Europe's children have let out a unified, petulant yell - "Life isn't fair" - complaining that their parents smoke and nag.
In a survey for the satellite channel Cartoon Network, 1,766 of them told researchers their parents send them to bed too early, do not let them watch their favorite TV programs and are too strict.The parents responded by saying their children whined and sulked, ignored them, did not blow their noses and used too much toilet paper.
The survey had interviewers talking to children ages 5 to 11 in Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Hungary and Poland. The results threw up some interesting cultural and generational differences.
While all nationalities listed "playing with friends" as their favorite pastime, it seems that British children are less sentimental than their continental cousins. Where all the other nationalities listed raising pets as a favorite hobby, the Brits weren't interested in hamsters, bunnies and the like; they preferred listening to pop music.
In Spain and Poland, movies are a big draw, with 20 percent of children visiting a cinema at least once a month. In Britain, it's a mere 14 percent and in the Netherlands only 4 percent.
Television is also seeping into every part of children's lives, 39 percent having it in their bedrooms.
British children get on average $3.20 a week pocket money, beaten only by the Swedes, with $4, while the Dutch receive only $2.30.
If the British children are rich, at least their taste remains old fashioned. While the Dutch listed computers as their "dream toy," the Swedes CDs and the Polish Lego, a British boy or girl most wants a bike.
Dist. by Scripps Howard News Service