You want your kids to have the best life possible. When your baby is first born, you may have a certain vision about how her life is going to turn out. You want her to laugh, sing, and dance all the time.
While that’s not practical or realistic, she can certainly have a wonderful life, as long as you avoid making some significant mistakes, including spoiling your children.
Spoiled children have a tendency to be less respectful to their peers and elders, they have a difficult time accepting failure, and they may not fully understand the value of material possessions or money.
There are many different ways people spoil their children, often without even realizing it. Here are seven ways you can help avoid spoiling your children, thus giving them a better foundation for the rest of their life.
Require effort before reward.
If your child wants to go over to a friend’s house, for example, but he hasn’t finished cleaning the dishes or taking out the garbage, if you let him go once, he may expect to get away with that the next time.
Too many parents today are trying to be friends to their children and will accept the half done chores in order to avoid grief in trying to get them to do it completely. The best thing is to require effort before the child receives the reward.
When you say no, stand by it. No matter how much your child begs, once you made up your mind, it’s time to end the discussion.
Children learn early on that they can manipulate their parents into getting what they want. The longer a child has been spoiled for, the more difficult it’s going to be for the parents to break that habit. You begin by ignoring their begging.
Make limits as clear and simple to understand as possible. You want to make sure there is no room for misinterpretation or manipulation. For example, if a child is asking for a sweet snack, you can certainly allow them to have one, but make it clear that they are only entitled to one. If they ask for a second one, you may need to reevaluate giving them that snack the next time around.
Be firm with those limits.
Once you set limits, it’s absolutely essential that you avoid exceeding or breaking those limits. It’s fine if your child is behaving well and you want to reward them, but if that reward is going to exceed the limits you’ve already established, don’t do it.
There are other ways to reward positive behavior rather than spoiling them and breaking your limits.
Have your child explain why she should get a certain privilege.
Whether it’s going over to a friend’s house for the weekend, being able to watch a certain television program, or using her allowance to purchase an item you’re not thrilled she wants (as long as you don’t have any other objections to it), make her convince you through a qualified explanation why she deserves this.
That will help your child take accountability for her actions.
Put them to work.
When children work, whether it’s doing chores around the house or something else, they can be earning money or benefits to do things they want in the future.
When they begin working for the things they want rather than getting them whenever they ask, it teaches them the value of work and earning those things.
Be a parent, not a friend.
Your child is going to be disappointed, upset, and even angry with you when you don’t give into them. If you try to be their friend and coddle them, giving them whatever they want, you’re going to end up with the spoiled child.
Make sure you remain a parent throughout their life rather than a friend. If you want your child to become your friend, once they reach their adult years, that’s something that can certainly happen, if you both choose.