Generational. Parents today have more disposable income to put toward children's wish lists.
Demographics. Parents are having fewer children and having them later, which means less divvying up of resources.
Slippery slope. Kids love stuff, parents love their kids, so they fall into the bad habit of giving them stuff because they love to see those faces shine.
Weak boundaries. Without firm interpersonal boundaries parents absorb too many of their kids' feelings and can't tolerate having their kids mad at them.
Romanticizing the past. Clinging to unrealistic illusions about home and hearth, parents want everything to be perfect and are unable to work through unpleasant hardships.
Guilt. Parents give kids stuff instead of time.
The "busy" excuse. Kids are too busy and so are their parents, and they never get around to making chores a priority.
Overidentification:. Parents want their children to have what they didn't have in their own childhood.
Pure oops. Parents got into the habit of giving their kids stuff and didn't realize where all those "gimmies" would end up.
Path of least resistance. It's easier for parents to do the work themselves or hire it out than to make kids do it.
Retail therapy. Parents are having a bad day, so they give themselves a boost by treating their kids and enjoying making them happy.
Misguided self-eteem. Parents feel more successful when they provide their kids with more.
Hitting a rough patch in life. Any tough time - divorce, illness, difficult circumstances - can lower a parent's resistance to kids' demands.
Our material world. Almost everyone is tempted to keep up with the Jones.
Exhaustion. Parents are on a treadmill, too tired to summon up strength to hold the line.