Are you spoiling your kids?

Setting limits with children is probably the single hardest job parents have. / Photo: Net.

“You’re going to spoil that child!” Many parents can testify that they’ve heard that line at one time or another. And whereas no one wants to raise a ‘little horror’, making your kid a humble and generous soul isn’t always easy.

But what do people really mean by spoiled child? How do you know if your child is spoiled, and what can you do to avoid spoiling him or her if you haven’t done so already?


Spoiled children are demanding and entitled, they will throw a tantrum in order to get what they want, from ice cream to a new device. Many times, parents find themselves spoiling their children instead of caring for them. 


Kids need quality time. Many studies show that children simply want more quality time with parents, friends, and extended family as opposed to material items. Sometimes adults think children need material things, and even feel guilty when they can’t get them. 


Spend time together and create memories. Spoiling them with toys may not be the best way to show them love.

Give to others when you receive. This can be through creating core values. Give help to strangers, read a book together as a family, reflect on a number of things together. Children need to learn the essence of giving and not always receiving. 

Lead by example. Experts say that children need their parents to be role models, because what they see is what they emulate.

Don’t be afraid to disappoint. According to Baby Center, children can’t always get what they want. Learning to accept disappointment will give them important coping skills to deal with emotional stress later in life.

Let them earn what they want. Many experts believe that kids become spoiled due to things that come too easily, which make them take those things for granted. If your child wants a new toy, set up a reward system for good behaviour and let him earn it.

Discipline your child. Children who are taught at an early age how to conduct themselves in a pleasant manner, to be patient, and have self-control, are more likely to have an easier time making friends and being pleasant in social settings. One of the most important things a parent can teach a child is self-control, so that there is little to no need for discipline.

Raise a charitable child. A child who learns to consider the needs of friends, family, and the world beyond and develops a desire to help others in need is a child who is less spoiled. It is important to hearten your child to think beyond themselves by volunteering to clean up, look out for others, or even help elderly neighbours.

Teach them the value of money. Teaching kids about money is an important way to make sure you don’t spoil them. When they understand the cost of things, they will learn to behave when at the store or shop.

Reward them for a reason. Children should be rewarded as recognition for something they have done, never as an expectation for them doing it.

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