Raising Tough, Grateful Kids in a World of Plenty!
“My kid doesn’t listen to me.”
“I have tried everything. I always buy her everything but she’s never happy.”
“I was so embarrassed when he started crying so loud in the mall everyone was judging me.”
This is now an everyday conversation when you meet new parents. You can understand when parents of teenagers complain, it’s all about the hormonal kids. However, it’s something to think about when parents with kids aged 2-5 whine about their kid’s behaviour.
Why is the next generation so challenging to handle? And more importantly, why, with all the facilities and good lifestyle, are children turning out to be little monsters? So today, this blog will discuss all about spoiled kids and uncover the secret sauce to raising tough, resilient young souls who’ll eventually give you that heartfelt thank you.
So, let’s start with the most basic question…
What Does a Spoiled Kid Mean?
A spoiled kid – an overly indulged, undisciplined child. A kid with the mindset to get whatever he wants neither understanding the value of things nor the effort required to obtain them.
Moreover, such kids might display a sense of entitlement, expecting immediate gratification. A spoiled child is usually manipulative, insensitive and unpleasant to be with much of the time.
Such kids are really tough to handle and most of the time parents give up on them. The fear of being judge as a bad parent compel them to fullfil every demand of the child irrespective of its merit.
What are the signs of a spoiled child?
You must have witnessed it on multiple occasions…
Any kid at the mall crying loudly for a toy beside a helpless parent trying to calm him down…
Or a child making a scene for another meal of his choice at a restaurant…
Or parents trying to stop a kid without him paying attention.
Such scenes have become more than common in the last few years, making it fairly easy for you to spot a spoiled kid. However, doctors and psychologists have defined their behaviour as…
- Frequent Tantrums and Outbursts
- Constant Demand for Attention
- Lack of Empathy
- Refusal to Follow Rules
- Materialistic Attitude
- Inability to Handle Frustration
- Disrespect towards Authority Figures
- Tries to control people
- Insists on having his own way
- Constantly complains about being bored
- Doesn’t know the difference between his needs and his wishes
Now, here is the most critical question…why does the child get spoiled?
What Spoils Your Kids?
Overindulgence by Parents
Permissive parents fail to set limits. Most parents can see their child crying, and they give in to tantrums and whining. This attitude shifts the power to the kid, making him more self-centred.
Most children cared for by a nanny or babysitter also get spoiled. The nanny or babysitter tries to provide constant entertainment to refrain the child from crying or getting bored, and they easily give in to unrealistic demands.
Some parents are too lenient because they confuse the child’s needs with his wishes. Their aim is to shield their child from emotional distress or the sound of their cries. Consequently, they opt for immediate remedies to avert tears, inadvertently fostering a cycle where such actions lead to prolonged crying in the future.
Lack of Discipline
The lack of discipline can contribute significantly to a child becoming spoiled or entitled. Discipline isn’t solely about punishment; it’s about establishing boundaries, teaching self-control, and fostering responsible behaviour. This can result in them expecting anything they want without understanding the concept of moderation or respect for others.
My kid must have everything he wishes for, is one of the main reasons for a spoiled kid. Kids who always want more toys or stuff might forget to be thankful for what they already have. They might only feel happy for a short time when they get something new and want something else immediately.
Sometimes, kids want things because they see their friends having them or think they need them to be liked. This can make them keep wanting more and more things without thinking about what really matters.
Having lots of stuff can be fun, but when it becomes the most important thing, it might stop kids from learning about being grateful, understanding others, and feeling happy with what they have.
Absence of Consequences
When kids don’t face the consequences of their actions, it can lead to behaviours that might not be good for them in the long run. Consequences aren’t just punishments; they’re what help kids learn what’s right and wrong. When there are no consequences, kids might not understand that some things are not okay to do.
Without consequences, kids might not learn about being responsible or understanding how their actions can affect others. This can make it harder for them to make good choices when they’re older.
When kids are overprotected, they might not learn to do things on their own or solve problems by themselves. It’s like having training wheels on a bike forever; they won’t learn to ride without them.
Overprotection can make kids feel like they can’t handle challenges or new things. It might stop them from trying because they’re used to someone always stepping in to help.
Kids need to learn and grow by facing some challenges on their own. When they’re overprotected, they might not get the chance to build confidence and learn from their mistakes. It’s like trying to learn a game without ever playing it—you miss out on the fun and learning!
Lack of Emotional Connection
Some parents have a strange worry about holding and cuddling as a bad form of attention. Holding babies reminds them of the love you have for them.
In many cultures, parents hold and cuddle their babies as way to build a positive emotional connection. Remember, lots of holding does not spoil a child.
A child’s is able to feel that he can get his way usually begins at about 5 or 6 months of age. Most working parents feel guilty about not having enough time and attention for their kids. They spend their free time, spend undue money and let the kids dominate to avoid the issue that setting limits might cause.
Media can sometimes have a big impact on kids. Let’s break it down:
Imagine if you saw things on TV or online that made you want to act a certain way or have certain things – imagine the effects your young child’s mind is going to have. That’s what happens with media influence.
Sometimes, what kids see in movies, shows, or on the internet can make them want things or act in ways that might not be good for them. It’s like wanting a toy just because it looked fabulous in a commercial.
Media can show things that aren’t real or make everything seem perfect. This might make kids compare themselves or want things they don’t really need.
Spending too much time with the media can also stop kids from doing other fun things or spending time with friends and family. It’s essential for kids to find a balance and not let the media decide everything for them.
Can you toughen up a spoiled kid?
