If spoiling turns children into demanding and unpleasant kids, why do parents spoil their kids? A number of indulgent parents are actually unaware that their actions are having a negative effect on their child’s character, and other parents are under the impression that the more material items kids are given they happier they will be. Parents who themselves were spoilt usually do not know any better and they believe that being an indulgent parent is the only way to go.
On the other hand, parents who were brought up to follow a strict set of rules and who were forced to obey the rigid rules (without question) want more for their own kids, but they can’t seem to find a happy medium and instead go to the extreme. There are parents who spoil out of guilt. When parents feel that they have failed their children in some way, either they have divorced, or they work long hours, they believe that if they give into their child’s whims and demands, they are making up for their perceived failures, and being better parents.
Other parents are also just not up to being parents. They don’t want to deny their children anything and in a bid to keep the peace, they will rather give in. When parents are too involved in their own lives, children are seen as hindrances and to get them -out of their hair’ kids are bought the latest toys and gadgets, given unnecessary gifts. However, even the sparkle of the latest cell phone or toy wears off and a child will crave the attention of their parents, and the cycle continues.
Parents do it out of love
Indulgent parents have noble intentions and the majority of parents spoil out of love. They don’t want their children to feel let down or left out. They want to create a sugar-coated world for their kids, where they are spared from any emotional hardship or stress. But by sugar-coating the world and protecting them from the reality of life, they are actually setting their kids to face more hardships and difficulties, as their child’s superior attitude and haughty personality won’t be accepted or tolerated by others.
Parents today are faced with so many more external influences than ever before. The media shows kids who are mini-adults. Movies portray children as being arrogant and disrespectful and parents and kids are constantly bombarded with the latest cell phones, gaming consoles, toys and gadgets, all of which promise to make their kids happy. Not only are many kids mimicking actions of celebrities, but parents are working longer hours and they are spending less time together as a family. Due to the fact that parents feel guilty, they hope that by buying what cool kids want and need, they’re being good and loving parents.
Compounding the problem is that parents no longer seem want to want the label of -the parent’. In past generations, children and adults were not on par with each other. Parents were respected and parents were not looking to make fans out of their kids. Our grandparents were not too concerned if their kids did to like them, but today as parents we want to be accepted by our children and instead of fostering a relationship that is centred on mutual respect, we spend money on trying to buy the love of our kids.
There is no doubt about it, being a parent today is challenging but if we want to raise children who are well-adjusted, respectful and responsible, the parents of 2011 need to reclaim their role and set appropriate boundaries. They need to realise that even though children appear to love and want the latest Playstation game, the new BlackBerry or the most expensive toy in the shop – what they actually need is their parent’s undivided love and attention. Above all they are looking to their parents for guidance and this is one demand that indulgent parents cannot meet.
Avoiding the trap
- Don’t spoil because you are feeling guilty. Rather than showering your child with material possessions, spend your time on your child. A child will value a single afternoon with you, far more than they will value another store-bought toy or game.
- You are the parent. No matter what you do, there will come a time when your kids won’t like you. Luckily the feeling is short-lived. Roll with the punches, and remember you need to raise your child in such a way that they will become a responsible and respected adult. Your child does not need a friend, they do however, need a parent!
- Envy is a deadly sin. When your friend’s kids receive huge gifts or massive rewards- don’t feel that you are any less of a parent because you cannot provide the same size gifts to your child. Material possessions are poor substitutes for love and attention.
- Don’t be pressurised. In the heat of the moment when you are pushing a pram and trying to care for a five-year old – a child will try to get the better of you. Don’t buy toys or sweets under pressure. If a child has spotted something they want, ask yourself does the child deserve the treat?
- Stick to your guns. No matter how hard kid’s stamp their feet – stick to your guns. Giving into a child’s demand will show children that you are a pushover. If your decision has been made, stick with it.
- Don’t see your kids as a project that should be handled. Choose to spend quality time with your kids and find out what they really want? -Kids spell love T-I-M-E. – John Crudele. Time is a precious commodity and when you invest your time in your kids, returns are great and long-lasting.
- Kids must be taught that disappointment is par for the course. We don’t always get our own way and the reality of the situation is that life is not fair! When parents create a world that is free of hardships and disappointments, they are omitting to teach their kids this valuable lesson