First comes guilt.
Then comes caving in.
And then comes the point of no return. (Or so it seems.)
How often have you indulge your child’s unreasonable demands just to prevent a temper tantrum? How often have you caved in just because you felt guilty of not having enough time in a day to spend with your kids?
If you can count that on your fingertips, count yourself lucky too. If you cannot though, you are, in all likelihood, dealing with a spoiled child. And life can seem very difficult from hereon after.
But wait a minute. Do not fret just yet. No matter what your reason may have been to indulge all of your child’s demands, from being a working parent to trying to make the best of the few hours you and your kids enjoy together each day, there is a way to set things straight.
What we are trying to say is that you can get your spoiled child back on track.
Got your eyes wide open in shock, wondering how this will happen? Keep reading. You will find the way.
Defining a spoiled child and their characteristics
A spoiled child is one who is overindulged, selfish and immature. Kids often develop the traits of a spoiled child because of the inability of their parents to healthy and appropriate limits. It is a sort of a behavioural problem in children.
Spoiled kids have certain traits, which can help you identify them easily:
- Difficulty in grasping the concept of ‘no’
- Feeling dissatisfied with their possessions
- Acting selfishly
- Throwing temper tantrums frequently
- Sulking if said ‘no’ to
- Constantly focusing on the needs of the self
How to prevent your child from getting spoiled?
This behavioural problem in children is more common than you believe. A lot of parents the world over are currently struggling with their spoiled child, wondering how they can turn them into well-adjusted kids. If you are in the same boat, here are some tips that can help you.
- Stop apologising for demands you cannot fulfil
- Never put house rules up for debate
- Give your child space
- Inculcate patience in your child
- Offer positive encouragement, not gifts
Empathise instead. And save your sorrys for situations that actually deserve. Such as losing your temper on your child. Or accidentally losing something that is very important to them.
If you keep apologising to your kid for not fulfilling their demands, they will end up feeling entitled. Instead, you want them to be understanding too, while teaching them the all-important lesson that in life, you will not always get what you want.
So do the same with your kids, but gently. For example, if your child really wants a new toy, tell them that you will contribute 50% of its price towards its purchase, and that the rest of the money they will have to gather on their own. That will help your children understand that things will not just be given to them. They will have to earn the things they want.
Another way to discipline your child is to net them argue the rules of the house, ensuring you treat them as an exception. When you open house rules up for debate, bickering ensues and your child ends up feeling they are not getting something they deserve.
Instead of arguing, understand that your kid has every right to feel disappointed because of an unfulfilled demand. However, it is important for you to draw the line and let them know that these are the family rules, and they will not be broken due to any apparent exceptions.
After facing rejection, your spoiled child might throw a fit, ranting about how unfair this is till they slam the door shut in your face.
Relax. Breathe. Now is not the time to react.
Instead of indulging their temper tantrum, give your child some space. Let them vent as they want to as long as they do not harm themselves or somebody or something else. Once you give them that space without any interference, they will cool down and stop on their own.
Do this frequently (every time they throw a tantrum) and your child will realise that tantrums are not a good enough trick to work on you anymore. This is a pretty effective parenting strategy.
Living as they do in the world of ‘everything-now’, spoiled kids might get used to instant gratification, wanting it again and again. And you might indulge them quite easily, considering all they would want are smaller things such as more candy, more stickers, more TV time etc.
However, this is not healthy as this prevents the development of two key traits in kids, discrimination and patience. Both of which kids need to have to grow up to be healthy adults.
So whenever you find your kid making an unreasonable demand, refuse it stating why you did so you can discipline your child. Delaying or refusing indulgences will help kids value the things they have and the things they get, thus fostering patience.
You can also teach them restraint by setting an example. For example, if you go to the mall and find something you like, hold off on purchasing it, making it a point to state in front of your kid how you do not need the item right now.
This is a very effective parenting strategy. Every time your child does well, crosses a milestone or achieves something, make it a point to offer them positive encouragement instead of gifts. Make it a point to congratulate them, acknowledging and appreciating the effort they have put in. Positive reinforcement creates a deeper impression than a material gift, helping your child grow confidently.
All of the above are very effective parenting strategies when it comes to dealing with a spoiled child. Give them a shot and you may see some improvement in the way your child behaves! At EuroKids, we try to inculcate important values in kids such as patience, gratefulness, kindness and empathy so they grow up to be responsible citizens. If you want to know more, be sure to visit us!