomline is that these kids drive recklessly regardless of the vehicle they are in. It depends more upon the type of values and teachings that you have developed while growing up by observing your parents etc.

And in our Indian scheme of things due to lack of reliable, safe and comfortable public transport, most college kids are not wrong in asking or getting a car for there daily drives.

I agree that VFM is fast eroding from there characters. But you also have to take into account that the overall spending nature of an Indian family has changed over the years. We have started showing a lot of forwardness in spending on the latest gadgets and cars and clothes etc. and equally important is the fact that there are so many more options too in the market today compared to lets say 10 years back. So as a kid I used to be on top of the world when once in a year or may be 2 years my dad used to buy me a pair of Action sport shoes for around 500-600 Rs. But I wont blame today's kid for wanting to buy the 6k worth Nike sneakers.
It's not about the brand or cost of the car/phone/clothes/shoes/whatever parents buy their kids, for whatever reason they use to justify it to themselves.

A reckless driver is a reckless driver, whether in a second hand M-800 or a spanking new Merc.

Isn't it a bit ironic for the aforementioned parents & kids to use the 'safety' excuse to get the children 'daily drives', which are then driven recklessly by the same 'unlicensed' kids putting not only themselves but other road-users in danger, as you've observed yourself? What happens to the 'safety' bit?

Shameful that parents & kids don't even stick to the intended purpose (safe transport) while knowingly indulging in illegal behavior (underage driving).

Anything done without proper education will eventually fail its purpose, and will possibly have unintended consequences too (sometimes tragically so, and there's enough proof of that in the accidents thread on this very forum).
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Old 23rd August 2013, 01:02   #30
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But do you think it is any less dangerous to see these kids drive recklessly in there swifts and Polos? Or see them perform stunts on there bikes. I see school kids in front of my house go crazy every day when the school closes on there scooters. And being school kids its pretty evident that none of them possess a Licence. Also wearing helmet and other protective gear for them is a suicidal mistake in impressing the girls. So bottomline is that these kids drive recklessly regardless of the vehicle they are in. It depends more upon the type of values and teachings that you have developed while growing up by observing your parents etc.

And in our Indian scheme of things due to lack of reliable, safe and comfortable public transport, most college kids are not wrong in asking or getting a car for there daily drives.

I agree that VFM is fast eroding from there characters. But you also have to take into account that the overall spending nature of an Indian family has changed over the years. We have started showing a lot of forwardness in spending on the latest gadgets and cars and clothes etc. and equally important is the fact that there are so many more options too in the market today compared to lets say 10 years back. So as a kid I used to be on top of the world when once in a year or may be 2 years my dad used to buy me a pair of Action sport shoes for around 500-600 Rs. But I wont blame today's kid for wanting to buy the 6k worth Nike sneakers.
Cities like Delhi have a pretty good public transport system, what with the Metro going to a lot of places. Its fine for kids to get a car or a bike, provided they use it wisely. Children who are going to be reckless with a swift, will be much more so with a higher powered, more expensive car. I frankly think having a high priced mobile in India isnt the best thing because there is really no infrastructure to take advantage of it. (unreliable 3G, no 4G or LTE). The power of the phone is pretty much wasted. Something like a Nexus 4 is great because it can be used fully on the existing networks that India has. I have no problem with kids wanting to buy a 6k Nike sneaker (the price is highway robbery considering how much they are in other countries). My problem is with the attitude of those youngers. Just because you have the latest mobile or the latest shoe, doesnt make you any better than the kid next to you or somebody else in your peer group. During the time i spent in college, in Bangalore, the kids got richer and the attitudes got much worse, and its a shame. What are these kids being taught at home?
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