We love our kids, but too much love can, well, spoil them rotten. Most people think that raising spoiled kids only applies to affluent families. But, in reality, the problem lies in how we parents bring them up. So, if your little ones always get their way, it’s time for us to stop and rethink our child-rearing strategies. Here are a few healthy parenting tips to help you out.
1. Reinforce Positive Behaviour
When spoiled kids misbehave, parents tend to choose the quick fix: give in to their demands. However, this solution only encourages them to continue causing trouble. So, why not do it the other way around? Give praises or rewards to your children when they are cooperative and well-behaved.
I suggest reserving expensive gifts for special occasions, then gift your children quality time and attention instead. You can make crafts together, spend the afternoon at the park or make something yummy in the kitchen. Doing so will make simpler, modest things just as delightful as any material gift.
2. Respect Your Children
Just because we are the grown-ups, it doesn’t mean that we have the right to be angry towards our kids when they misbehave. Sometimes, we forget to be empathetic when emotions are high. So, instead of arguing, give yourself and your child time to calm down. That way, it will be easier to connect with your little one and reach a compromise.
Keep things positive! Your children will listen and respond better with kind words. Explaining to them what to do, rather than what not to do, makes them feel understood and respected, too.
3. Be a Good Teacher and Boss
Our kids rely on us to change their primitive behaviours into good manners. Take this chance then to teach them essential values that they can apply as adults in the future. Here are some examples:
- Hard work and patience. Spoiled kids feel entitled as they can quickly get the things that they want. To address this, I recommend incorporating the idea of household chores at home as early as possible. It’s an excellent starting point to make them realise that sometimes you need to wait and work hard for things that we want. You can gradually introduce the value of money and saving, too. Teaching kids these life values early on will also encourage them not to take things for granted.
- Gratitude and generosity. Thank your kids even for the little things they do. Teach them how to be grateful for the things that other people can do for them. Also, the joy of being appreciated encourages them to share whatever they can.
- Empathy and compassion. Don’t let your kids’ thoughts focus on their feelings or their wants alone. Teach them how to think about others’ welfare. Examples can be encouraging them to apologise to a school friend or asking them to declutter their toybox for other children.
4. Set Boundaries and Consistent Rules
Parenting and disciplining go hand in hand. That also means setting up limits and rules for our kids. Making spoiled kids obey, however, can be a challenge. The key here is consistency and being firm. When you are more predictable with your rules, your little one will eventually agree with them. Being consistent also makes it easier for them to realise what is okay to do and what’s not.
Make your limits simple and clear to understand. Refrain from saying yes to having cookies without stating how many. Also, keep yourself flexible and choose your battles. Set up rules that you can implement, then look for other ways when temper tantrums and power struggles begin to brew. These child discipline methods and tips might help.
5. Involve the Whole Family
Now, all that parenting effort can quickly fly out the window when grandad or nana visits the kids. Suddenly, your one-cookie rule is a thing of the past. Have a chat with your loved ones and make them part of your no-to-spoiled-children team! Inform them of your family rules and limits. You are the boss, but you need all the reinforcements you can get so your children can grow into responsible adults.
6. Be a Role Model
They say action speaks louder than words. This saying is very true when it comes to parenting. So, instead of reprimanding our kids all the time, show them how to be a kind person.
Foster open communication at home, so they’ll understand what listening to others is all about. Involve them when you plan to surprise or make someone happy. And even when you are disciplining them, always include kindness, respect and love. With these values consistently at the centre, everything else will follow!