9 Warning Signs You're Raising a Spoiled ChildAll kids act up. From whining, begging, and having a meltdown, you might think that you’ve got a spoiled kid on your hands. But what exactly makes for a spoiled kid? And why is it important that we steer our kids away from that direction? As you’ll see, dealing with a spoiled child has less to do with their actual antics than with how we handle their behavior.
Why (other than the constant whining) is it a good idea to avoid spoiling our kids? What do they miss out on when they’re coddled and shielded?
Delayed gratification: the idea that waiting can reap rewards later (such as saving for a big-ticket item).
Understanding their limits. Spoiled kids will push their boundaries, sometimes to unsafe or disastrous ends.
Healthy social life. Kids (and adults) don’t like others bossing them around. Spoiled kids want others to bend to their whims every time.
Empathy. Without the skills to put herself in others’ shoes, a spoiled child won’t understand what others are feeling.
Self-soothing. When we concede to every tantrum, we deny kids the ability to soothe themselves.
Take heed of the following 9 warning signs that you’re raising a spoiled child:
#1: You concede to every request
One of the tell-tale signs of spoiling a child is teaching her that everything comes easily and at her every whim. Or that she only needs to throw a fit and she’ll get her way. Saying “no” is fine and even necessary. Not everything will be conducive nor available to your child’s desires. Wanting to stay at the park until hours on end isn’t possible when you have to go home for dinner.
#2: You deliver empty threats
“If you throw that toy one more time, we’re leaving the library,” you might say to your child. If you do, follow through and leave the library should your child throw the toy. Or don’t tell your child you’re not going to Disneyland if he keeps acting up when you know you’re still going to go. Kids will discover your empty threats and not take you seriously.
I made this mistake just today. My three-year-old didn’t want to clean up his connect-and-create toy pieces. I had threatened to throw them away if he didn’t. And I regretted it the minute I had said it, thinking, “I really don’t want to throw this toy away. It’s too cool to nix!” Instead, I just gathered the toys and stashed them in my room to make a point, albeit a weak one.
#3: You’re inconsistent with rules and consequences
Picking our battles and making exceptions to the rule are fine—when they’re the exception. But when kids can’t tell rules apart because they always change, they have a difficult time abiding by them. And an easier time bending them.
#4: You shield your kids from disappointment
Let’s say your son cries when he accidentally drops his ice cream cone and demands another one. Driving all the way back to the store does little for his personal growth. Yes, you’ll likely deal with a crying child. And no one wants to see their little ones frustrated. But trying to keep him from feeling sad doesn’t give him the coping skills to bounce back.
If you’re near the ice cream store and don’t mind parting with a few more bucks, then sure, treat your kid to a second helping. But to go out of your way teaches him to avoid disappointment at all costs instead of dealing with it head on.
Similarly, try not to rescue your child when he gets into his own mess. One of the best ways we learn is through our mistakes. When parents shield kids from a potential learning moment, we’re doing more of a disservice than our initial good intention.
#5: You overindulge with material goods
Lavishing kids with material goods prevents them from expressing gratitude and raises unrealistic expectations. They’re also bound to tie inherent joy to material goods instead of to relationships and experiences. Simple ways to curtail spoiling kids with toys, clothes and everything they ask for? Allow less media and commercials, focus on simple outings and highlight everyday joys such as a fun time at the park.
#6: You bribe with external rewards
Establish your authority as a parent by requiring your kids to obey without having to bribe. Lets say you tell your son he’ll have a new toy if he cleans his room. This sets him up to expect unrelated and external rewards for doing regular tasks. Instead, encourage him to feel proud for a job well done.
He should clean his room because 1) that’s what you expect him to do, 2) he’ll be able to enjoy a clean room, and 3) he’ll feel proud of himself.
#7: You don’t encourage gratitude
Model and tell your child the appropriate times to say “thank you” and she’ll pick it up and say it on her own. Thank her as well when she does something for you so that she knows this is what everyone does. Steer clear from allowing her to keep taking and receiving without so much as an acknowledgment to the giving part. The benefits of fostering gratitude are many and will help avoid spoiling your child.
#8: Your child interrupts conversations
Kids don’t usually interrupt conversations on purpose. But allowing them to cut you off mid-sentence is rude and doesn’t teach them the proper way of speaking with other people. I usually tell my son that I’m talking to daddy right now, and when I’m done, then it can be his turn to talk.
This will only be effective if adults respect kids’ conversations, too. Recently my son was saying something when another adult started talking to me as well. I held up my hand to the adult as if to say, “Hold on.” Then I kept my attention and responded to my son before finally turning to the adult. This way, my son knows that the rule applies to everyone, even adults.
#9: Your child has too much say in family life
Does your daughter decide (through tantrums, outbursts or whining) that you’re going to eat at her favorite restaurant again? Giving kids choices and asking their opinion is healthy. But doing so too often and especially because of whining will only disrupt your family life. Kids aren’t meant to control households. Parents have to be the authority.
Giving in to our kids’ demands and whining is the easy way out. We avoid feeling embarrassed by their outbursts. Or feel guilty for not spending enough time with them. Or witness their disappointment. Spoiling is the quick fix-it that seems to solve the problem now.
Yet in doing so, we’re denying our kids lifelong lessons. They need to learn how to build their own strengths, find new methods to cope, and appreciate the simpler things in life.
After all, kids want their parents to be parents. We’re not doing them any favors by being anything else.
If you can't handle a barking Dog then never birth n raise a kid.Because you're a loser for a parent and Human.
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