It’s safe to say that we all know, or have seen someone, who spoils their child. You may not know the person personally, but chances are you’ve at least seen a child in a store throw a temper tantrum until he/she got the wanted item. The problem for many of us is that we look at other children and quickly label them as “spoiled,” but we fail to notice the tell-tell signs that our own children may be on the verge of being spoiled themselves. So, how do you know if you have a spoiled child? Below are a few indicators.
· A toy is expected anytime you go to the store. Most parents don’t set out to spoil their children, but it can easily happen when parents feel guilty about something. A lot of parents buy their children toys or other wanted items when they want to make up to their child for something. For instance, when mom goes back to work and the little one has to start going to daycare…a toy can make it all better when mom comes to pick her up. Or, one parent feels bad about the divorce, so every time he picks the child up, the little one gets to go pick out a toy. Buying toys occasionally for your little one isn’t a problem, but when it’s done on a consistent basis it can give the child a false sense of entitlement which will cause them to expect something every time they go to the store or someone comes to visit them.
· Help is demanded when it’s not needed. This is a trap that I’m constantly trying to avoid. I’m always a little too eager to” help” my five year old out. It started when he was a baby…of course, I had to do everything for him at that age and help was usually needed when he was a toddler too. However, now that he’s five, I shouldn’t have to help him put on his entire suit…he should be able to handle the jacket and the pants on his own. As a result to my consistent help over the years (and failure to let my son learn on his own), my son is constantly demanding help with the simplest tasks. While he isn’t spoiled with material items, I have spoiled him a little in regards to his dependence on me. Now I’m trying to undo this by forcing him to do things on his own. It would have been a lot easier if I would have started doing this when he first started walking!
· You’re afraid to say “no.” Finally, if you are afraid to tell your child “no” because you’re afraid it will spark a temper tantrum, your child may be a little spoiled. Children need to hear the word “no” and learn to respect it from an early age. After all, life is full of disappointments and “no’s.” If you have a hard time telling your kids “no” now, it’s going to be nearly impossible when they reach grade school and the pre-teen years.