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Parents give in to pester power

Posted in: Research Last updated: 25 Apr 2008

A generation of ‘mini-moaners’ are pestering their parents into buying them everything from toys to mobile phones, with parents making considerable cut-backs in order to afford what their kids want, according to new research from Engage Mutual.

  • 49 per cent of parents give in to ‘mini-moaners’
  • 68 per cent of parents would make sacrifices to give kids what they want
  • poorer parents making biggest sacrifices

A generation of ‘mini-moaners’ are pestering their parents into buying them everything from toys to mobile phones, with parents making considerable cut-backs in order to afford what their kids want, according to new research from Engage Mutual.

Following recent reports that direct marketing is creating a generation of materialistic children*, the research reveals the most moaned for childhood accessories, and the lengths parents go to buy them. 49 per cent of parents with children under 18 say that they have given in to their children’s pleading in the last 12 months – 68 per cent saying that they would make financial sacrifices in order to do so.

As part of its ongoing 3GB research into the how finances impact family relationships, Engage Mutual asked a GB representative sample of 2,000 adults about the costs of bringing up children.

Technology Take Over: The Items Kids Moan About Wanting

 

 Rank Items parents have bought because their kids moaned about wanting them in the last 12 months   %
 1= DVDs   19%
 1=  Games Console  19%
 3  Toys  17%
 4  Mobile phone  16%
 5=  Computer/laptop  10%
 5=  Music (e.g. CDs / Downloads)  10%
 5=  Popular branded clothing  10%
 8  Make-up  9%

the sacrifices parents would make

  • 50 per cent said they would go without luxuries to give their children what they want;
  • 31 per cent said they would go out less than they used to;
  • 29 per cent would work longer hours to meet their kid’s demands; and
  • 21 per cent of parents would go without a holiday to keep their offspring happy.

poorer parents would make the most sacrifices
With 44 per cent of parents with children under 18 saying that they can’t always afford what their children want or need, these parents are more likely to make sacrifices (81%). The most common sacrifice they would make was to go without luxuries (62%, whilst one in three said they would work extra hours, a similar proportion would not go out as much as they used to (36%). Parents who are struggling financially are also three times more likely than those who are better off to say they would save money by buying cheap food (33% compared to 11%).

further findings

  • 15 per cent of mothers would go to work in order to give their children what they want when they could otherwise be a stay-at-home parent, compared to 9 per cent of men.
  • Parents with children aged 12 to 17 are the most likely to give into their wants. The most moaned for item that parents have given in to the most amongst children in this age range was a mobile phone (30%).

Karl Elliott, 3GB spokesperson for engage Mutual Assurance said:

“With kids being spoilt for choice for toys, technology and games, many feel pressure from their peers to keep up with the latest gadgets and labels. In modern Britain, parents often find themselves caught up in a balance between giving their kids what they want and finding the money to pay. The research gives a new perspective into family finance with some children ‘wearing the trousers’ when it comes to family spending.


Given current economic circumstances, it is likely that more parents will find it harder to make ends meet this year. We encourage all parents to try and strike a balance between spending on little goodies today and saving little and often so that they can afford the bigger items in the future.”

footnotes

*BBC News Online, Tuesday 26th February 2008http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7262936.stm

3GB or ‘3 Generation Britain’ is an ongoing quarterly research initiative by Engage Mutual to understand how financial ties impact on family relationships. More information is available at www.engagemutual.com/3GB.

engage Mutual Assurance can be contacted on 0800 169 4321 or by visitingwww.engagemutual.com

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

Notes to editors:

1. the research was conducted by YouGov between 18th – 21st January 2008 amongst a GB representative sample of 1,943 adults, including 487 parents with children under the age of 18.
2. if using this article on a website, please link to www.engagemutual.com using the following hyperlink text: engage Mutual Assurance – meeting the changing needs of todays modern families
3. engage Mutual Assurance is a trading style of Homeowners Friendly Society (HFSL) and it’s wholly-owned subsidiary engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL).
4. engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL) is a provider of the Child Trust Fund direct and in partnership with partners including Legal and General, ASDA and Debenhams stores.
5. engage supports mutuality, friendly societies and the regional financial services industry through links with the Association of Mutual Insurers, the Association of Friendly Societies, Mutuo and Leeds Financial Services Initiative.
6. established in 1980, Homeowners Friendly Society Limited (HFSL) is Registered and Incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Reg.No.964F, it’s wholly owned subsidiary engage Mutual Funds Limited (eMFL) is Registered in England No 3224780. Both are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
7. Homeowners Friendly Society Limited’s FSA Register number is 110072 andengage Mutual Funds Limited’s FSA Register number is 181487. You can check this on the FSA’s Register by visiting the FSA’s website www.fsa.gov.uk/register or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234