Teenagers are spending more money than ever. Just last year, 31.6 million teens spent 155 billion, according to the North-brook, Illinois-based market research group Teenage Research Unlimited. Much of that money, of course, comes from parents.
Shocked at how much money kids spend? Maybe you haven't checked the price tags lately on some of the younger generation's must-haves.
To some, such extravagant spending on the notoriously fickle young might seem outrageous. Why do some parents give in?
One factor is surely the sheer power of marketing through mass media. According to the group Adbusters, teenagers are exposed to an estimated 3,000 advertisements each day. Combine the ads with programming itself, like the fashion-, music-and skin-filled shows on MTV, and you've got a barrage of messages telling kids what they should own if they want to fit in.
“The pressures on parents today are enormous,” says Tom Vogele, a single father of twin 18-year-old girls in Newport Beach, Calif. “I truly believe it is harder today to raise children without spoiling them, not because parents are less capable or lazy, but because so many forces are working against me.”
Many working parents probably compensate by spending money on their kids, says Timothy Marshall, an associate professor of developmental psychology at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. For some, there is probably some guilt involved in not spending enough time at home. But, adds Marshall, spending money is also often more convenient in our fast-paced society than going to baseball games or other activities.
“It's easier to say let’s go out and spend some money, in terms of finding time in a busy schedule to spend with kids,” Marshall said.
For many families, of course, keeping up with their children’s costly demands for designer clothing, CDs, and concert tickets is a financial impossibility. Even for those families who can afford such lavish spending, striking a compromise between spoiling the kids and denying them is tricky, but possible.
Teaching kids how to budget and save is key, Marshall says. Instead of just giving children the toys or clothing they desire, give them an allowance and show them how they can save up for whatever they want, he says.
And don't be afraid to just say no, Marshall adds. “We need to step up and tell kids where the boundaries are, that's part of our responsibility as parents,” he said.
1.In the first paragraph, “Northbrook” is most probably ( ).
A. a market research company based in Illinois
B. a spokesman for the Teenage Research Unlimited
C. the base of the Teenage Research Unlimited
D. the city where the spending survey was carried out
【答案】D。细节题。根据首段according to the North-brook, Illinois-based market research group Teenage Research Unlimited可以知道Teenage Research Unlimited首字母都大写了，所以Teenage Research Unlimited是专有名词的名称，即market research group的名称，那么Northbrook就不可能是该市场调查小组的名称了，所以排除A；B指的是发言人，但原文Illinois是指美国的伊利诺斯州，且market research group 位于该州，而州的前面有个逗号，逗号前可推测，是比州更小一级单位的地点，即：市。只有选项D符合。故选D。
2.Some people find it outrageous that ( ).
A. some parents indulge their children in extravagant spending
B. some younger generation's must-haves could cost so much
C. some parents are ignorant about their children's spending
D. some children disregard their notorious spending habits
【答案】A。细节题。第三段首句中的To some, such extravagant spending on the notoriously fickle young might seem outrageous表明有些人认为家长愿意在需求多变的小孩身上花很多钱是令人难以忍受的，因此A项是意思最接近的，即：父母放纵孩子在花销上铺张浪费。BCD都不是有些人认为的不能接受的对象。故A为本题答案。
3.What is the effect of marketing through mass media? ( )
A. It fills the market with ads beyond the young's understanding.
B. It directs not only the trend but also the ways of advertising.
C. It stuffs all kinds of ads into TV shows and radio programs.
D. It triggers young people's desire to keep up with the trend.
【答案】D。细节题。第四段末句you've got a barrage of messages telling kids what they should own if they want to fit in.说明市场营销和媒体广告结合在一起，就会“引导孩子们应该拥有什么才算跟上潮流”，也就是说，这会使年轻人追随潮流，选项D意思最接近。A项：文中未提到广告是年轻人理解不了的，排除A；B项：市场营销还引领着打广告的方式，原文未提及；C项：提到的并非是题干中问的effect，答非所问；故D为本题答案。
4.According to Marshall, parents prefer to spend money on their children mainly because ( ).
A. they can't afford the time to stay with their children
B. they want to make up their guilt for their children
C. they find it more convenient than going out with the children
D. they feel it is hard to raise children without indulging them
【答案】A。细节题。第六段和第七段都是马歇尔的观点，比如：For some, there is probably some guilt involved in not spending enough time at home.概括来看可以知道，家长因为没有时间陪孩子而用钱打发孩子，重点在于没有时间，而不在于guilt内疚，由此可见，选A，排除B；C不是主要原因；D项不属于题干中问到的原因，D是现象。故选项A为本题答案。
5.What does Marshall think parents should do with the children’s spending habit? ( )
A. They should refuse to pay for their lavish spending.
B. They should restrain the children's spending within limits.
C. They should be responsible for providing allowance for the children.
D. They should draw up a budget plan for the children.