Imagine this scenario.
You’re at the mall with your family and you pass by a clothing store. Your daughter points at a cute dress and wants to purchase it but you say no. In come the frowns, stomping, and the dreaded tantrums. You see this attitude for the rest of the day.
The dress could be anything your child wants. It doesn’t even have to be material. For instance, they would want to go out with their friends, watch more TV, stay up late, and basically do everything they want to do – but you say no. Of course, they’ll act up.
These might be signs that you have a spoilt child. You may have been too lenient and permissive as they grow up. However, it’s important to note that caring does not automatically equate to spoiling.
It’s the balance between nurturing and disciplining that parents need to practice.
Ways To Unspoil Your Child
1. Set Limits
First, you have to set rules. Establish that they cannot do anything without consequences. They can ruin things, hurt other people, and even themselves. More importantly, your child will understand that setting limits mean that you care about their wellbeing. Look at it from a positive perspective instead of a harmful one.
You can set limits by:
- Giving just enough allowance
- Not buying everything they want
- Limiting screen time at home and outside
- Practicing discipline even during fun activities
- Teach them how and when to apologise
2. Teach Them Patience
Patience is a key element. Spoilt children get frustrated when things don’t go their way. Oftentimes, they would actually get what they want if they could just wait. For how long? It doesn’t matter. The point is to teach them the principle of patience when it comes to achieving what they want.
If they want to have a phone, they should wait until they’re a certain age. If they want to play on the computer, they should wait for their turn.
When they’ve practiced patience, they will realise that the majority of the things they want are not urgent needs. Consequently, they will also realise that they don’t have to throw tantrums over it.
3. Welcome Negative Emotions
The reason we give in to our child is that we fear they’ll experience negative emotions. They’ll be disappointed, hurt, and angry. It’s part of our natural protective instincts.
However, you have to realise that these emotions play a huge role in their development. If a child grows up not used to negative feelings, they’ll develop a sense of entitlement. They’ll hold other people accountable for their own emotions. Ultimately, they’ll become self-absorbed as they grow up.
Loving your child doesn’t always mean ensuring that they’re always happy. Parenting is knowing when to allow them to feel sadness and frustration, while also guiding them towards the right coping mechanisms.
4. Hold Them Accountable
When your child is acting inappropriately, hold them accountable. This doesn’t mean you should spank or yell at them. Your child just doesn’t know how to control their emotions.
Instead, you should talk to them as if they’re adults. No, don’t use big words they won’t understand. This simply means maturity. If they fight another child over a toy, explain what sharing means and reach a compromise.
The essence of accountability is knowing when you’re wrong and moving towards correcting it. Children can do this. They just need our support and guidance to do so.
5. Instill Gratitude
Gratitude is the opposite of entitlement. It teaches us that other people are not obligated to give us what we want. Thus, they are able to cherish other people’s actions more
As they grow up, children have a sense of independence that has a danger of turning into self-absorption. When taught gratitude, they can go outside themselves. They’ll understand that the dinner they’re parents made, the toys their playmates shared with them, and the lessons taught by their teachers are acts of caring.
Here are some ways you can instill gratitude in your child:
- Make them write at least two things they’re grateful for at the end of every day
- Ask them how they feel after receiving something
- Give them a journal to write on
- Reward them for doing something good
- Tell them you love and appreciate them often
In A Nutshell…
Children want many things. As parents, it’s our responsibility to differentiate those wants from their needs. Oftentimes, you’ll find that these things are nothing to throw tantrums over.
Our kids will realise that too. With the right guidance, they’ll be able to control their urges more effectively as they grow up. After all, being spoilt is only a learned behaviour that can be unlearned.
The balance in the way we nurture and discipline them will be the one to make or break our children. Let’s educate ourselves on what a spoilt child is and how to handle them!
Do you have a spoilt child? Share your tips and tricks in handling these scenarios in the comments for our fellow parents!