Entitled to…

Whenever I want to feel really bad about the future of our country, I like to watch the MTV reality shows. 16 and Pregnant scares the crap out of me. I thought that one was bad until I watched the ultimate, Teen Cribs this past week. This show perpetuates one of the biggest problems in children today… Entitlement.

A large portion of children today feel that they are owed something by life, just for existing. And not just something, someTHINGS. And all things name brand. Growing up we got whatever we got (and we liked it…or else). I got Vans but only because back then Vans were dirt cheap in California and Arizona. My clothing came from Kmart half the time…because I was out growing it. I had no cell phone. No Coach purse. And truthfully, until junior high hit, it really didn’t make a difference. And even then, it only mattered what jeans you wore. Nobody really seemed to give a crap about the rest of what you wore.

I watched this show in horror as they showed their houses. The tennis courts, basketball courts, home theaters bigger than my house, the petting zoos, the cars for kids who can’t even drive yet, the race tracks, the Taco Bell on property, the baseball field complete with concession stand, the water slide through the house, etc…

I get that people have nice things and people can spend their money however they want. What drove me crazy is that the parents when interviewed just kept saying that they were happy because they could provide their children with these things that made them truly happy. What??? You know what made me truly happy as a kid. A large cardboard box. You know the kind your parents got when they bought a new refrigerator or washing machine. Those things rocked. And I spent hours in them. Or how about making a fort out of the living room furniture and sheets/blankets? Sleeping in those forts was the best. The only thing bad was that we didn’t get to keep them up for long. Which in a way made them special. You could tell that the kids just moved on to the next thing. The kids seemed so disinterested in most of the things they had. Which is just sad.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we go overboard. In baking as well. Which is why I offer up these simple chocolate chip cookies. Well, not plain chocolate chip. I did use the Milk Chocolate and Caramel Chips (which they don’t make anymore so use chocolate chips and butterscotch chips to recreate that flavor combo) that I found at the store one day. You can use whatever chocolate chip you want to. The other interesting thing is that they are rolled in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for 24 hours. That was what made me want to make them. The same cookie, just in a different way. I like.

Plain. Simple. Often over looked, but always appreciated.

Be Thankful For What You Have Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾  cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
8 ounces milk chocolate chips
6 ounces butterscotch chips

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed just until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the flour mixture followed by the walnuts and chocolate and butterscotch chips.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log about 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably for 24 hours (do this part for real please).

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Slice the logs into disks ¾  inch thick and place the disks 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the nuts or chips crumble out, simply push them back in.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are very lightly browned in the centers, about 10 minutes. If you like soft chocolate chip cookies, as I do, err on the side of underbaking.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.

Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz


  1. You summed that up so well, it often amazes me how children behave and what they ‘value’. Crazy! And your right, sometimes we all just need a chocolate chip cookie!

  2. This is going to make me sound like a terrible person, but I watch “16 and Pregnant” when I’m having a bad day. When the job market looks crappy or I bomb a test, I can think “At least I avoided that statistic and managed to not get myself pregnant with twins with a guy I’d only been seeing for a couple weeks!” But again, sometimes I’m a terrible person.

  3. I’m 15 and I often contemplate what it means to be a parent – what does it feel like to provide so much (school fees, living expenses, clothes, food, shelter) for some weird little kid and receive nothing but ingratitude in return?

    I asked my mom that question and she answered “when you have kids you’ll know. It’s unconditional love.” Right, I knew that, but don’t parents ever feel… unappreciated?

    I know I used to take my parents for granted, but somehow I learned to see what they provided for me and I try my best to give back, even if it’s just small things like doing the dishes or asking how my mom’s day is going. I wish I knew what I could do to fully “pay back” my parents for what they’ve done so far.


  4. So true. I work with and around many teens and early twenty somethings. What kills me is how even when they get a job, they act as if having to do anything while at work is an inconvenience. “Sorry to interrupt your texting, uh, but you have a customer….”

    Btw, when you said caramel chips, is that anything like the caramel baking bits? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00110HEH0/stamper3

    I saw them at the store the other day and nearly bought some. But I was afraid I would just eat them….

  5. Oh goodness, as a middle school teacher I hear you! The entitlement kids have drives me insane. These cookies sure do look delicious- nice and simple, and I love that flavor combination.

  6. Well… I hate to say it, but I really feel that we are not climbing out of this recession yet. If that’s the case, you may not have to worry about people with a feeling of entitlement in the near future.

    I however feel very entitled to one of those cookies.

  7. Very well said. I have an 18 year old sister (14 years my junior) and our teen lives were just so different-like we grew up on different planets.

    If moms were only chocolate chip cookies-always appreciated.

  8. Barbara S. says:

    Ah, yes….the large cardboard boxes and the blanket and chair forts…..loved them…..actually, my kids thought they were pretty cool, too.

