The thing is, everyone wants to have a life these days when years ago parents basically sacrificed their living for another's existence. And, I guess, who can blame them. There is just so much on offer out there today, unlike yesteryear. Computers that connect people globally. The world is their oyster. They too want to indulge themselves in the act of social messaging - gossiping on a global scale instead of to the next door neighbour. They see a child as a hormonal necessity as long as he/she doesn't cramp their own style. So, pay them off by super indulgence, that will keep them happy and quiet - but it is not working and children are growing up disgruntled, disconnected and disenfranchised - in otherwords, UNHAPPY, with a feeling of being UNLOVED!
The energy and love once devoted parents imparted to their young included rearing their children on a staple diet of proper manners, education and character building through artistic pursuits, sports and a doctrin of 'trial and error.' It all doesn't help of course when you have government bodies as well as advertising companies that hits all your senses at once, almost forcing the consumer to buy, buy, buy otherwise it will hinder the growth of the economy or your child will never talk to you ever again!
Both parents are also working increased hours to afford the luxuries and necessities to keep up with the demand of life, this makes them too tired to get involved with a child's activities especially as parents too now think they deserve time to themselves. Materialism has swept the world to an alarming degree. We see it, we have to have it. Ever since Dallas and Dynasty hit our TV screens back in the 70's we knew it was only time. No more dreaming, reality was within our grasp. While European countries like Sweden and Spain came out on top, and still with a materialistic grasp on life, there was an ability to renounce the pull much more than their British counterparts. Even though Unicef's findings four years ago which showed a childs well-being in the UK as being at the bottom of a league of developed nations, nothing has changed, in fact, in many ways,it has gotten worse.
There is no discriminating either. Both middle class, and even down to the poorer class are having the same conflict. Buying the love of a child because society has put parents into this unenviable position where they feel, 'they are damned if they do, and damned if they don't!' Children themselves feel unsupported and while they have all the material goods money can buy, they are hungering for simple affection that can't be bought, borrowed or stolen.