Does your child speak rudely? Does she neglect her studies? Does she answer back? If you allow your child to get away with all this, and more, signs are that you are raising a spoilt brat.
By Arun Sharma
Parents always want to bring up their children in the best possible way. They are ever willing to give their children the best they can afford, shower them with affection and love, forgive their mistakes — in short, do everything possible to make the lives of their children better. However, some parents go overboard and end up spoiling their children.
Here are a few warning signs that will tell you if you are bringing up a spoilt brat.
1. Throwing a tantrum: You go shopping with your child. As you pass by the toy store, a toy catches his attention and he starts pestering you for it. You say no and try to move forward when things go out of hand. All of a sudden, he jerks himself free, falls on to the floor and starts rolling and wailing loudly. Embarrassed by his act, you acquiesce in to his demand.
What parents should do: Do not give in to your child’s tantrums, as it makes him understand that he can coerce you into giving him whatever he wants.
2. Interrupting conversations: You are in the middle of a conversation, when your child walks up to you. Without trying to politely garner your attention, he tugs at your shirt and raising his voice, blurts out his demand. No sooner has he finished than you hurry along to fulfil his demand.
What parents should do: Teach your child to wait patiently for her turn to speak, except when it is urgent or in case of an emergency.
3. Being selfish and demanding: Your child has a box full of toys which she is unwilling to share with her sibling, yet she always insists on playing with her sibling’s toy. And, when you ask her to share her belongings with her sibling, she adamantly refuses to. The more you give your child, the more she wants.
What parents should do: Motivate your child by telling her that she can make others feel happy by sharing her belongings with them. Help her understand the importance of sharing and giving.
4. Being manipulative: Your child gets up in the morning and says he doesn’t want to go to school. But, you insist on him going to school. And, he tells you that if you send him to school against his wishes, he will pick up a fight with the child who sits beside him. Not knowing what to do, you throw up your hands in despair.
What parents should do: It is not easy to deal calmly with a manipulative child. Bear in mind that if parents give in and appease the child, it will only encourage manipulative behaviour. So, to prevent your child from being manipulative, ignore his manipulations and ask him to abide by what you tell him.
5. Never helping out: You are cleaning the house while your child is lying on the bed, busy playing with the tablet. You call him to help you with the work, but he makes an excuse and continues with his play. He does so every time you ask him to do some chore in the house. Again, when your children are playing with their toys when it is time for lunch. You call them, and one of them starts putting his toys back in the box but the other one just rushes out of the room, leaving behind the mess. When you ask her to go back and clean the room, she starts making excuses from feeling too hungry, to asking her sibling to do it for her to saying she is very tired right now.
What parents should do: Right from a young age, make your child do chores like putting his toys in the toy basket or his plate in the kitchen sink after a meal, or help you with chores around the house. This will make him understand that, as a member of the house, he has certain responsibilities to fulfil.
B J McIntosh in his study, ‘Spoiled child syndrome’, published in the journal Pediatrics (1989), says, “The spoiled child syndrome is characterized by excessive self-centered and immature behavior, resulting from the failure of parents to enforce consistent, age-appropriate limits.”
Overindulging parents who think pampering their child is the only way to show their love usually end up raising children who grow up with a sense of entitlement.
However, by taking measures like communicating your beliefs to your child, being consistent in your approach, and making your child earn what he wants instead of giving everything to him, you can set him back on the right track.
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