Bratty, Indulged Kids: Does Wealth Excuse Bad Behavior?
The setting: A 5-star ski resort, for a family trip to enjoy some time together eating, relaxing, and skiing.
The players: My husband and I, both in our 50′s. Our three kids, ages 25, 22, and 18. We are fortunate to be a well-traveled group.
Act I: Our Story Begins
6:50 AM: Running, yelling, fighting. Doors banging. Doors opening, banging shut again. More running. More yelling. Knocking. Running. Screaming.
12:00 Noon: I am nearly decapitated by a soccer ball in the lobby kicked by one of five kids having a full on game.
2:00 PM: While in line to purchase tickets, dogs on leashes wearing teeny, tiny little winter coats, are crisscrossing in front of me and behind me while sniffing everything about me. Owners smile. I want to smash their faces in and strangle their dogs with the leash. I have a momentary vision of dropping one of them (the dog, of course) from the gondola.
Act II: Later That Evening
5:00 PM: While in the “Spa Sanctuary,” where a sign clearly reads, “No one under age 15 allowed,” three approximately 12-year-old girls on smartphones and in robes are lounging on the best seats with the best views of the mountain quietly awaiting their service. Two ten-year olds are having a loud conversation in front of the fire, and one 40-year-old gentleman lounging in a robe is doing a less than stellar job keeping said robe closed over what are clearly naked man parts. No one seems to think anything is amiss.
7:00 PM: At the front desk, we are in line behind an unsupervised seven-year-old girl handing a credit card to the staff member and telling him to charge it to her dad. I am NOT kidding. When I commented to the staff member, he seemed completely unaware that there was anything odd about this encounter.
8:00 PM: In the fine dining restaurant, a six-year-old is spinning on his stomach on the floor next to his family’s table. I have to time my step in order not to place my boot onto his head while trying to get around him.
Critics Review: I am a mom who traveled often with my kids and I can assure you that NEVER, I REPEAT, NEVER, did my husband and I allow them to behave in the way we witnessed. My oldest son said when returning to the room after storing skis, “I was literally almost just run over in the lobby by kids playing soccer.” It made me so proud.
I understand that this is a family resort. I understand that it is an ACTIVE family resort. But at what point, do we say, enough? No kid needs to run up and down hotel hallways. None of them need to be screaming, slamming doors or playing soccer inside.
When asked, the concierge said, “We’ve spoken to parents often, but they don’t seem to care.” Does having money excuse bad behavior? Because it seems to me that there is a separate set of expectations for kids and adults with money. Had we been at Holiday Inn Express, I guarantee you, management would have put a stop to it and parents would have been admonished. Rules are stretched and downright ignored for the more well off, and kids are indulged in unbelievable ways. Just pay attention should you ever get to sit in first class on a flight. No one ever tells you to stay in your seat when you need to pee but, if in coach? They’ll let you pee in your pants before they let you up.
When dogs get Evian water and ten-year-olds are getting 80 minute massages, I say we’ve lost our minds. I say it’s time to separate dog world from people world, and more importantly kid world from adult world. And until the upper class learns to behave, or someone steps up and makes them behave, I’m going to the Holiday Inn.
So help me out here: Too much, or am I onto something? Have you experienced this in your own travels?