Survey: 76 percent of parents feel guilty about saying “no” to kids

December 13, 2011

(Stephen Chernin/GETTY IMAGES)

A new survey from Parenting Magazine and Today Moms found that 76 percent of parents surveyed said their kids are spoiled to some degree during the holidays. And, 56 percent think their children are more spoiled than they were at that age.

At the same time, 76 percent of parents said they feel guilty about saying “no.”

The survey asked more than 6,000 parents about the holidays, including how much they plan to spend and their attitudes toward gift-giving (among other issues).

Respondents said they will spend, on average, $271 per child. The majority said they planned to spend as much as they did last year, even though many think they may be contributing to a grabby holiday.

One mother told researchers: “After opening all his Christmas presents, my son actually looked at me and my husband and asked, ‘Is that all?’  After we picked our jaws up off the floor, we had to explain that he needed to be happy with what he received because there were kids who didn’t receive anything that day.”

Ugh. Guilt is a fact of parenting and in the lead up to Christmas it can quickly lead to spoiling.

Where’s your line between celebrating the holidays and over-doing it?

How do you decide how much to spend and how much to buy?

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