My friend Leenie has an interesting discussion going on her blog about spoiled kids. This started out as a comment there but got a little long winded so I moved it here.
Often in our suburban culture we see who has what and we are all quick to make judgments based on that. While I do not know the pain of being stereotyped based on my race or appearance, people often make judgments about me based on my family. My family owns a profitable and publicly recognized business that bears the family name so I spent a lot of time growing up saying, "Yes, I am related to them." I realized this sounds a little like a "poor little rich girl" pity party but hang with me here! I am forever grateful that my parents were able to provide for my sister, brother and I. We all got the gift of a Christian education all the way through college. We got to travel and experience lots great things. My parents were able to assist my grandparents as they aged.
There is an assumption that if parents spend money on their kids they do not spend time with them or teach them anything valuable. Why is it one or the other? It is possible to be a good parent and have money. People make assumptions about me all the time based on my family's income level and sometimes that is really painful. I did not have things handed to me~with the exception of my college education I worked for things (my Guess jeans, my first car, ect.) just like everyone else. My parents were great parents and taught me all the same things that parents who weren't as well-off taught their kids. Spoiled is a mind set, not a dollar amount. Spoiling kids is teaching them the universe revolves around them. You can do that in lots of ways that do not involve money.
Yes, my kids wear name brand clothes. They have American Girl Dolls. They also do not own a gaming system or battery powered vehicles. They have never been to WDW. It's all relative. There will always be someone who spends $1 less on their kids and will call your kids spoiled. Holding a ruler up to a family and making judgments on how they spend their money is stereotyping. They are lots of well-off parents who are teaching their kids unconditional love and respect just as they are lots of parents who struggle financially and don't teach their kids these things. Judging people based on income or possessions is just as wrong as judging people on any other outside criteria.