Absolutely, it’s possible to toughen up a spoiled child by introducing them to concepts like responsibility, accountability, and the value of hard work. It involves gradually shifting their mindset from entitlement to understanding the importance of earning rewards through effort.
Strategies such as assigning age-appropriate chores, setting boundaries, encouraging independence, teaching empathy, and allowing them to experience failure can help. It’s about instilling qualities like resilience, gratitude, and empathy to reshape their perspective and behaviours.
Now to the part about how to toughen up kids…
10 Proven Ways to Toughen Kids
Here we are, at the heart of the matter—the blueprint for toughening your little champions. Brace yourselves, parents, for we’re about to unveil 10 tried-and-true methods that’ll shape resilient, grateful souls.
1. Change your Parenting style:
You love your kid, but being mellow and giving in every time to your child’s wishes is like poisoning your child’s life and future. The first thing is you need to toughen up as a parent.
2. Set age-appropriate limits and rules for your child.
You are the parent. You have the right and the responsibility to take charge and make rules. That’s why setting limits and saying an occasional no is good for the children. You must bet on external control until they develop self-control and self-discipline in a safe environment.
If you think your child will think you’re a monster for saying no, you’re wrong. They will still love you and will thank you later in life because you taught them the power of no.
3. Define the areas where your child has a choice:
Use a firm but polite attitude towards the child to implement rules. Your child will learn to follow your advice and trust long before he starts school. What are such rules?
- Staying in the car seat,
- Restriction over hitting other children,
- Being ready to leave on time
- Going to bed timely
And so forth. Ensure these decisions are not open to negotiation. Do not give your child a choice when there is none.
On the other hand, develop your child’s decision-making power. Offer them the chance to decide about little things that matter most to them at this young age. You can ask their opinion on which cereal to eat, which book they’d like to read or choose their clothes for the day.
It is actually the parents’ attitude to ensure that the child understands the difference between choices and rules. You are to build your child’s personality, so it’s the prime time for your child to understand the real difference between right and wrong.
4. Don’t be Afraid Crying:
It’s normal for the kids to cry. You need to understand the difference between crying for needs or wishes.
Needs are relief from pain, hunger, and fear, requiring immediate response.
Other than these times, crying is harmless and a normal response to change or frustration. Your child may cry due to an ad during his favourite program!
Also, you, as a parent, must be utmost patient. Never punish your child for crying or call him names. You must take care of the child’s feelings but be firm not to give in to his crying.
5. Be Firm When Your Child Throws a Tantrum:
It’s common for kids to throw temper tantrums. They might stomp, shout, cry, or even hold their breath to make you say “yes.” It’s like a big show to get their way. However, as a parent and adult, you need to understand that if they’re not in danger and just making a scene, it’s okay to let them be. Ignoring the tantrum helps them learn that it won’t get them what they want. So, when the tantrum hits, staying calm and not giving in is the way to go!
6. Don’t overlook discipline during quality time.
Whether you are a working parent or a stay-at-home parent, it’s your responsibility to spend a part of your free time to be with your time. Play with them, listen to them, or engage in an activity you and your child enjoy. This is your kid’s time, but it doesn’t mean you should ease up on the rules. If your kid misbehaves in any way, remind him of the limits in a firm but polite manner.
7. No space to negotiate with young children.
Rules are in when your little one hits 2 or 3, but don’t go on and on about them because toddlers are rule breakers. They are so young they can’t understand the reasons or words. They get actions more than words. As soon as the kids get around 4 or 5, they start getting why rules matter, but they still need to make them.
Once the kids are in elementary school, chatting about rules becomes cool.
Further down the road, when your kids reach 14 or 16, negotiating with them feels like talking to a grown-up. You can ask for their ideas about what’s fair—that’s teamwork on rules!
But be aware too much fairness early on can make them super demanding. They’re kids and are not pros at handling power. They might go overboard if left alone. If your 3-year-old is acting way off, it might need fixing. If you’ve lost your say, it’s okay. It only means it’s time to set new rules and stick to them
8. Teach your child to cope with boredom.
Being a parent, your responsibility involves furnishing toys, books, and art materials, while your child’s role revolves around utilizing them. If you engage with your child frequently throughout the day, you do not have to be a constant companion in play. Similarly, you are not obligated to arrange for outside companionship consistently.
It’s reasonable to anticipate your child will entertain themselves during your busy moments. Even toddlers as young as one year old can engage themselves for short spans, around 15 minutes.
By age 3, most kids can occupy themselves for about half of their time. Encouraging your child to “find something to do” can be beneficial. Embracing boredom often leads to imaginative play, reflective thinking, and creative daydreaming. If you find stepping back as the primary organizer of activities challenging, contemplate enrolling your child in a playgroup or preschool.
9. Help Your Child Learn To Wait.
Teaching children how to wait is another way to help them to cope with frustration. It’s a skill necessary for navigating adult responsibilities. Stop feeling guilty if you don’t immediately pay attention to the child.
If there are moments when you need to ask your child to wait, like during personal conversations in person or on the phone, it’s okay. Occasional waits don’t harm a child as long as they’re not overly prolonged. In fact, they contribute to enhancing their emotional resilience.
10. Be the Role Model For Your Child.
And most important of all, raise your child to respect others around him. Avoid bad mouthing about your family when they are around. Be the example your child wants to follow when they grow up.
The Bottom Line:
Kids are the beauty of your life and the primary responsibility, too. Enjoy your time with them and help them become the best version that makes you proud. Hold yourself firm and instill the rule of compassion, respect and understanding in your next generation. Remember you parents are the ones who are going to make all the difference.