Paging DCFS…

Taking “Your mother dresses you funny” to a whole ‘nother level of insult.”*

*Actual photo from Cookie magazine website.

Salon runs an article today, “Ringing Up Baby,” about the increasingly out of control phenomenon of parents buying their toddlers and small children incredibly expensive clothes and accessories. I couldn’t really bring myself to read the article in much detail, but I was please to see that the voice of reason in the article is reassuringly Midwestern:

“Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg, a clinical psychologist who practices in an affluent Chicago suburb and lectures on “The Overindulged Child,” has seen the unsightly consequences of that attitude. “The risk is making your baby an object, someone who eventually learns that her primary value to you is the way she looks. And out of that can grow a child who’s consumed with appearance. Anorexia. Compulsive exercise.”

Not to mention one who’s lazy and unmotivated. “As we all know,” says Wehrenberg, “desiring something and knowing you have the potential to get it causes you to work hard and feel very satisfied when you get it. But kids from wealthy families are getting everything they want. They literally have nothing to work for.”
Competitive parents who lavish their babies with Ooba bassinets and Russian language classes at 6 months, she says, often develop a mind-set that they can buy their children everything they need. “But what growing children’s minds really need,” she says, “is time for free play. Time to just stare into space and allow the brain to rest, to form new connections, new ideas, and learn how to soothe itself.”

3 Comments so far

  1. Marty (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    As a mandated reporter, I have the dubious honor of calling DCFS when i suspect child abuse or neglect. In 6 years, I think they’ve been helpful once… that was when the Judge in the case told them, in no uncertain terms, that they would help this kid or they would be ordered to help this kid.

    In short, I don’t like DCFS.

    I would *love* to make a hotline call to DCFS for overindulgent families; I think this is one of the things they actually could improve on some level…

  2. Elizabeth (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

    Okay, let’s have it. Which one of you bastards sold Marty’s drivers license picture to Salon? Guys, HE WAS SIXTEEN. Let it go.

  3. Jason (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 2:22 pm


    Why haven’t you called DCFS on my family? This may not be an appropriate venue for something like this, but I thought you’d figured out by now that “I fell down the stairs,” and “I got raped by an orangutan,” and “I bought it at the polish resale shop,” were examples of code that I was giving you. My cry for help Mart, and you let me down.

    Is it Friday yet? Yeah. So now the monkey’s dead, and the stairs are, um, broken, so it’s too late to do anything about it.

    Thanks Marty. And by the way, that scarf I gave you when you were 16? I want that back.

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