January 9, 2012

Precious Snowflakes

From the UK Telegraph comes a story that could be ripped right out of the pampered bedrooms of America's children.
China: The rise of the 'Precious Snowflakes'

First there were the Little Emperors, the often chubby and spoiled first generation of children born under China's one-child policy. Now the Precious Snowflakes have emerged - a generation so coddled some cannot even tie their own shoelaces.

"They are 'Precious Snowflakes', wrapped in cotton wool from day one," said Paul French, the founder of Access Asia, a China-based research company.

"Nothing is ever quite right for them. It is always either too hot or too cold and they are all hypochondriacs. They get immediately stressed out if they ever have to lift a finger," he said
When I was growing up you were considered to be spoiled rotten if you bought your lunch in the cafeteria (my mom wouldn't let us spend the twenty-five cents for a school lunch ) or rode a three-speed English Racer instead of a Schwinn.
In a world of smog, toxic food and unsure medical care, middle-class Chinese parents are spending ever-larger sums of money to insulate their children from harm.

"The first generation, the Little Emperors, were quite tough: fat little thugs always stuffing themselves full of McDonald's," said Mr French. "The new generation is very concerned with things like air quality, which the Little Emperors never bothered about.

"They only drink Evian and are scared of food unless it is imported. Their parents tread quietly around them so they can do 'natural waking', where they do not use alarm clocks but are in tune with their biorhythms."

My dad used to wake us up at 5:30 to get ready for school. God help you if he had to do it twice. You'd wake up in the backyard if you woke up at all.
One mother in Shanghai, who asked not to be named, said she and her husband were simply too busy to look after Yao Yao, their four-year-old daughter.

"Yao Yao rarely wears shoes with laces because she cannot tie them. And she will not dress herself. I have shown her many times, but she will not be bothered. If I insist, she buries herself in her duvet and refuses to get out of bed. I have never really had the heart to force her, and her grandparents, who usually look after her, cannot resist her.
On my mom's side, my grandfather died in 1956 (cancer) and my grandmother lived with us until she died in the mid-seventies. Nana helped raise us kids as both my parents worked. She was bought up in a NYC convent after her mother was killed when she was about eight years old back in 1909 or so.

Nana was not what you would call a happy camper. Not a surly camper either ... as long as she had her unfiltered Camels. I learned how to swear from her.

We lived so that nothing, absolutely nothing, was wasted. We were not poor by any means, but we lived within our means by any means possible. I remember getting a used erector set for Xmas. It was from the thirties and the kit must have weighed forty pounds. I made stuff with that set that you could have lived in.
"Her dinner time is cartoon time, so she watches television while her grandparents sit and spoon-feed her. When we try to bring her to the table, she just makes a big fuss.
My Nana would have beat the everlovin' snot out of her. We used to get her knuckles rammed into our spines when we slouched at the dinner table. Heads were thumped on a regular basis for minor infractions. That's the way the nuns brought up Nana and she was a real good learner. She brought up my mom the same way and Mom was no slouch either. Her right hook wasn't as sharp but she used a belt to great effect. Dad? Never laid a hand on me. Never had to.
Nana cooked for all of us as mom got home too late to make dinner. We had cow tongue at least once a month. I managed to break that addiction when I went to college. I still hate sauerbrauten and pork but you'd better believe that I ate every bit of it when it was served at home.
"She likes new clothes, so we have to buy her a new wardrobe every three months. Once my cousin's daughter came and played with her doll so she threw it out of the 17th floor window, saying it was dirty."
Some of the clothes I wore as a young man were from Nana's old clients; they gave them to her  when their husbands died. As a rookie cop that's what I wore to traffic and criminal court, blazers from dead guys.

And I thought things were tough in China. Silly me.


Teresa said...

Okay... Maybe China's next generation in the military will be rolling on the ground instead of marching? Or maybe it will be hard for China to find those who aren't fat, spoiled brats? This could be good news for the US.

sig94 said...

Terese - it certainly could. But on the other hand a stable China is better for us also. I am wondering how this trend could destablize this massive country.

Gorges Smythe said...

Don't you just hate it when Chinese brats act like American brats?

Subvet said...

Wonder how soon before the OWS movement hits China?

As for being raised in a permissive enviornment, I recall arguing with my father to wear my hair long back in the mid 60's. My argument included the statement that George Washington wore long hair, so it wasn't especially effeminate.

I was told that when I wore silk stockings like GW I could grow my hair long. Need I say that it never happened?

He must have been in one of his mellow moods. Normally any sort of an argument ended as I picked myself off the floor.

Flied lice said...

The poor kids ( 99%) still live in boxes and eat mud pies before joining the military or going to jail where their organs will be harvested to order after meeting a firing squad for a trumped up murder charge.

Kid said...

Sig, this sounds like a good thing.

Maybe we'll start making stuff and sell it to them, since they are all so lazy.

Doom said...

Oh? No problem here. They are destroying themselves faster than I thought possible with the one child policy. The nation will simply implode when this generation reaches a critical age, that of taking over for the last generation. I have some doubts if this is isolated. And I thought our newest generation was bad! It is, but... not quite that bad.

I will bet, however, the reasons are similar. When too few children are born in a family, they are coddled. One child can simply be coddled much more than two children. Odd how that works, but when men interfere with natural courses, all hell will break loose.

Andy said...

Wow, welcome to the "Cultural Devolution".

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Eat all of your dinner. There are starving kids in China.

el chupacabra said...

I'm sorry that all I can say is WOW, but I bet you thank God for Nana.

reality said...

Cages for the 99% who aren't wealthy or 'connected'....

sig94 said...

Gorges - actually it makes me feel better that the entire world is going to hell in a hand basket. We got company man!

sig94 said...

Subvet - I doubt they'll get the reception they got here, but certainly nothing as bad as 1989. I think it would blow over and then they'll simply disappear one by one over a period of months. Never to be seen again - unless they take one of their new dams apart for repairs.

sig94 said...

Flied Lice - coming soon to an ObamaCare facility near you! That's what the FEMA camps are for!

sig94 said...

Kid - us? Sell stuff? Not unless you say pretty please to the unions and give them free health care that no one else can get.

sig94 said...

Doom - I agree. We were commanded to go forth and replenish the earth. Lots of children were always considered a blessing until the liberals redefined the American household.

sig94 said...

Andy - nice phrase. I will borrow it from time to time.

sig94 said...

Odie - that's what they used to tell us when it only took $35/wk to feed a family of seven. I remember the grocery bills. I worked at a supermarket in the early sixties. One guy came in and bought $200 worth of groceries - he left with seven grocery baskets full of food. We were all astounded that he bought so much.

sig94 said...

el chupa - I miss my Nana. She died while I was in the police academy.