If you’re worried about raising a spoiled child because you’re uncertain about how to raise a good kid, then you need to stick with me for the rest of this guide.
Because I’m about to teach you how to avoid raising a spoilt child, telling you precisely what you need to know, no complex stuff.
Before we begin, I’d like to mention that you’re not alone. Several parents are still struggling with this situation, and platforms like Reddit and Quora are littered with complaints from parents who can’t seem to deal with the negative behavioral patterns of their kids.
But I’ll tell you what…
Society’s sanity significantly depends on how well parents are determined to raise civilized kids. And so, this is more like a call for parents to understand the gravity of raising a spoilt child – it doesn’t just end at home; it goes a long way into affecting society.
So, when you fail to raise good kids as parents, you’ve just contributed to raising a dangerous society – a society you’ll have to protect your child from. It’s like stepping on a landmine you planted yourself, and in some cases, as we’ve seen, you might not be able to supplant your feet entirely before it explodes.
No doubt, raising a child is pretty challenging for the most part. Still, in the end, it’s a rewarding experience that creates some fulfillment in our lives, saving the child from cultivating negative patterns that’ll prove detrimental to his moral development and society.
What To Know About A Spoilt Child
The term “spoilt child” is a derogatory remark directly aimed at children who exhibit behavioral problems from being over-indulged by their parents or caregivers.
A spoilt child is typically someone who has been overindulged or given excessive attention, leading them to develop an entitled or demanding attitude.
They have been given too much attention, which makes them lack an understanding of limits and boundaries.
The child may always expect to get their every need and want without considering whether it is possible.
Most have difficulty accepting ‘No’ as an answer and may start throwing tantrums.
Spoiling a child Involves giving in to their every demand, even when it is not possible or necessary.
From the child’s end, this could result in a lack of empathy for others, the tendency to take things for granted, and a failure to understand the consequences of their actions.
Such behavioral pattern is precisely how some unhealthy narcissists are created, but that’s a discussion for another day.
It is understandable to get busy at some point as a parent or caregiver, which might make you feel guilty for not spending quality time with your child
and prompt you to compensate them by giving them unnecessary material possessions or excessive attention.
It is equally important for parents to set reasonable limits and expectations for a child’s behavior while also meeting their needs for love and attention.
As a parent, you need to find a balance between nurturing and teaching the child to take responsibility for their actions and understand the consequences of their behavior.
How Do Parents Raise A Spoilt Child?
Most parents don’t deliberately raise a spoilt child, but it just happens. Unfortunately, it is a common problem faced by many parents.
One disadvantage of raising a spoilt child is that, at a point, the parent or legal guardian may not be able to control the child anymore.
There are several ways in which parents intentionally or unintentionally raise a spoilt child. They include;
Giving In To Their Every Demand
This could involve buying them expensive toys or clothes, giving them unlimited screen time, or even allowing them to eat unhealthy foods.
Don’t get me wrong, getting expensive things for your child is not bad, but you should know what’s good and important to them rather than indulging their every whim.
Yielding to their every demand can send a negative message to the child that their desires are more important than anything else, including their own rules or values.
Overprotection Of The Child
‘Shouldn’t I protect my child? I need to go to the extreme to protect my child.’
Probably, this is the first thought that came to mind.
Well, the protection here involves shielding them from any form of criticism or negative feedback. Sometimes, criticism helps the child to improve positively.
Although some criticism is detrimental to your child’s health, they should be protected from them.
Constantly intervening in their social life could equally be considered as overprotection.
Do you know doing this could deny your child the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, hindering their growth and development?
It also denies them the spirit of resilience and self-reliance and makes it difficult to develop healthy social relationships with their peers.
Failing To Set Limits And Boundaries
Parents can equally raise a spoilt child by failing to set clear boundaries and consequences for their negative actions.
When a child is not held accountable for their behavior, there is a possibility that the child will grow up believing he can get away with anything.
This can lead to disregard for rules, a lack of empathy for others, and a sense of entitlement that can harm the child’s future relationships and success.
Parents must be firm and consistent, and prioritize values to avoid raising a spoilt child. But, on the other hand, a spoilt child can equally contribute negatively to society.
Signs of a Spoilt Child
Demands Excessive Attention And Doesn’t Care About Anything Else
Pay rapt attention to everything revolving around your child’s life is not wrong. But when the demand for attention becomes constant without considering the parent’s position, the child interrupts your conversation with others because they want to be with you or refuse to play with their peers.
This could be a sign that your child is getting spoilt. They may demand their needs are met immediately. Most parents get exhausted from this act and might find it difficult to say ‘No’ to their children.
Throwing a tantrum refers to a sudden period of uncontrolled anger.
Spoilt children are used to getting whatever they want, and when they don’t get their way, they may start throwing tantrums, squealing, or crying.
Some children may even be physically aggressive to get what they want.
This is a very uncanny behavior and difficult for most parents to handle. The child might end up developing unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Refusal To Follow Rules
A child that always gets his way may find it hard to adhere to rules.
Parents that don’t caution their children when they fault rules create a mindset of being above regulations in the child.
They may refuse to obey rules in school, cooperate with others or even listen to anyone.
This act can cause tension in the house or school as the child’s behavior can disrupt routines and make it difficult for others to get things done.
Bribing The Child To Get Things Done
Children are meant to obey their parents and participate in house chores without getting bribed.
When the child starts expecting material things before any work gets done is a sign that you’re raising a spoilt child.
Things are never done until you trade something for the task.
