There was a time when I wanted to buy everything cute and lovely for my baby while shopping. First, I saw an adorable shirt with pink ruffles on the sleeves and a bunny face design. Then, I spotted a pretty pair of little sandals with ribbons on the sides. Oh, I can never forget seeing a very attractive handbag that will perfectly match the shirt and shoes. There are this darling plush toy and a sweet set of hair clips. And the list goes on and on.
Soon enough, I end up paying twice than what I expected that day.
I do not know what to do when I want to buy things for my child. I want to give everything that I thought my child would need or will be happy with. BUT, I am frightened that she will end up spoiled and unsatisfied with all the things she constantly receives from me.
Just like all of you out there, I always ask myself, “When is enough really enough when it comes to giving to our children?”
Spoiling your child is not always intentional. I will never blame parents if their children became a bit spoiled because who knows what is in their hearts and intentions when they give something. There are even instances when no matter how careful we are with our kids, they still end up discontented.
The fact is the concept of spoiling a child is subjective. There are variations when it comes to the true description of spoiling. Some parents would deem an act of giving more than a child’s present needs as spoiling while it is normal and joy for other parents to give more than enough.
Some parents do not like to spend more than a particular amount for their children. Yet, other parents would see it as a privilege that their children must enjoy and should not be blamed for.
We indeed see different things as parents and there is no definite rule in a lot of parenting concerns. However, it is also crucial for us not to get caught up with the argument and focus more on the welfare of our children.
So, how do you know if your child is spoiled? Look at these red flags:
- When your child becomes angry and throws a fit when his or her demands are not met. The reason children do these things is that they are used to getting what they want especially when they want it at that moment. So, not giving them something they want will cause them disappointment and uncontrolled rage. Even if you remind your child of the values you taught before, he or she will still be rude to others.
- There is impatience in everything your child does. He or she does not know how to wait even when you tell him or her to wait. Your child constantly interrupts you and cannot tolerate a pause on what he or she has to say. He or she easily gets bored and will be vocal about it. There will be complaints as well.
- Your child showcases a sense of superiority. He or she will have a feeling of self-importance when with other people and will use such perspective to get whatever he or she wants. It will give him or her a false control and manipulation of the situation and the people around him or her. It will also give your child a sense of pride hence showing off is evident.
- His or her level of interest in things is relatively low. Since your child is accustomed to getting what he or she wants, he or she will no longer be interested to investigate more on other things. At some point, your child will not cooperate because of insisted and strong disinterest on the subject.
- When your child intentionally disobeys and does not listen to you. No matter how much you say, he or she will continue what he or she is doing and will not listen to you. Your child will not follow your rules, especially if these do not conform to what he or she wants.
But, don’t get discouraged if you see these signs manifesting in your child now. Again, it is not your fault if you simply want to give the best for your child. That is love, that is kindness.
Still, knowing these signs will help us, parents, bring back the control to us and pull our children back on the right track. It does not need to be an abrupt action. We need to make it a slow but steady pace to make sure it will have a deep-rooted effect on our children.
The next question now is, “How to un-spoil or not spoil our kids?”
Let them cry.
It always breaks our hearts to see our little ones crying. Their angelic faces do not go well with the stream of tears staining on their cheeks. But, sometimes, a little pain cannot harm anyone. Knowing that there are small frustrations in their lives will make them learn the right values.
Avoid making “I am sorry” a broken record.
The minute you make a teeny tiny mistake, you immediately say the sorry phrase to your child. It is not wrong to say I am sorry; it is even more special to hear parents say these words. But, saying it over and over again, especially in unnecessary moments, will lose its overall value to your child. It will make them feel that they are superior to you simply because you have to admit to every mistake. Never feel sorry for a disappointing moment for your child. Such a feeling will make him or her learn that there are things he or she cannot have in life.
Initiate the “patience” project.
One of the reasons why kids become spoilt is impatience. Children do not learn how to wait but rather whine when they want something. The fast pace in our lifestyle these days makes it a challenge for parents to teach patience to their kids since everything is easy, fast, and readily available. Still, fostering patience in your child is a valuable gift that will positively affect them in life. One way to initiate the patience project is to make them wait to receive the things they want no matter how readily available these things are. Avoid giving in to their tantrums when they do not want to wait somewhere with you. Most importantly, never make it a burden to entertain your children when they are supposed to wait with you anywhere. Allow them to initiate something for themselves.
Offer a variety.
Not everything comes with physical gifts. It is adorable to see our children with good things in life but these gifts will only ruin their sense of contentment. Instead, look for different ways to show your love. An ice cream date is more exciting than another pair of shoes. A playdate in the park will make your kid happy than receiving a new set of toys. You can also give him or her a high five and good praise after finishing an artwork.
Stick to your rules.
Be consistent when implementing your house rules and never allow them to argue with what you have set. Make your children feel that you are in control and all they need to do is follow the rules. Consistency is one sure way of making them follow the rule.
Bonus Point: Set the right example for your children. Kids are excellent imitators. They easily follow people around them, from the way they move and talk and up to the way they dress. If your child sees you losing your control and temper, they will likely see the behavior as acceptable and will follow suit.
Find the Strength in You
There is indeed no such thing for us parents to feel more than enough when it comes to showering love and affection to our children. The fact is, they need as much love from us and the people around them. They need security, peace, and happiness in their early lives for them to give back love and happiness to others as well.
Still, creating a balance is the key to avoid spoiling our children. We must know when to give and when to hold ourselves back and ask if it is the right time to give or not. Do not feel guilty if your child throws tantrums at you or if there is a time when you are not able to give something to your child.
Remember, thinking of ways on how to better nurture your child is already an applaudable act a parent can do.
Holding back is a way of saying that you are in control and you know better than your child. It is not a weakness but a sure sign of strength for a parent. Maintain the right heart for your baby!
Featured Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash