Spoiled kids? Join the club, as parents confess

NEW YORK Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:52pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Reckon your kids are spoiled? Join the club.

Virtually all parents think that American children today are spoiled -- and over half of them admit that they are largely to blame, according to a survey.

A poll conducted by family magazine Cookie and AOL Money & Finance found that 94 percent of parents felt American children as a whole are spoiled -- and most of these, 55 percent, think their own kids are contributing to the situation.

But although parents realize their children are spoiled, this has not curbed them from giving youngsters pocket money, some starting to hand out an allowance from the age of three.

The survey found that nearly one in five parents give their children a weekly cash allowance without any discernible responsibility attached, such as regular chores.

About 13 percent of children earn $15 a week or more although parents were split on what age to start giving an allowance.

Just over four in 10, or 41 percent, gave it between the ages of six and eight, 28 percent between the ages of nine and 11, and 18 percent at age 12 or older.

But 13 percent started giving children a regular allowance between the ages of three and five.

As well as pocket money, nearly four out of every 10 respondents in the online survey of 1,500 people said they reward a huge accomplishment, like getting straight As at school, with money.

Only four percent insist that a portion of the child's allowance go to charity.

"With parents having children later in life, there is more disposable income floating around," Pilar Guzman, editor-in-chief of Cookie, said in a statement.

"It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children the value of a dollar, as well as the importance of giving to those less fortunate. Instilling these values in our homes and taking small steps around the holidays are the perfect ways to reinforce the importance of this message."

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Patricia Reaney)

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