No Manner Or Courtesy
Another sign is that a spoilt child does not behave politely and acts rudely to everyone.
Lack Of Empathy
Most spoiled children don’t care or understand others’ feelings. They always want their way without understanding the position of others.
This can lead to social problems, as the child may struggle to make friends or maintain healthy relationships.
Expects Material Possessions
Spoilt children may believe they are entitled to expensive gifts or toys and cannot appreciate the value of hard work or effort to make money.
This can create a sense of entitlement, which can be difficult to overcome later in life.
Another sign of a spoilt child is cursing their parents when they don’t get their way. You hear remarks like ‘I hate you, mum,’ ‘Don’t come to my room,’ and many more.
The point is, if you give your children too much at an early age, it will get to a point where they won’t be satisfied with anything and always want more.
However most children may display the behaviors listed above, but when it becomes constant and disruptive, it could be a sign that you’re raising a spoilt child.
If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, seeking guidance from a child psychologist is essential.
What Happens When a Spoilt Child Grows?
Getting worked up about what becomes of your spoilt child is expected. Raising a spoilt child doesn’t affect only you but equally affects the people around the child.
Here are some things you should expect;
Most spoiled children do not grow up to be responsible and fail to appreciate the value of hard work.
They develop social problems like overspending, pride, overreacting to situations, and lack of respect for others, and they may start abusing drugs.
Another attribute that can be developed is a lack of emotional maturity to handle responsibilities like finances, work, and family.
‘When spoilt children become teenagers, they are more prone to excessive self-absorption, lack of self-control, depression and anxiety’ says Dan Kindlon, author of Two Much of a Good Thing.
How to Avoid Raising a Spoilt Child
Teach Them The Five Magic Words
From the baby stage, the parents or legal guardian should inscribe five important magic words in the child’s mind.
These words are; Please, excuse me, Sorry, Thank you, and Pardon me.
Your child should know how to use ‘please’ when requesting things.
‘Sorry’ when the child does something wrong.
‘Excuse me’ when permission needs to be taken.
‘Thank you,’ to show appreciation, and ‘pardon me.’
This will go a long way in curbing your child’s attitude and raising a decent child.
Engage Them In House Chores
Regular house chores should be assigned to children as it teaches them responsibility and self-reliance.
Chores also help your children develop strong teamwork skills and give them a sense of accountability. Again, this can help them in school.
There are a lot of positive benefits from this, including the fact your child starts appreciating the value of hard work, and it helps to teach them life skills.
Your child becomes more aware of the environment and the messes made by them. This instills a work ethic trait in the child.
Set Limits And Boundaries
These are anything that establishes a line of demarcation.
You should set limits and boundaries for your child as straightforward guidelines that are expected to curb their behavior.
It teaches them what is acceptable and what is not permitted. Limits also inculcate self-discipline in them. Setting boundaries or rules for your children should be clear, concise, and positive.
It would be best to let them know the consequences of their harmful action because this will help them understand their behavior’s impact and create a sense of understanding.
Reward Them With Encouragements Instead Of Gifts
According to McCready, if you buy gifts for your child whenever they accomplish anything, they’ll lose their innate drive to excel at things.
So, instead of giving them gifts as a reward, use words of encouragement. After all, words last longer, and it’ll also improve their self-esteem – something every parent must strive to do in their children’s lives.
At this point, it’s important to say that giving your child gifts to reward their effort is not bad; but it shouldn’t be a metric for determining the rewards given to them. It’s okay to reward their effort with gifts but do it occasionally.
Teach Them Patience
Spoilt kids don’t just feel entitled to getting what they want; they also want it immediately. As a parent, you must work hard to reconfigure such an attitude in your child; else, you’ll end up raising a child that demands everything yet gives nothing.
Such children will even be a problem for their prospective partners due to their constant demands without considering the situation of the person they are demanding.
Teach your child to be patient by not always giving in to their demands and not always satisfying their indulgences.
Such an approach will naturally help them build discipline and contentment. They will also learn the value of things as opposed to when you satisfy their every demand instantly.
Don’t Apologize For Disappointments
This is an essential point to consider when raising a child. As a parent, you’re still human, which means sometimes you might disappoint someone just as someone may likely disappoint you on some occasions. And disappointments are normal – it’s part of life, and your child must also understand it.
So if your child demands that new toy on his birthday and you can’t meet up with such a budget, you can sympathize with him (to show you care and respect his feelings), explaining how the budget doesn’t fit the situation; but you should never apologize for that.
This will also help your child understand a vital life lesson: you don’t always get your way whenever you want. It’ll also set them up for the real world – the harsh reality of dealing with humans – filled with disappointments and obstacles.
No child is born spoilt; it all depends on the training given to the child. Spoiling a child prepares a child poorly for life in the real world.
Harriet shared his experience of his spoilt brother; he said, “When he became an adult, he was so unprepared for the real world.”
Not knowing when to say “No” to your child significantly raises a spoilt child.
Rules, division of labor, patience, and being a good role model can groom a child’s behavior.
Endeavor to praise your child for making good choices.
When you teach your child empathy, they can put themselves in other’s positions and are less likely to be selfish.
Parents should equally encourage independence. For example, children should be allowed to do certain things independently, such as homework.
This will help them develop a sense of autonomy.
Overindulgence should be discouraged. When children are overindulged, they may become entitled and lack empathy for others.
However, if you already have a spoilt child, it is not too late to curb spoilt behavior by following the simple rules above.