According to a new study, Minneapolis children are spoiled more often than St. Paul children. You say: Keep them in a tightly sealed bag in the fridge, then. It's a shame to throw out perfectly good children. Besides, if it's just a little mold, the rest is probably good.
No, spoiled in the material sense. Bundle.com, a website devoted to blah blah social something blah demographic whatever, released a list of cities that "spoil their kids the most." Minneapolis offspring are the fourth most-spoiled in the country, spending 50 percent more than the national average. St. Paul spends 50 percent less than the national average.
THESE ARE FACTS, people. Incontrovertible. Look at a household on the Minneapolis border, and the kids are swanning around the back yard in $500 Guess rompers, sucking on diamond-studded Nuks; on the St. Paul side, they're wearing a plastic bag from Walgreens and chewing on bark.
It could be the cost of living that skews the numbers. New Yorkers spend the most, which is understandable, since their city is home to ridiculously wealthy people who demand Armani-fragrance bottom-wipes and give dolphin rides in the Central Park lake for birthday parties. The article cites the trend in nearby Park Slope (67 percent above the national average) for buying six-buck "babycchinos," or decaf coffee-drinks for toddlers, complete with foam, something that makes you immediately check travelocity.com for cheap flights so you can go there and slap the parents.
We do not do this. We are practical. I went to a local coffee shop and asked if they made babycchinos, and they looked at me as if I'd requested something flavored with minced infant.
The study said they looked at "spending by households with children at stores that sell toys, clothing and other services for tots, kids and teens." Since median family income in Minneapolis is almost $60K, and in St. Paul it's a tad under $42K, that leaves $18,000 to spend on "services" for your kid. But that really doesn't address what "spoiling" really means.
If you give a kid a horse, but insist she walk it around the block every night, she's learned a lesson. No child whose parents buy music lessons and insist he play scales until his hands feel like they've been detasseling corn for a week thinks he's spoiled.
Instilling gratitude and responsibility is not incompatible with doing what you can to make their lives fun and comfortable. "Spoiled" kids are the ones who've been soaked in self-esteem, bathed in praise and brought up to believe they are entitled to believe they're marvelous, simply because they exist.
Anyway, it'll even out. Some kids who got everything and realize they learned the value of nothing will want their kids to have a better grasp of how the world really works. Now we know the easiest way to do that.
Move to St. Paul!
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