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7 Ways to Spoil Your Children

We all love to see the delight in our kids’ eyes when we give them a favorite treat, or grant a special privilege. But there’s a tipping point at which your well-intended kindness and consideration toward your children becomes overindulgence and turns them into spoiled kids.  Be sure you’re steering clear of these 7 ways to spoil your children.

1. Pick up after your kids instead of letting them clean up their own messes. Sometimes it's just easier to clean up your children's messes rather than instructing them how to do it for themselves. It's hard, but resist the temptation. Instead, set aside enough clean-up-time after play-time so that you don't feel rushed. Then give each child one task at a time so they do not become overwhelmed, until everything is put in its place. Let them know if they don't clean up there will be consequences.

2.Let them boss you around and talk disrespectfully to you. Spoiled kids can be master manipulators. They use words to induce guilt and to control their parents. As soon as this begins to happen, make sure you put your foot down. You have to let your child know what role you both play. As the parent, you must take charge.

3. Give them everything they want – even if it's not good for them. Limits are absolutely necessary for everyone.  Your child may not like them, but they are in his/her best interest.  Parents must work as a team to draw limits for their children.  These limits should include what they wear, the movies they watch, the video games they play, the food they eat (the stuff you determine is not good for them), the music they listen to and even the friends they should and should not have.  As your children get older, the limits can be extended in certain areas; but until then, parents must enforce the limits or else they merely become suggestions.

4. Let them drop out instead of sticking it out. When your child asks to quit an activity or sport, make sure you know their motive. Perhaps there is a good reason for the decision, but if the child simply doesn't "feel" like putting forth the effort they should not be allowed to quit. Many studies show that such extracurricular activities help children learn valuable lessons or skills, and can also help them academically.

5. Excuse their rude or bad behavior as just "kids being kids." Since when did being a "kid" mean you can be rude, disrespectful or careless in your actions? Age does at times go hand-in-hand with certain actions, especially when dealing with developmental behavior, such as crawling and toddlers. However, age should never be a blanket excuse for patterns of disrespect or disobedience.

6. Don't follow through on discipline. When we ease off of an agreed upon punishment, or scrap it altogether, we are communicating to our child that our words don't mean much.   So, when you tell your child, "If you don't stop that right now, you'll go to your room," follow through. 

7. Do everything for them. As your children grow up they should become increasingly self-sufficient.  Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way, especially if they're used to you doing everything for them. Little-by-little, start to reinforce your child's independence and self-sufficiency by limiting the things you do for them.  Teach them how to do those things and increase their responsibilities around the home.  If they don't want to comply, limit the time they spend on the computer or watching TV.  "He who does not work, does not eat" is a good rule to live by in a family.


Related Resource: Breaking the "Me, Me, Me" Mindset in Your Kids


End your day: Talking with your child...

Being “spoiled” means wanting your own way all of the time, and acting like a baby when you don’t get it. Do you think you’re spoiled? Why is it bad to be spoiled?




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© 2014 Family First. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.