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Spinoff Thread - Why are BMWs always associated with spoiled children?

Original post made by Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows, on Feb 2, 2010

It seems like the stereotypical Pleasantonian is a SUV driving, "not my kid", soccer mom with a spoiled teen driving a BMW? Why BMW? Why do Lexus, Acura, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lincoln, Mercedes, and Jaguar escape the negative association? Additionally, is a teenager driving a "hand me down" BMW any more or less "spoiled" than one driving a new Honda Accord or Toyota Camry? Why does the student with the $40k F250 super duty escape the wrath of the Pleasanton stereotype but the one lucky enough to receive a $30k entry level 3 series takes all the heat?

I'm curious why BMW takes the title? Your thoughts? Ha ha.....

Comments (20)

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Posted by shadowbozo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2010 at 8:15 am

Why are any parents crazy enough to give their child an expensive car? Most boys, since I have raised two successfully, crash their first and second cars doing stupid things. Kids don't appreciate what they have until they purchase it themselves. Have them buy their own car as long as it's safe to drive. My oldest drove an old diesel rabbit with a top speed of 60mph driving down hill.

Was it a status symbol for him? No. Did it get him safely to and from school? Yes.

Children need to learn about the real world before they go to college. If everything is given to them, how do you expect them to work for anything themself?


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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Excellent post, shadow. It doesn't matter if it's the over-priced, status symbol that the BMW is, or some other car that's out of the reach of most teens.
Handing kids a car teaches them that they don't have to earn something they really want. Would you really want to start out life with an entitlement mentality for your kids? Where does that lead? Ask those on the taxpayers dole............


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Posted by right on
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

My kids are working to earn every penny that it will take to buy their first cars. Are they resentful? I don't think so; they scoff at the kids driving around in cars that were obviously given to them.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

Silly post. I had nothing growing up and if I can give my kids a car, GREAT. Nobody mentions that the BMW's have one of the best safety records. I want my kids in the safest, most reliable car out there. I don't want them to break down somewhere. My concern is the safety of my kids, not your stupid opinions. Why don't we just worry about our own kids and stop worrying about what the Jones' are driving. I wish I could hold a mirror up for you guys to show you how you really look right now.


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm

"Why are any parents crazy enough to give their child an expensive car? Most boys, since I have raised two successfully, crash their first and second cars doing stupid things."


I would ask why any parent would be crazy enough to give their child a second car after they wrecked the first one doing "stupid things." My father told me if he ever caught me doing anything stupid in his car (the car I drove belonged to him, and he just allowed me to use it - his words) then that would be the last car of his I drove until I was 18.

Personally, I will follow my parents guidance when it comes to allowing my child to drive. The car will be mine that I lend to them so long as they're doing well in school, not getting in trouble, etc. This allows the parent the ownership of the vehicle where as if the child purchases it, they feel that the parent should have no control over it. I also don't want my child working for a car payment, I want them working to save for college. That will be my approach.

And if my child gets a hand me down BMW as a result, so be it, actually that would be nice....that means I at least had a BMW first to hand down....ha ha.


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Posted by shadowbozo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Well I know some parents that have done this for their little angels. "Why are any parents crazy enough to give their child an expensive car? Most boys, since I have raised two successfully, crash their first and second cars doing stupid things."

Both my boys had to learn the value of what they own. That is why they take care of their property to this day. If kids are given everything, they grow to expect that to always be the case. I wish I had a BMW to give to my boys. I work for a living and can't afford a car that costs what a down payment on a home is.

If they want to go to college, where is it written that parents have to pay for that? I had to pay my way thru school. It's not easy but it made me appreciate the education I was getting. These days ,with how bad the public schools are, most kids in college need to take remedial classes just to get up to the level to take college course work.

This is just my opinion. I know lots of neighbors that buy their kids everything. Too bad one of the daughters was busted for selling drugs to finance all her habits once the family stopped supporting her.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 3, 2010 at 7:45 am

We are hard working parents, and so were our parents before us. My parents didn't give us our first cars, we really didn't need one where we grew up but they paid for our college educations, we were taught that this is why my parents worked hard.. to provide for their children as their parents provided for them...we had chores and responsibilities, grades had to be up to parr. This is the same thing we are doing for our kids, we are teaching them to to work hard for your family, respect them for all that they do for you and in turn hopefully your children will give you the same. How I look at it, if I didn't have the means to send my kids to college then whatever avenue needed we would find a way, but since we were taught by our parents that it is our responsibility to give our children the means to succeed that is what we do. My kids aren't spoiled though they need to work for what they get by getting the grades, doing chores and learning to respect and appreciate what they are given. Hopefully not everyone thinks that just because parents give their kids a car or pays for their college that those kids are spoiled because it is totally not the case. It is really how parents teach their children how to appreciate hard work!!!!!!!


