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Parenting/TODAY Moms Survey: Are Your Children Spoiled?

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Making Their List

The reason parents drop so much cash on gifts: Many feel guilty if they don’t deliver on their child’s wish list. After all, Santa’s recession-proof, right? Almost 76 percent of respondents confessed to feeling guilty about saying no, with 18 percent saying they’d ideally like to be able to give their kids everything they ask for. 46% of parents also admitted they feel some amount of pressure to keep up with their neighbors’ holiday haul.

Plus: Toys of the Year, from Babies to Big Kids

While few parents will resort to snatching something from the hands of another parent in the toy aisle, most respondents say they would go a little bit out of their way to score the hot, hard-to-get gift without going crazy. Almost 44 percent will make multiple trips to the store to see if it’s back in stock, and almost 23 percent will visit multiple stores until they get their hands on it.

Saying Thanks

Thank-you notes are on their way out, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it. One quarter of parents never require kids to send thank-yous, and moms under 30 are almost twice as likely to let their kids skip thank-you notes than moms over 45.

Notes are one thing, but how about saying “thank-you” in person? Parents shared some cringe-inducing stories of kids openly showing disappointment over gifts from family and friends (our fave: the kid who showed his dissatisfaction by peeing on the carpet). The good news is that almost all the parents we surveyed would nip this behavior in the bud. If a child pitches a fit when Grandma gives him socks instead of a iPad, 98 percent say they’ll take some action—whether it’s making the child apologize (68 percent), reprimanding him (19 percent), or simply talking about it later on (8 percent).
Plus: 5 Ways to Raise Grateful Kids

Giving Back

There is heartening news among all this talk about greed and overspending. Almost 4 out of 5 families make an effort to something to counteract the commercialism of the holiday and teach kids the importance of giving back. 70 percent of parents donate gifts or money to those less fortunate, and 16 percent volunteer as a family. 36 percent of families also encourage kids to spend their own money on gifts for others.

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