  9. Zing, you hit my last nerve. I so agreed with you on the excessive consumption part but not when it comes to cookies…

  10. I agree totally!! I often watch 16 and Pregnant, my kids are forbidden from MTV in general…even their commercials are inappropriate. I have yet to quite figure out what the message that 16 and Pregnant is trying to get across….because the show seems to be slanted in a positive view at times….the grandma stays home with baby while the teenager gets all fixed up and goes out with friends…?? hmmmmm…yeah, that really looks like having a baby at a young age sucks….

  11. which is why so many kids are spoilt and arrogant!

    aside, your cookies look sooo good. (((:

  12. Oh, that MTV. Nothing like it used to be, so smutty! We really try not to spoil our kids because in general all it does take is a cardboard box to make them happy! I just wish we could have raised them up till now in a real neighborhood where they could walk outside and play with neighbor kids. Anyway, chocolate chip cookies of all kinds are insanely delicious! And the batter is the best thing ever.

  13. Amen to that. I’ve made it my mission to try to teach C. that living simply is living well. I’m sure these cookies would help get that feeling home for him. ;)

  14. Thanks for the memory – on the way home from school we would pass a piano store. One day a new shipment had arrived and all the packing boxes were outside on the sidewalk. Well 3 of us picked, nudged, pushed that box across 2 busy streets to my grandmother’s backyard and it was the best fort for the summer. No boys allows:)

  15. Watching those shows makes me seriously ill. My kids are getting material things. Maybe some boxes. Crayons. And paper. And a ball. That’s about it.

    There are way too few chocolate chip cookies in my life. I bet you could chop up a caramel-filled hershey’s kiss to recreate these chips also!

  16. Well said! I’m happy to say that if I provided my boys with a cardboard box and some chocolate chip cookies, they would be happy for hours. ;)

  17. I agree with you. I remember playing with cushions and blankets when I was young these days the more they have the less happy they are. These cookies look so good wish I had a couple right now. I ll make them and use leftover chocolate Easter eggs :)

  18. Oh so true….
    Where I live, before the new century came by, bicyles were the popular mode of transport getting to school and around town, now, hardly see students getting on the two wheelies. Parents drive them everywhere to keep them away from the hot sun. It’s almost 38C here daily.

  19. Happiness doesn’t come from material (only). Materialistic things replace what can’t be given anymore (love, attention, commitment, etc…).

    Those are lovely cookies!



  20. I agree with all that you’re saying about kids these days. It makes it hard for those kids whose parents just cannot afford to give them all that their friends have. I would have been very happy with these chocolate chip cookies as a kid.

  21. You are so right! I was grateful when my parents didn’t beat the crap out of me (not joking) and happy when I got a book or two from someone – I wrote a post about “what is happening to our utes” not too long ago – when I think about it – I get scared too. The cookies look great.

  22. Amen, Peabody! I wish parents realized what a disservice it is to kids to hand over whatever they want whenever they want!

    Those cookies look fabulous!!!

  23. I totally agree with you. I watch 16 and pregnant. That show just makes me so sad for those girls. The Teen Cribs. I watched that one once and could not do it again. Those kids have no idea what real life is about. No idea how to handle things.

    I was the same way as you when I was a kid. Excitment for us was the eating out that we got, once a month, or getting to play in the mud!

  24. Eh, I’m sure rich kids were around when we were young too. I’ve never watched those shows, but I doubt they represent an average section of society.

    My husband and I built a fort in my sister’s living room when we were babysitting her kids recently. And the next time we saw the kids, a month later, they started asked for a fort as soon as we walked in the door. Forts are still the bomb.

  25. I don’t know why Mtv and VH-1 are even still on the air. Just last night I was thinking they air some of the dumbest reality shows. Remember back in the day when they used to air these things called “music videos?”

    Cardboard boxes ruled! I had a television box that I turned into a clubhouse – I even pasted pictures on the walls and made curtains for it. When I was done playing my Dad would put it on a shelf in the garage. I kept that thing until I was too big to fit in it.

  26. Amen, Peabody!

  27. I remember my parents taking us to McDonalds for cheeseburgers, french fries and a milkshake! Now that was a treat!!!

  28. Ahh..I can’t even watch those shows (or most reality shows for that matter–even adults have entitlement issues: Jersey Shore??) because they make me so angry!
    But these cookies cheer me up.

  29. Thank you for bringing this subject up I went to high school with kids like that and it bothered me, I grew up playing in boxes and wearing hand me downs and I was more then happy with this,I think it’s horriable there showing this on tv. These cookies look divinde!

  30. So true….and I see it every day pretty much as I work at a private university where most kids seem to think they should just get what they want.

    Your cookies look yum and I really like that they are rolled and refrigerated. Easy to just cook what you want when you want.

