How To Avoid Raising Spoiled Children

We have all met them. Those screaming children in the supermarket who are demanding for something, while their helpless parents look on with disbelieving eyes. Yes, spoiled children who believed they are entitled not only to whatever they want but also whenever they want. Most of us are left wondering, what happened? When did the parents lose control? Keep reading this narrative article to learn more about spoiled children.

What Exactly Is A Spoiled Child?

A spoiled child is any child who seems unpleasant, undisciplined, manipulative, and with an air of privilege most of the time. They seem to put their wants above everyone else. They protest everything and insist to have their way in every situation. They regularly throw tantrums and cannot differentiate between wishes and needs.

Such children are quite manipulative. The supermarket scenario is a very good one. A spoiled child will throw a tantrum in the supermarket to manipulate the parents to get him what he wants regardless of their wishes.

What Is The Cause?

Psychologically, the problem can be traced back to overly lenient parenting. Pediatric studies show that children between five and six months learn how to fuss and cry deliberately to get what they want. If parents are unwilling to take control, the child learns that they can get their way by being unbearable. As a result, the child becomes self-centered and spoilt. The longer it is unaddressed the worse the situation becomes.

Another reason is that many children are being cared for by nannies who easily give in to unrealistic demands. These children are scarcely punished for self-centered behavior. Instead, they are rewarded by getting what they want. As they grow up they feel like the world owes them everything without any consequences.

Nannies and babysitters are not the only ones at fault. Many modern parents suffer from parental guilt because of how much time they spend away from their kids. They overcompensate by spoiling their children. Such parents are unwilling to sternly punish bad behavior. Their children do not learn the negative consequences for bad behavior.

If no changes happen during the formative years, these children become selfish and spoiled brats by the time they reach school-going age. The likelihood of such children adopting delinquent behavior, like drug abuse, is high. These children are ill-prepared to live in the real world where some actions have far-reaching consequences.

What You Should Do To Avoid Raising A Spoiled Child

  • Make sure to set age-appropriate rules and discipline your child appropriately: A rule of thumb is setting age-appropriate limits for children by the time they are crawling. These external controls will teach your child about self-discipline and self-control at an early age.
  • Let your child cry and do not reward tantrums: As a parent, ensure you understand the difference between needs and wishes. If a child is crying because of a wish, do not reward him or her by cajoling to their whims. Your ‘no’ should not change into a ‘yes’ because of a tantrum. Punish them by giving them a time-out until they stop the tantrum. Reward them when they follow the rules.
  • Don’t give away parental power: Negotiating with children can be good at the appropriate age, but sometimes it is not the best choice. Toddlers between 2-3 years understand actions rather than reason. Even those between 4-5 years may appear reasonable, but they still cannot make rules for themselves. Therefore, set rules and enforce them with age-appropriate punishment. While they are in elementary you can discuss the rules with your child to make them understand, but they still should not be part of the decision making process. Only when they become teenagers can you start to negotiate limits and consequences. Understand that the more democratic a parent is with young children the more demanding a child gets. So don’t give out parental power.
  • Teach your child patience and coping with boredom: Your child does not need a constant playmate. Instead, provide them with books, toys, and art supplies, and then let them nurture their creativity. By the time they are toddlers, your child should be able to entertain themselves with toys for half of the time. It nurtures their creativity.
  • Finally, make sure that you teach them the important rule of delayed-gratification. A functioning adult has to deal with the frustration of waiting and parents can only instill this in children in their formative years. If they want a toy, tell them to wait or place a condition they must fulfill before they get it.

Above all, ensure that your child respects others, especially adults. Your role as a parent is not to shield them from day-to-day life, but to give them the tools to become a well-rounded adult in the future. There is a thin line between being a loving parent and spoiling your child. The line is the willingness to discipline and instill important skills.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via Welcome to

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