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Mpls-St. Paul Parents React to Spoiled Kids Survey

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A survey released last month by ranked Minneapolis children as the fourth city in the nation with the most spoiled kids.

It also showed St. Paul children as some of the least spoiled. They came in second right behind Madison, Wis.

"We all want to raise kids that we can be proud of," said Peg Webb, senior vice president of Wealth Enhancement Group. "What some parents lack though -- when it comes to money -- they're not quite sure how to address that with their children."

The survey by "examined spending by households with children at stores that sell toys, clothing and other services for tots, kids, and teens." Parents in Manhattan and Brooklyn had the most spoiled kids (by far). The next up on the spoiled list were kids in Miami, Fla., Minneapolis and Tulsa, Okla.

Parents in the Twin Cities from both Minneapolis and St. Paul had advice on how to avoid having a spoiled child.

"My kids are really good about not begging for things all the time," said Kristina Halvorson, a mother from Minneapolis. "They started getting an allowance when they were five. They get to spend part, share part and save part. So they understand that money is for more than just spending."

Webb says many children right now don't understand the tough time our economy is going through and peer pressure can be a major problem for kids and spending.

"It's the parent's responsibility at a really young age to instill value," said Webb. "Meaning: When you talk about money with your children, make sure you describe the purpose of a dollar."

Kathleen Mathews is a child therapist at Washburn Center for Children. She doesn't necessarily agree labeling a child "spoiled" simply because parents spend a lot of money on them.

"I think it's one indicator," Mathews said. "It's certainly not the ultimate decider for thinking a child is spoiled."

Mathews says it depends on what parents are spending the money on. She says if a parent is keeping their child involved in activities and things that are going to help them become a better person, the cost is worth it. But if they're buying them cars, expenses clothing and vacations then that could become negative.

Milwaukee, Wis., Indianapolis, Ind., and Columbus, Ohio, rounded out the least-spoiled list.

Part 1: The Survey


Part 2: How To Deal With A Spoiled Child In This Economy


Part 3: Is The Survey Right? Twin Cities Parents React


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