  31. I agree wholeheartedly about kids these days growing up with a sense of entitlement! Though I’ve been getting that impression from some from my generation as well :( It’s a sad, sad state we’re headed for if that’s the case!

    I love that you’ve posted an unapologetically simple, back to basics chocolate chip cookie. Yay! Sometimes we bog down our choc.chip cookies with too much “stuff”, it’s nice to have a “regular” one now and then too!

  32. Chris M. says:

    I’m only 25 myself, but all I can say about what you said in this post is

    A. men.

  33. Looks great. I suppose freezing the dough works too right?

    I think entitlement is a disease that afflicts even adults, to be honest :) And I consider a taco bell on the property to be more of a curse than anything else!

  34. we don’t have those shows here, but I know what you mean.

    Nice cookie recipe too.

  35. My older boys loved playing with the large boxes you described. I think that kids today are bored because everything is given to them. Everything is just too easy for them. Very sad. Your cookies are NOT sad however! They look good and you can never, ever have enough chocolate chip cookies!

  36. I so agree with you, Peabody. One of the tings I like about the part of town where I teach (you know it well) is that the kids don’t seem to have as much of the entitlement disease. Sure, they want things, but they don’t expect them. I can still bring in fun pencils, stickers, or some small goodie for the class and they appreciate it. I don’t get that, “Um…this is crap. Where is my Coach purse with matching Coach shoes and Dooney key fob?” look. I am so determined to make sure my kids don’t grow up with that kind of attitude!

  37. Amen to that.

  38. When I was a kid there were two thing I loved to do. The first was to play kitchen under my aunts weeping willow. She would give me old spice cans and I would pretend-cook all afternoon. The other was some sort of fabric shaped to fit over a card table. It was imprinted with a house so you could crawl in the door (under the card table) and play house there all day with nobody the wiser.
    When my grandson was here last Christmas one of his gifts was one of those things you see in doctor’s offices…a big wooden box called an activity center. Do you know what he played with?The box it came in.

    Good cookies, with both chocolate and butterscotch chips!

  39. “A large portion of children today feel that they are owed something by life, just for existing.”


    You hit the nail right on the head. I hate this sense of entitlement… makes me want to smack little kids. Especially the ones who have never made a fort!

  40. What you stated is SO true. These parents are raising valueless, entitled, arrogant, smug, selfish, digustingly spoiled brats. (I could go on forever, seems…) I can’t stand to be in the same room as them, much less the same planet!
    The cookies look great, btw.

  41. SO true!

    One of my favorite things as a kid was making things out of those cardboard boxes. I would cut out a hole in one for the TV screen so then you could be “on TV” and I would make a “remote” complete with drawn-on “buttons.” I think I even made a VCR once. I don’t remember too many of the actual toys I had, except the wooden ones my dad made us.

  42. I know what you mean. I’m raising a 7-year old and while she’s a joy, I sometimes think that being a parent is the scariest job on earth. I think these kids grow up all spoiled because their parents aren’t able to put limits on them; either that or they’re living vicariously through their kids.

  43. What a great post! I will never forget when I was 15 and my mom was taking me to Macy’s and I flipped out bc she wouldn’t take me to Abercrombie. I told her I didn’t want stupid clothes from Macy’s and she said fine, she wasn’t going to buy me any clothes. Hello?! My mother was buying me clothes and I complained?! I feel so ashamed now, and I don’t think I’ll EVER forget that day. So yes, I know what you mean and I appreciate my mom for snapping me back down to reality.

  44. Love it! Cardboard boxes and forts bring back great memories. Parents may feel like they are giving their kids everything, when they are really robbing them of the chance to appreciate the simple things in life. And personally, being able to appreciate the little things is handy to get through to tough days of an everyday life.

  45. These cookies look delish! I actually just baked some chocolate cookies this morning from an old NY Times recipe that I had been waiting to try. I have been looking for some variations on ‘traditional’ chocolate chip cookies and these seem perfect. :)

  46. I miss forts made out of blankets and sheets. They were so much fun when I was a kid. I also miss a good simple chocolate chip cookie. So I have to make these. And build a fort in my living room to eat them under.

  47. I loved sofa cushion and sheets forts and appliance carton make believe and snow forts and we even had a wooden toy box that we used as a boat when the basement flooded :) We had some store bought toys, too, but kids don’t really need much if thie imagination is strong.
    Love the simplicity of the cookies, with the nice twist of unusual chips added. A winner Pea, just like you.

  48. YES.



    I love you.


  49. Well said!!

    And the cookies look wonderful!

  50. Teen cribs? Are you kidding me? I’m so glad to have missed out on that kind of competitive pressure as a kid. My biggest worry was just making sure my hair was feathered evenly on each side.

    As for comfort, chocolate chips cookies and milk still top the list.

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