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Out of financial necessity, Carrie (left) says she's a big bargain shopper and can't get her kids everything they ask for. "Jerry and Caleb know that they don't just get something, that they have to earn it," says Carrie. "I feel that if you give them everything they want when they want it, that there is no learning of values."

Erin (right) says she likes to wear certain clothes and carry designer purses to fit into the upper class level. She says her kids are also touched by class—if they don't wear the right clothes, Erin says they simply won't fit in. "Our kids feel a sense of entitlement," says Erin, "If they're at the store and they want something, and I say 'No,' they say, 'Why not?'"

Carrie and Erin each have different methods for disciplining their children. "There's no talking back in our house, they know the rules and they know that that is unacceptable to us and disrespectful," says Carrie.

Erin says she wishes she could be a better disciplinarian with her kids. "I try to be strict, but unfortunately I fall back to negotiation," says Erin.
FROM: What Class Are You? Inside America's Taboo Topic
Published on April 21, 2006


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