School is just around the corner, and kids are starting to dread/think about the upcoming year. An article in the St.Louis Post Dispatch paper caught my eye yesterday, and I wanted to run it by you for your thoughts.
Aisha Sultan wrote about a new phenomenon; designer school lockers. Parents and their tweens are forking over larger and larger wads of cash to decorate school lockers, and it has started to create a new cottage industry and a feeding frenzy at stores.
For students starting middle school, one of their biggest fears is figuring out the whole locker thing: working the combination, gathering books and supplies in between classes while getting to class on time, and even the socialization that occurs around lockers. This isn’t a new challenge, but it has some parents going all out in yet another attempt to try to ‘keep up with the Joneses.
I like for issues like this to be as student-driven as possible, with parents as supportive by-standers. If a middle school girl wants to spruce up her locker as a way to feel more at home and to express herself, good for her! A wise parent might tell her she can do whatever she wants because it’s on her dime. Or they could give her a reasonable budget and let her learn how to “live within her means “. Either way, it’s one more opportunity for a kid to take initiative, work with a budget, and create her world.
I sometimes worry that too many kids have been made to feel ‘special’ and ‘unique’ and ‘the best’ at everything since the day they were named Messiah or Major. It’s really the parents worry that their kids won’t keep up or be left behind that has driven this relentless overindulging; designer lockers may just be one more step on this path.
Forking out $25 for a chandelier, or money for shag carpeting and wallpaper sounds a bit over-the-top to me, but as long as it is kid-driven and kid-paid for…have at it!