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Posted by Dominic
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

This is a matter of context, the common reference to a kid driving a new BMW given to him or her by parents is not so much about a BMW, it is figurative speech...In other words, the same reference or stereotype as you call it, most definitely applies to a new Cadillac, Lexus, Ford pickup, etc....My view is the hand me down car is not the same as parents giving their kid a new car, although nonetheless the issue in my view is still transmuting "values" of responsibility rather than image or just giving things to teens or young adults for the motive of "keeping up appearances;" this in my observations not only often leads to a kid being spoiled, but also feeds into not encouraging personal responsibility and a sound work ethic...


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Posted by Rich But Wise
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 9:25 am

Any parent crazy enough to give their teenager a $40k car, even if they are zillionaires, is not doing their child any favors. In all probablity they are raising spoiled brats. Better they take a clue from Sam Walton who drove around in a Ford Pickup or Warren Buffett who is driving a 5-YEAR OLD Cadillac.

Perhaps BMW drivers catch flack becuase many of them are buying them for snob appeal. If you're acting like a snob, the chances increase that you will be treated as a snob.


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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

My kids will be driving whatever the oldest car is we have on hand and it will continue to be OURS until they buy one for themselves. We are grooming a 14 year old car for that very purpose right now :).

That way they have plenty of incentive to buy their own nicer car down the road. And meanwhile, since teenagers are, even with the best intentions, more likely to bump, scrape or even crash the car along the way, an old beater doesn't need collision insurance.


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Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm

One of my kids used my older BMW...it was about 5 years old when he got to use it. (Used ones are not as expensive as you may think.) Also, I knew the car was reliable and well-maintained. He never owned the car - he only used it and he never banged it up or got a ticket. He got great grades and is doing really, really well in a great college. I kinda resent people thinking he was a spoiled brat. He works hard and is a nice kid, did well in school and he'll have to buy his own car after college...and it probably won't be a BMW...So stop demonzing good, decent kids. I smell some sour grapes here.


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Posted by BMW parent
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm

To Hmmmmmmmm... I agree with you... i hate when people don't realize that when they post comments such as this it makes them look even worse than those spoiled kids with BMW's. My son has a very old BMW, he is not spoiled, he is frugal and a good well rounded kid...he likes the look of the car, the ride and its reliable, people should realize that they should keep their thoughts to themselves because generalizing is a bad habit... I sure you wouldn't want others to think that you are a sour grape would you?


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Posted by JB
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Maybe we're missing a nuance here...hear me out.

The original question was about why kids are being judged for whatever type of car they drive. With that said, the nuance we might be missing is: how are we helping our kids to not judge each other on appearances, or on the things they own or don't own??

Ok, my kids aren't teenagers yet, and it probably seems naive and/or inevitable in today's world that people judge each other. But it's also inevitable that our kids will be exposed to smoking, drinking, drugs, bullies, etc, and we preach/teach our kids how to avoid those pitfalls from the moment they can grasp the concepts. So just because it may seem futile to teach (and practice) non-judgmentalism, doesn't mean it's not worth the effort & the education.

Let's teach our kids to not care about what kind of car they, or others, drive either way - what really matters is the quality & measure of the person who drives it.

Just my two cents...


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Posted by paid my way
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Shadowbozo you got it right.
Someone dumb enough to give their kids not one but two cars to wreck is just the kind of person creating problems with the slackers.
My parents never gave me a car, I bought my own first car while living in my own apartment paying for my own college degree. My parents had plenty of money to finance all of that and more, we just all agreed that if you don't pay your own way you don't appreciate what is given to you. Look around this town at the spoiled and entitled brats. Driving whatever, I could care less about it being a BMW or not. When mommie and daddie hand everything out the spoiled kid has no respect for their own or anyone else's property.
We expected our own kids to pay for their cars, insurance and college. We gave them some financial help, about one forth of the actual tuition cost. They all worked during college, graduated in 4 years with high grade point averages and all have very good jobs now. Money from this mom and dad did not finance it and those kids have every reason to feel pride in what THEY have achieved, not what has been handed to them.


