Not Enough Vitamin N*

This from Reuters (I’m duplicating the article below, because they don’t maintain links past a month or two.)

Today’s Toddlers Act Like Teens?
Thu November 6, 2003 07:47 AM ET
By Matthew Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Kids today. They waste hours in front of the TV and get their parents to spend money on designer clothes and haircuts. And they're not even three years old!

A new survey in Britain says toddlers are increasingly leading a lifestyle once associated only with moody adolescents.

“Today’s toddlers act like little teenagers—they've been there, done it and got the T-shirt—but they miss out on good old-fashioned, imaginative fun,” said Karen Pasquali Jones, editor of Mother and Baby magazine, which commissioned the survey.

The survey showed that by age three, 42 percent of youngsters have a television in their own room and 50 percent have a CD player. The average toddler spends more than two hours a day watching TV.

Two thirds of mothers said they bought designer clothes for their toddlers, while 86 percent spent more on their child's clothes than they did on their own. More than a quarter of the little consumers “choose their own haircut.”

Tots have sophisticated taste—61 percent will eat Italian food and 51 percent will eat Indian or Chinese food, though only three percent like sushi.

But parents of previous generations will not be surprised to learn that mothers still describe mealtimes as “nightmares,” with three-quarters of toddlers refusing to eat and over half opting to throw their food rather than swallow.

Three-quarters of mothers say their children’s behavior has affected their relationship with their partners and just under half declared it has “wrecked” their sex lives.

© Reuters 2003. All Rights Reserved.

*The term vitamin N, was, as far as I know, coined by Dr. James Dobson, the well-known conservative child psychologist. Children need to be told “no” on occasion.

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