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Oct 22

Written by: Diana West
Monday, October 22, 2007 11:15 AM 

When we think of decadence ripe for the overthrow, we usually think of the twisted excess of Ancient Rome, the self-indulgence of the Ancien Regime, the louche years of Weimar. We don't usually think of death by treacle. But that--if this article about the frantic parental bloodletting of cash and emotion into "Hannah Montana," the latest "tween" craze, is to be believed (and, alas, there is no reason not to believe it)--looks to be our sugary downfall.
    Why? Because apparently upstanding American adults--the ones with childrens and homes and big salaries--have slipped their cables. In the continuing annals of "Parents Who Need Parents" (Chapter 4 in The Death of the Grown-Up), The Washington Post reports on parents who are sinking hundreds, if not thousands of dollars (where do they get this kind of dough?) on concert tickets for their little darlings. These parents have confused child-spoiling with child-rearing; pop junk with cultural experience;  gross waste with an entertainment experience; being led by the nose with adult guidance; child-tyranny with parental judgment. Talk about the death of the grown-up.  
    The Post reports:
    "Experts say tweens represent $39 billion in buying power that comes from allowances and gifts from indulgent parents and grandparents. And because moms, more than ever, consult with them on anything from their favorite juice to shampoo, they influence family buying decisions for billions more.
    "They're just very tech-savvy, very connected and saturated with media since the day they were born," said Robbin Jaklin, who monitors youth trends for Chicago-based Creative and Response Research Services. "They're more demanding, definitely more affluent and more multicultural than kids were" in the past."
    Kids are certainly more demanding. But what is not pointed out is that parents are also a lot more likely to say "Yes, anything," than "No, forget it."

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