It’s only natural to want to give your kids the best of everything but one needs to define ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. So if you step back and see that there are only ‘wants’, then maybe this is a sign that you are raising a spoiled child. It’s a difficult thing to come to terms with but the sooner one accepts it, the better for both you and your child although they won’t immediately see it that way.
So consider these points and judge for yourself.
1. You concede to your child’s every request
This is definitely number one in almost every list of what spoils your children. Children like having authority, especially when it means you no longer have a real say in what they can do, eat or say. When you give them what they want and let them do what they want to do, they will expect you to be consistent with that. And what happens when what they want to do is not something that you agree with? You say no, and they throw a tantrum. Yikes.
2. You give your child empty threats
Being able to deliver and discipline your child when you need to is crucial to being a parent. Otherwise, you’ll waste your energy and saliva, because the moment you stop doing what you say you’ll do if they misbehave, they’ll ignore your threats–and maybe even laugh at them. What other power will you have over your children if they’re no longer scared of you?
3. You’re inconsistent with rules and consequences
Always remember that you’re the adult and your child is the kid. Whatever give-and-take relationship you believe you should have, there should be authority over kids in order to guide them towards being responsible, considerate and kind adults. And having authority means being consistent with the rules you lay out for your child as well as the consequences (similar to #2).
4. You shield your child from feeling disappointed
Like with lessons, your child will learn how to deal with his emotions and mature only when you let them handle some problems and feel disappointment. By all means, help your child cope but don’t take the problem away completely. It’s alright to be protective of your child, but not from well-meaning and safe opportunities for them to learn and grow up.
5. You overindulge them with material things
If you do this for yourself, keep it from your kids like a secret. They definitely don’t need to learn how to overindulge with material things because doing so, especially in their younger years, will not teach them how to be content with what they have. In fact, it will be the complete opposite. They’ll eventually tie inherent joy to material things, instead of experiences and relationships.
6. You bribe them with external rewards
Contrary to what many parents are doing, good deeds should not always need to have a reward from you. Explain to your child the other advantages of an action or good deed. For example, if you asked him to clean his room, explain how having more space can allow him to do more things and how it will make him feel proud. Above all, explain that it’s what you expect of him, therefore he shall deliver without a toy prize.
7. You don’t encourage gratitude enough
I’ve always wanted a kid who knew how to appreciate and say “thank you,” even when mommy gives him something small. I didn’t want a kid who complained about having a toy that was either too small or cheap. Saying “thank you” to your child and around the house will teach him how to express gratitude without having to ask him for it and will help keep him from being spoiled.
8. You let your child interrupt others’ conversations
Cutting anyone off mid-sentence is rude, and kids are not exempted. Keep them from doing so (especially when they grow up!) by teaching them the proper way of speaking with people. Tell them that there should be some turn-taking and if they ever do interrupt, tell them that you’re still talking (to daddy, perhaps) and that you’ll let him (your child) talk after you’re done. When your child is the one talking, avoid interrupting him so he knows that the rule applies to everyone.
9. Your child dictates how you live your life
If you have to change your schedule or venue all the time just so your child can get what he or she wants without whining or throwing a tantrum? Instead, give him or her choices, like in restaurants that you can all enjoy and eat in. This way, your child will feel that his or her opinion still matters, even though it’s really daddy and mommy who makes the final decision.
Compliments of Best Mom TV