If you are out at your favorite family restaurant and your precious little one thinks it’s funny to climb over the booth, run around the restaurant and throw food at you, he might be spoiled. If you bring your child to a friend’s house and he immediately jumps on her couch, much to her horror, he might be spoiled. If you indulge your child and give few consequences for bad behavior, you might be raising a spoiled brat.
Sure, you want to do what’s right. You want to be a good mom. But if you don’t lay down the law and say “no” occasionally, your child may become spoiled. Spoiled children are no fun to be around. They are demanding, self-centered and have no empathy for others. You may have even dated men who turned out that way, only interested in their needs and stopping at nothing to get what they want. Well, if you don’t want that fate for your child, you need to nip that behavior in the bud. Your goal is to raise a child who is cooperative, considerate and self-confident, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Babies get a free pass on the spoiling issue. You cannot spoil a baby by picking her up when she cries. You are establishing trust in that case. When your baby cries, she needs you. She is not manipulating you. When your child gets to be about 2 years old, you can start noticing signs of a spoiled child. Throwing a tantrum when you say “no” doesn’t necessarily mean your toddler is spoiled. Most, or practically all, toddlers cry or have a tantrum when you tell them “no.” In time and with your guidance, your toddler can learn more acceptable methods of dealing with frustration.
Not Enough Attention
Children sometimes act out when you don’t give them enough attention. They figure that bad attention is better than no attention. You can change this by noticing the good behavior and commenting on it. If all you do is punish and tell your child what not to do, you are raising a child who will act out, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Too Much Attention
Children also act out when you give them too much attention or continue to do for them what they can do for themselves. If you continue to cater to a preschool-aged child who can dress himself, for example, you are teaching him that he deserves this behavior and that your role is to wait on him, almost as if you are his servant. After awhile, these children come to expect this behavior from you and from others and become less appreciative and more demanding. You can undo this by teaching your child what he can do for himself, guiding him until he builds his confidence to do for himself.
Sometimes you may be too tired to put up the effort to discipline, or you don’t want to appear mean. This is a mistake. Inconsistent rules create a child who continually tries to break the rules. Have rules and enforce them. Consistency is key. You don’t want to raise a child who believes that rules don’t apply to her.
Signs of a Spoiled Child
Telltale signs of a spoiled child are a child who always wants more, never helps with chores, tries to control adults, constantly embarrasses you, doesn’t share, doesn’t listen and ignores you. If you have a spoiled child, you can unspoil him. Tell him that you don’t like his behavior and that you both need to change your ways.