When I was a child, neither of my parents had much money, and I was acutely aware there was lack. Maybe like me, you experienced similar circumstances or maybe your family always had enough. Whatever the case, most parents don’t want their children to experience this lack. However, sometimes this healthy desire can become unhealthy when we work so hard to provide for our kids that they experience abundance all the time and never learn the value of hard work. It’s an important issue to consider, because too much wealth can ruin your kids. Here are five ways to tell if you have a spoiled child.
- They become entitled and don’t know how to function in a team environment, which will eventually hinder them from succeeding in a workplace. Are your kids always complaining about other people? Do they have a superior attitude and think certain things are beneath them? Do they know how to get along with others and be part of a team, or are they always demanding they get their own way? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, there is a good chance your kids already feel entitled.
- They don’t know the value of hard work. Do your kids ask for all of the latest toys, games, clothes, and want to follow all the trends? Do they expect you to buy things for them constantly without having to contribute in any way?
- They haven’t encountered real suffering or struggle in their lives so they don’t know how to problem solve. Have you allowed your kids to solve their own problems at school or with friends or teachers? If not, it’s vital that you start. If you attempt to save them from all suffering or pain, even out of a healthy desire to protect them, in the long run, you’re actually hindering their growth because they won’t know how to solve their own problems. Strong problem-solving skills are vital for success as an adult.
- Do your kids complain more than they enjoy the things they have? Complaining and whining are two of the major indicators that they have been given too much and need to grow in character. Their character is poor because it’s never had a chance to develop. Talk to them about being grateful and cultivating thankfulness. Find practical ways to help them stop complaining and start being thankful for what they have.
- They are narcissistic and feel that everything revolves around them. If your kids are not aware of the needs of others, you are probably giving them too much. If they have never been exposed to real need or poverty or critical issues, they won’t have any real desire to make a difference in the world. They might not even be aware there’s a need for them to make a difference. When everything is okay in their world, they won’t be aware that it is not okay for millions of others. Comfort will become (if it is not already) their number one priority.
Here are 7 other ways you might be spoiling them. As a parent, how can you teach them the more important things like gratitude, teamwork, good character, the value of work, and how to serve others? First, evaluate whether wealth is ruining your kids and whether you might be giving them too much and then look for ways to stop giving them so much materially. Secondly, implement practical ways for them to work for things they want. Here are 6 ways to teach your kids a good work ethic. Lastly, set an example, and look for ways to help and serve others as a family. By teaching your children to value other people and not just their own comfort, you will not let wealth ruin your kids.
Readers, how have you given too much to your kids? Or in what ways, have you been successful in not letting wealth ruin them?
Cassandra Soars has published various national magazine articles on a wide range of topics, including life in Mozambique, Africa, where she lived for five years. Her first book Love Like Fire: The Story of Heidi Baker is available on Amazon.