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Spoilt Palo Alto kids?

Original post made by Parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2007

What is the criteria for saying a Palo Alto kid is spoilt. When I was growing up we used to think that if someone was an only child they were automatically spoilt and that was our definition. Our assumption was built on the fact that they always had new things and nothing was ever hand me down, plus the fact that the parents were indulgent and always gave the child everything they asked. Now I wonder if the definition has changed. What makes a Palo Alto kid spoilt? Is it what they have? Is it how they get it, either through parents benevolence or hard work on the part of the child? Is it material possessions, or is it attitude.

From some of the comments here lately and seeing the attitude of some of our residents, I find it hard to define. We certainly have those who have plenty materially and we also have those who are given extra pressures from tutoring to keep ahead. What are the definitions and do we have more than one type of spoiling?

Comments (11)

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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 10:27 pm

To me being spoilt comes down to attitude, specifically the feeling of entitlement. With that definition, I'd say we have some spoilt parents in our community, too.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 10:42 pm

It's a myth that all only children are spoiled anyway. Many parents of only children go out of their way to make sure that their kids don't have a sense of entitlement. I know only children who are far less spoiled than some kids in multi-kid families.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 10, 2007 at 12:34 pm

that is extremely insulting to perpetuate the ridiculous notion that only children are automatically spoiled.


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Posted by William
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Is Paris Hilton spoilt? Or is she just acting out within a society that demands so little from its kids and adults? Is Bill Clinton spoilt because he took what he could (Monica)? Is a welfare recipient spoilt because he/she would rather just get the money and not work for it? Is the city of Palo Alto spolit because it demands it all, yet refuses to build the internal business base to pay for it? Is the kid at Paly spoilt because he thought he was cute, and didn't need to wrry about the effect on his parents? Are his friends spoilt because their parents are covering for them, and not fessing up? Am I spoilt for writing this post (answer = yes, I think). But I am from Palo Alto, so I can do what I want.

Can anybody define the word "spoilt" for me?


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2007 at 6:02 pm

I don't want to perpetuate a myth about only child syndrome as the litmus test for being spoilt. My point was that this was something that I felt was true growing up, not that this is what is happening now. I think that spoilt children come in families of all shapes, sizes, and anything else that could group them together.

I know some families where the income is probably on the lower side of the Palo Alto norm and the children here are given a lot, probably because it is thought that this will make them equal to their peers. I know some families where wealth is abused and others where you would not even realise that this is a wealthy family. So, I don't think money comes into it either.


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Posted by Spellcheck
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 10, 2007 at 10:07 pm

I have never seen the word spoilt before. Isn't it just a misspelling?


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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jun 10, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Spoil, spoilt. Boil, boilt. Why not?
Seriously, check Merriam Webster Web Link to see that spoilt is an alternative spelling for spoiled.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2007 at 9:25 am

My recollections of grammar from English and Latin classes at high school.

Spoiled is the past tense - the milk was left out and it spoiled.

Spoilt is an adjective - spoilt milk is the result of lack of refrigeration.

I presume grammar is still taught and the rules haven't changed. In these technological ages with spell check and grammar check we may not need to remember what we were taught in school. Is this a form of spoiling too?


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Posted by Spellcheck
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 11, 2007 at 10:33 am

"Spoil, spoilt. Boil, boilt. Why not?"
People who care about schools think spelling doesn't count?
Even if spelling doesn't count in your personal values, posting to the world with misspellings makes you sound uneducated and not knowing that it does count to other people. Or not knowing how to use a spell checker.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2007 at 11:03 am

My son brought home a poem from school some years ago which I wish I had kept (or could find).

It was called something like "I have a brand new spellcheck, I got it from my ant" and it was full of homophones used incorrectly as well as contractions, etc. I found it very hard to read but it was very funny and showed the uselessness of spellcheck if you can't spell in the first place.

If anyone knows where I can get a copy, I would be grateful.

Thank you.


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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jun 11, 2007 at 12:32 pm

"People who care about schools think spelling doesn't count?"

Yeah, that's about as true a statement as "people who write about spell checkers have no sense of humor." Did you not see the next paragraph that began, "Seriously"? Surely comprehension is an important literary skill, too? ;-)

Relax. This as an online forum for discussion, not a college entrance exam.

But if you believe you're SO in the right, please check a few online resources. Web Link and Web Link both consider "spoilt" an acceptable spelling for use as either a verb or an adjective.


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