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Posted by judging someone you don't know
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm


congratulations to those here that posted that they were not handed certain luxuries in life by their parents and think that they are more worthy...I think you are judgemental and even more so down right clueless.. again ... not all kids who were handed these things are spoiled brats...my parents were well off, i was given more than what I needed and apprecaited the hard work my parents went through to give it to me... I am now 28 years old, both my parents are gone .. I have learned that their generosity to me went far beyond you could imagine...I graduated from a private university have a good paying job and have donated to numerous causes becasue I have more than I could possibly need for myself...so would you call me spoiled? So again those who like to judge people who you don't know back off... because instead of being a roll module you are a cancer in society .. be happy for others and keep out of other peoples business


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Posted by No sour grapes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Hi "judging someone you don't know", I'm glad that your parents were well off, that they were generous and made sure that you lacked nothing. I have no problem at all with that, and it's great that you are giving back to the community and charities, etc. Not everyone has this environment, and you seem grateful for the opportunity, which is a good thing. I went to a public, not a private university and that was thrilling for me, although we had "role models" there instead of "roll modules". One thing, though, calling someone "a cancer in society" sounds a little angry and a bit like "judging someone you don't know". Maybe try to be happier?


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Posted by Country Fair resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

It is not the BMW brand. It applies to any brand of car or truck that is luxury, performance, fancy, expensive, new, etc. The concept here is parents with too much money giving teenagers cars or trucks like this to spoil them or for the image aspect of it or the status, etc. In place of the BMW brand, you could substitute any of the following (and I have heard it said that way): Lexus, Cadillac, Infiniti, Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar, Range Rover, Ferrari, etc. There is no intent to single out BMW as opposed to other brands in this "class" of cars and trucks. You can't compare this type of car with the teenager who gets a Honda or Toyota. People buy a BMW or the other luxury cars for the image and status and to impress others, and that is what leads to this criticism. People buy a Honda or Toyota because they are practical, reliable, economical transportation. That is why no one would ever say that someone's teenager was spoiled because he or she is driving a new Honda Civic. Right?


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Posted by Dont judge a book by....
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I grew up in the projects
I was raised on AFDC
I bought my first car for $1,500 and paid for my own insurance at 18
I put myself through college with loans with not one penny from family
I am the ONLY one in my family who went to colllege (and graduated)
I am the ONLY one in my family who has not needed public assistance

I have been successful and make more money than ever dreamed I would
I have loaned or given money to every single member of my family
I have financially supported my parents in their older years
I pay the bill when with family for most meals out, vacations etc
I love my family and give back to them,that is HOW THEY RAISED ME
I give back because I can and I give to my kids because I can

My son drives a BMW (an older hand me down).
I drive a BMW because I like it for safety, comfort and QUALITY
My son made car and insurance payments to me and now owns the car
My son is smart, personable and not a spoiled brat
I raised him giving him many luxuries I did not have
I raised him and taught him values!

DONT JUDGE ME OR MY SON WHEN YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ME!!!!


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Posted by Country Fair resident:
"You can't compare this type of car with the teenager who gets a Honda or Toyota. People buy a BMW or the other luxury cars for the image and status and to impress others, and that is what leads to this criticism. People buy a Honda or Toyota because they are practical, reliable, economical transportation. That is why no one would ever say that someone's teenager was spoiled because he or she is driving a new Honda Civic. Right?"

I disagree. I think a teenager with a new Honda Civic can be just as spoiled. Personally, I can't imagine ever buying my teenager a new car - regardless of the amount of money I have.


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Posted by Hmmmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 9:52 pm

None of my kids ever got a new car...the cars were always hand-me-downs that my husband and I knew were well maintained, reliable and safe.

Nevertheless, these cars were older luxury/SUV cars that had been used by my husband and myself. Sorry....but the two of us have worked our buns off for our entire lives, and like many others posting here, we "paid our own way" through college and put our noses to the grindstone for a couple of decades. We just let our kids use our older cars...BMWs etc. perhaps... I find the judgementalisim here pathetic.

My husband and I put ourselves thru college too - my husband thru the military for 9 years - and I was the only one in my family to graduate college and I did it part-time by myself. I have nice, well-behaved kids who get good grades and get into good colleges. I have worked hard to raise kids who are morally and scholastically strong and only ignorant people judge us as being without values. I don't have any problem with kids driving clunkers-I drove one myself for years but... don't anyone else assume that my kids are spoiled because I give them the car I don't use anymore.


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