As parents, we like to see our little ones happy and want them to have it all. However, giving them too much attention can do more harm than good. It is essential to set some boundaries, as satisfying their every demand could make them stubborn and spoiled.
“Spoiled child” is a term used to refer to a youngster who is self-centered, aggressive, disobedient, and disrespectful and shows immature behavior, often as a result of receiving too much attention from their parents or adults or a failure of parents to enforce age-appropriate rules and limits (1) (2).
If you do not stop their misbehavior soon, it might become extremely difficult for you to control them. Read this post as we tell you the possible reasons why children get spoiled and give you a few tips to manage a spoiled child.
Why Do Children Get Spoiled?
Several reasons could contribute to a child’s spoiled behavior. The following are a few common ones (2) (3).
- Fulfilling every need of the child and failing to impose steady and age-appropriate limits
- Giving children too much attention and care
- Living in a home environment where there is little interaction between family members
- Being the only child in the family, as they generally tend to be overprotected by parents
- Bailing them out continuously
- Offering them rewards and lavish praise too often
- Lack of discipline at home
Signs Of A Spoiled Child
Spoiled children tend to lack patience and are usually self-centered. They often use manipulative approaches to get what they want. This behavior can put them into trouble in social settings, and you must take steps if you notice any of the signs mentioned below.
Here are a few signs that may indicate your child is spoiled or over-pampered (3) (4).
1. They refuse and ignore you: It is annoying when a child consistently does something opposite of what is asked of them. When they are asked to follow routines, they give excuses. They repeatedly refuse to eat, share their belongings, or sleep on time. They also avoid listening to you and do what they like.
2. They respond in an enraged way or throw tantrums: A spoiled child is often aggressive. They can create a risk for themselves and the people around them. They react in frustration when their needs aren’t met and refuse everything that is said. As they are unable to understand and process their emotions, they often show furious behavior such as screaming, crying, hitting, and biting.
3. They develop a superiority complex: Some spoiled children tend to develop a superiority complex over others and feel that they deserve only the best. This behavior can aggravate if you over-appreciate them.
4. They are never satisfied: You give them a cookie or a toy, and they want more. You let them have a night out with friends, and they want it often. They are never grateful for what they have and expect you to do more.
5. They do not respect people: For a spoiled child, everyone is meant to serve them. They do not respect their teachers, friends, and people in the community. They also fail to empathize with others and are often demanding.
6. They demand things and compare themselves to others: A child with a demanding nature is difficult to manage. When their demands are not fulfilled, they might burst out and create havoc. You might see them comparing themselves to others, which could make them conceal their needs or feelings and lead to low self-confidence.
Possible Effects Of Getting Spoiled As A Kid
Children who show self-centered and immature behavior since childhood might find it difficult to manage things around them when they grow older. They may experience the following effects.
- They might experience dissatisfaction and irritation when their requirements are not met and might even take the wrong path to fulfill such needs.
- They might turn out to be attention seekers and might want people around them to appreciate them.
- Because of their intolerant behavior, they may pick up unnecessary fights if someone disagrees with them.
- Due to their irresponsible, disobedient, and disrespectful behavior, parents might often feel embarrassed in the community.
- They can create a disturbing atmosphere at home with their obstinate behavior, which can often lessen the interaction between family members.
- They may find it hard to adjust and co-operate with people around them.
- They might have difficulty in making and sharing connections and maintaining friendships.
15 Ways To Deal With Spoiled Children
Dealing with a stubborn and spoiled child can be frustrating, but learning a few ways to deal with their behavior is vital.
1. Use distractions
Instead of showing aggression on your child’s inappropriate behavior, keep calm and distract them with other things around them. For instance, find an alternative activity for your child to do or give them something that will keep them occupied.
2. Do not argue
Arguing with children will only make the situation worse. Instead, talk to them calmly and respectfully, or ignore them for a while and get back to them when they are calm and ready to talk.
3. Establish a parent-child bond
Children who have a healthy connection with their parents share their problems and feel free to have conversations. Try to nurture the bond between you through simple activities at home. When they feel free to share their emotions and feelings with you, they will be emotionally strong to tackle every situation.
4. Set a routine
Sit with your child and create a routine and a few rules that every family member must follow. Be an example and show them how life becomes easier when everyone does their share of things. Creating such a routine will also make them disciplined.
5. Maintain peace at home
Try to maintain peace and create a happy environment at home. Your child will tend to behave better when they see everyone in the family happy and at peace with each other.
6. Make them aware of the consequences
If you tolerate your child’s behavior and neglect it by saying that they are too young to understand, you might be inviting trouble in later life. Make them realize that misbehavior will have consequences and ensure the consequences are realized.
7. Praise good behavior
It is important to appreciate them when they show good behavior. This will encourage them to display good behavior. Whether they help you with chores or share their toys with friends, appreciate and encourage their effort. Encouraging such behavior will help them develop confidence and build their interest in doing it often. However, ensure you do not praise them excessively, as it could lead to a feeling of entitlement.
10. Teach them teamwork.
Spend time with children and make them understand the need to learn how to share, give, and take things. Learning teamwork since childhood will help them have patience, show empathy towards others, and build trust.
11. Let them face disappointment
If things don’t go the way they had planned, the child might face some disappointment; but make sure that disappointment doesn’t turn into violent actions. Let them understand that things do not always go the way we plan, and it is okay to feel disappointment at times.
12. Test their patience
If your child is waiting for you to get something they have been longing for, make them wait a little longer to check their patience level. Talk to them politely and let them learn that this skill will help them build a strong character.
13. Make them aware of life’s challenges
Fearing failure, some children do not get involved in certain activities. Motivate them and let them know that challenges are a part of life and facing challenges will make them stronger. Encourage them if they fail initially and let them know participation is greater than winning.
14. Correct their manners.
Do not develop a habit of admiring your child every minute. Be supportive of what they do, but if they display some incorrect behavior, tell them when to stop and also make them understand that the behavior might affect their relationship with people around them. Correct them when they do something wrong or cheat while playing.
15. Teach them to save money
Make your child understand the difference between needs and wants in life. Talking to your child about money will make them understand about savings, goals, and responsible spending. For example, if you provide your children allowances, teach them to write down their expenses each day. This way, they will know the importance of saving money and control their unnecessary desires.
Teaching your child to maintain a balance and indulge in age-appropriate activities is crucial. Also, it takes patience and constant effort to make your spoiled child learn to know the repercussions of their actions. Rather than ignoring the issue that is driving them to misbehave, try to identify it and address it. Be aware of your child’s areas of strength and work on them together.