You can’t spoil a baby with love and affection. But unfortunately, it is entirely possible to spoil a child with toys and material objects.
A spoiled child is used to getting what they want and would demand it from you. They won’t listen to reason and may resort to tantrums and meltdowns if they don’t get what they want. In other words, a spoiled child thinks the world revolves around their wants.
Then again, is it really the child’s fault if they grow up to be spoiled? Truth be told, it is the parents who do the spoiling. In defense of parents everywhere, it is also true that they probably have good intentions when they unknowingly spoil their children. These reasons include compensating for lack of time spent with the kids and wanting to give their children everything they weren’t able to have when they themselves were young.
But despite great intentions, growing up spoiled and entitled will hurt children the most. They will grow up socially inept and will have a hard time interacting with different people and adjusting to difficult situations.
Fortunately, it’s very simple to avoid raising a spoiled child. Here are 6 tips for you.
1. Learn to say “no.”
It is very crucial to listen to your child and acknowledge their feelings. Showing your child that they matter and you always make time for them is an important building block for their self-esteem. However, this does not necessarily mean giving into their requests all the time. While it is fine to acknowledge their feelings of boredom, for example, it is not fine for them to demand that you buy them a new toy because they are bored with the ones they already have. And don’t forget to explain to your child why you have to say “no.”
2. Set rules and guidelines.
It can be challenging to have to always say “no,” so nip this problem in the bud by establishing a clear set of rules and guidelines from the get-go. These rules may include only buying a toy during special occasions and limiting their intake of snacks and sweets. Also include how they must treat other people. By having guidelines, you are teaching your child to respect not only laws but also the limitations of themselves and of other people. With values such as respect and kindness, your child will grow up to be a socially responsible and empathetic person.
3. Be consistent in implementing these rules.
Having rules and implementing these rules consistently are two different things. It is quite easy to come up with a list of rules, but being consistent in upholding these rules is more challenging. If you limit your child’s intake of sweets, then you should not offer sweets as a reward or a bribe. When you break your own rules, your child may think that following rules is not as important as you say it is. Being consistent in upholding rules will teach your child why it is very important to always do what is right.
4. Let your kids fail.
Seeing your child fail at a task is tough, but don’t deny them of this learning experience. Life is going to be full of disappointments, and not allowing your child to fail will make them ill-prepared to handle real life challenges. As early as now, let your child fall when taking their first steps and let them navigate your home (safely) without you guiding them by hand. Don’t solve your child’s problems for them even when they get frustrated. This way, they will learn the important values of hard work and perseverance.
5. Praise your child for the right reasons.
Praising your child is essential because it helps build their self-confidence. But take care to avoid praising them for wrong reasons. For example, praising your child for funny yet inappropriate actions will result in spoiled behavior later on. Praising your child for something they did not work on or take seriously may also result in self-entitlement issues. Instead, praise good efforts, hard work, and good values.
6. Be a good role model.
At the end of the day, young children look up to you for inspiration and will copy your behavior. They may or may not listen to what you say, but they will definitely imitate what you do! So be a good role model and treat not only your family members but also other people with respect and thoughtfulness. Simply doing this is a great and often surefire way to raise a kind and considerate soul.
It can be easy to blame children for their spoiled behavior, but the truth is that this behavior is only a product of how they were raised. Raising children is a challenge, and as parents, it is our duty to teach them good values. The good news is doing so is simple and possible.