Are American Kids Spoiled?

Kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of excess

According to a poll commissioned by Time and CNN, two-thirds of American parents think that their children are spoiled. Do you agree that somehow “yes sir,” and “no ma’am” turned into “now!” and “gimme!”

 “Parents want their kids’ approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents’ approval,” Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell, both professors of psychology, have written. In many middle-class families, children have one, two, sometimes three adults at their beck and call. This is a social experiment on a grand scale, and a growing number of adults fear that it isn’t working out so well.

How did we get to this point? Is it true? More importantly, if 2/3 of American parents think their children are spoiled, why aren’t they doing anything about it? Simple answers are elusive. Is it because we live in a consumerist society? Is it because of a faltering economy, one in which only the best “prepped” kids will survive (and the best prepped kids are the ones with the parents that do everything for them?) Or is it the fault of Homo ergaster, the first human ancestor who really got to take advantage of a long and easy childhood? Let us know what you think. Are you spoiled? Or did you spoil your kids?

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