Ask Charles Barkley

Posted: July 08, 2012

Q: What do you think is the best holiday?

— Celebrating in Chester

A:Dude, every day is a holiday, that's how I like to live my life. We should celebrate America every day, not just on the Fourth of July. We should always honor our veterans and fallen leaders, not just on special days. And if you are a religious person, your holidays are important to you, but your beliefs and practices should be a full-time job. I could never figure out why mattress sales are always tied in to the birthdays of presidents Washington and Lincoln, and why certain holidays are celebrated on Mondays instead of the actual days. Maybe we're at the mercy of greeting-card companies and retailers. You need a calendar every year just to keep track of holidays.

Q: All my buddies complain that their kids are spoiled. I can confirm this — their kids are spoiled. But do you really think kids are more spoiled today than they were, say, 20 years ago? And why are we raising them that way?

— Spoiling for a Fight in Souderton

A: Look, the cycle of life — from the very beginning of parenting — is that parents always want their kids to have a better life than they did. There's nothing wrong with that. But if your life today is worse than your parents' back in the day, then something is wrong. But certainly over the last 50 years, things have gotten out of hand. Kids have had more stuff available to them: toys, games, sports equipment, music, technology, clothes, and on and on and on. Media influences and peer pressure have created a culture of just wanting more and more stuff, and that applies to kids of all ages. If you buy your kids everything without regard to price or need, then how can you expect them to not be spoiled? I think you know the answer, dude. You keep buying because you just keep trying to keep up with the Joneses. And I don't see an end in sight.

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