5 Signs Of A Spoilt Child
Your child tries to manipulate you, does not share, displays an attitude, throws tantrums, is disrespectful — chances are you're spoiling your child. Here are five signs to watch out for.
By Team ParentCircle • 7 min read
The term 'spoilt child' brings to mind the image of a child sprawled on the floor of a toy shop and wailing for his favourite toy. Or a child who sulks and is angry with his friends because they do not want to play the game his way!
But, why do some children behave in such a manner?
An increasingly busy lifestyle is preventing many parents from spending time with their children and taking care of them. This fills parents with a sense of remorse and guilt. In their eagerness to compensate for their inability to be there for their children, some busy parents tend to go overboard. They shower their children with gifts and fulfil their every demand. Some even go to the extent of ignoring or indulging their child's bad behaviour. All this can contribute to making the child demanding, disrespectful and disinclined to follow rules.
However, a child behaving in an unacceptable manner occasionally isn't always a spoilt brat. So, how will you know if you are unwittingly spoiling your child? Here are five unmistakable signs to watch out for.
1. Persists with demands: Every time your child wants something, he persists with his demand until you give in. Bowing to your child's pressure tactics has made him understand that you will eventually agree to what he wants. This is one of the surest signs of a spoilt child.
- What you should do: While you show your child that you love and care for her, also establish limits. Make your child understand that because you have her best interests in mind, you will sometimes refuse her requests and demands.
2. Doesn't share: While your child doesn't think twice before accepting anything from others, she is unwilling to share her possessions. And, instead of correcting your child's behaviour, you prefer to ignore this tendency just because you don't want to make her unhappy.
- What you should do: If your child tends to grab or snatch from others, teach her to ask and wait until it is her turn. Tell your child that when she asks for something, she should wait for it to be given to her. You can also teach your child the concept of timed sharing, where she shares her possessions with others for some time. Most important of all, model sharing, as your child is likely to follow your example.
3. Is never satisfied: Even though you try to give your child whatever he wants, he is never satisfied with what he has. And, as he is sure that you won't refuse, he often comes to you with demands like, 'I want my brother's toy car as well' or 'Give me another cup of ice cream'.
- What you should do: When your child pesters you in this manner or, makes his demands in a commanding tone, make it clear that he must speak more politely. Then, listen to what he says. If you think that you should say no, give your child the reasons first and then, say 'No'. Stick to your decision even if your child continues to hound you.
4. Disregards rules and authority: Since your child has got into the habit of taking charge, she doesn't want to follow rules or directives. She is defiant and has scant respect for you or what you say because she knows that you will never correct her disobedience. Left unchecked, with time, she can become even more non-compliant. This can adversely affect her as an adult.
- What you should do: When your child breaks the rules, never shy away from enforcing the consequences. Remember, ignoring bad behaviour sets a bad example. At the same time, when your child is respectful and follows the rules, reward him by acknowledging his good behaviour.
5. Is Ungrateful: As you always provide your child with everything without making her work for it, she is filled with a sense of entitlement. She accepts everything without saying thanks or expressing appreciation. And, if something is not to her liking, she has no reservations about turning it down or criticising it.
- What you should do: When your child behaves in an ungrateful manner, point it out to her in a calm but firm manner. Help your child identify and label feelings so she can express herself better. Tell her how her insensitive behaviour makes others feel — this will help her empathise with other people.
Sometimes, as parents, we do not realise that we spoil our children by giving them too many things. Remember that parental attitudes contribute to a child's value system. So, it is important to reflect on how parenting can affect a child. While we want to give our children the best of everything, we also need to understand where to draw the line.
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