Can there be anything more frustrating than dealing with a spoiled child? Temper tantrums, demands and refusal to listen to basic requests are all signs you may have a spoiled child in your midst. Never forget, spoiled kids turn into adult people who have been conditioned to believe life is all about them. While its common for us to try and give our kids the very moon, it’s more important to teach them how to deal with failure, be patient, and have respect. That’s our job as parents. Here are 10 signs your child may be spoiled — and what you can do to turn that right around.
Please note that we understand that this list cannot always be applied to children living with disabilities such as learning disabilities or mental health issues, as well as children living with physical disabilities, small babies, or children suffering from trauma.
You allow them to negotiate everything they don’t like
Break this behaviour:Set up boundaries with your kids. No means no. As the kids get older, you can explain your rationale, but allowing them to talk their way into everything their heart desires won’t help break that habit.
They don’t understand why hitting is unacceptable
To break the behaviour:It’s important to teach your child accountability in an age appropriate manner. A big winner here? Use sharing as a tool to help break violent outbursts. When we share, everyone’s happy, and that’s a big lesson many kids (and adults) need to be taught.
You haven’t taught them to care for the house or their belongings
Just taking over when your child is taking too long to tidy, or micromanaging and helicoptering while they’re making themselves a snack are signs to your child that you don’t trust their ability to do things for themselves. It’s important to step back and let them take the driver’s seat in simple day-to-day tasks. Don’t be afraid to teach your toddler how to cut veggies and fruit, facilitate your kids in planning how they’d like their room to be organized, or even have them help with dishes, laundry or other tasks. It may go against your perfectionism, but in the long run, it’ll teach your children self respect above all else.
You reward meltdowns by giving them what they want
Often, it’s our first instinct to give in to those tantrums to simply avoid them, but short cuts can lead to trouble down the road. Giving your child your phone every time you step foot in the grocery store, and the demands can grow to the phone, a bakery item and a pack of gum for the car ride home. Because if you don’t, that little angel will turn into an embarrassingly loud shrieking animal.
Break this behaviour:The best way to curb this is to simply say no, and stick to it. It can be a pain, but that grocery store meltdown only needs to happen once if you simply turn around and go home. Our kids have to learn that they can’t get their way all the time, and while it can be a real pain to have to abandon a grocery cart full of food, chances are, you won’t get the same tantrum the next time you’re running through the aisles. That will leave you ample opportunity to ensure you’re not tricked into spending more at the grocery store, and you’ll walk out relatively unscathed.
You give in to their demands when they say they’re bored
Instead of giving into their demands when they complain of boredom, take it as an opportunity to empower your kids. Offer up two suggestions of things they can do (like helping fold the laundry or finishing their homework or even reading book). Giving them the ability to make the choice will help empower them to take control over times when they might feel bored by showing them that they have the ability to change their situation.
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You give in to their demands for more
Break this behaviour:Just like helping them understand how to combat boredom, kids who demand more of everything need to understand the difference between wants and needs. Without teaching them the difference, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of disappointment when they don’t get what they want. In turn, you’ll teach them how to be resilient when they don’t get what they want, helping them improve their self-love and self respect long term.
You give them special treatment like separate meals
Break this behaviour:Being able to set the tone and creating a collaborative family dynamic can help teach your kids the importance of compromise and stop them from demanding special treatment for their desires.
You reward everything they do with toys and trinkets
Break this behaviour:While there is always a time and a place for gift giving (especially when the gift is something your whole family can enjoy), what’s most important to our kids is that we show up and provide them with love and encouragement. Pointing out their hard work and the result and sharing our feelings of love and respect will serve our kids much better long term than a tangible item that will be lost over time.
You haven’t taught them to be patient
Break this behaviour:Of course, it’s hard for many adults to be patient too — so if you struggle with being patient, work with your kids so that you can all learn patience together. Start small like taking a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed and helping a child who may be angry or overstimulated to take a step back and pause. These purposeful delays help reset our brains and subtly make us all more patient and understanding.
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You put your child’s needs above your own or your partner’s
Exhaustion, unhappy relationships with our partners or friends and family can all wreak havoc on our lives and the lives of our children, so it’s important to know that no is just as important to a child as yes. Setting up healthy boundaries for what we can and cannot accomplish day to day not only helps caregivers avoid burnout, but it also shows our kids that caring for ourselves and fostering strong connections are more rewarding than getting what we want.