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Are you raising a spoiled child?

by on 26/12/2013 9579

I subscribe to the belief that no child is born spoiled. Being a brat is a learned behavior. A behavior often fostered and reinforced by parents whether they realize it or not. All kids have the potential to behave in a bratty manner. They would seek to push boundaries and that is how they learn. They should not be penalized for demonstrating “initiative”. However, as parents, it is your job to teach them acceptable and not-acceptable behavior.

How do you tell if you are raising a spoiled child?

  • Each time your child wants something they will start to cry and yell.
  • Your child will slam his or her body on the floor and refuse to get up until they are given what they want.
  • Prone to throwing tantrums and sulk each time you deny them something, even when it is beyond your control. For example, you promise to take him or her to the playground and it starts raining. They will throw a tantrum regardless of how much you try to explain to them.
  • He or she hits you, when you are trying to punish them, sometimes even kicking you when you are taking them to sit in the corner, or trying to put them in their room.
  • When you ask them a question they blatantly ignore you and pretend not to hear.
  • Their behavior is always rude even to other adults and their peers. An example, when someone gives them something they do not bother to say “thank you” or when they want something they do not say “please”.
  • They snatch toys and refuse to share with other children.
  • They have a constant need to be “the best” to show off their possessions to other and will often put other kids down by saying things like “My house is bigger than yours, or my party was the best”.
  • Your child always seem to want what other children have, if they have a Nintendo Wii and they see another child having a Playstation, they would grumble and complain daily for you to get one for them too. But once they have the Playstation they want something else.
  • They don’t want to help out with the chores at home. Leaves all their toys for you to pick up.
  • Bedtime is always a struggle and battle. They will use all methods to stay awake and usually you end up giving in to them. 

How to Handle Bratty Behavior?

Here are some tips to help you deal with your spoiled child: 

  1. Gratitude. Often when a child acts bratty it is because they feel a sense of entitlement. They feel that things should automatically be given to them; they never learned a sense of gratitude, to be appreciative of what they have. As a parent it is your job to teach them and help them develop gratitude. It is important to be thankful for the things you have and a child that has been thought gratitude is less likely to throw tantrums and constantly demand material things.
  2. Learn to say “No”. Your child does not always need to have the latest gadgets or toys. As a parent, learn to say “No” when they ask for something and stick to your decision. If you want you can make them earn it. That way your child will learn that they do not always get everything that they ask for. They will learn to appreciate what they have more.
  3. Teach your child the importance of empathy. Giving to others, helping others. Encourage them to do charity work and volunteer.
  4. Your time with them is very important so do spend quality time with your child, often a spoiled child acts spoiled because that is the only way he or she can get attention.
  5. No room for disrespectful and rude behavior. Teach them that rudeness is not tolerated regardless of how young they are. Make sure you set clear rules and guidelines for punishment so your child understands.

Remember, if your child is bratty and spoiled it often starts with you. Pay attention to your own behavior, it is important to model to them appropriate behavior as well as teach them. 


About the Author

Kopi Soh has a MA in Psychology, Specializing in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Her area of specialty is in working with children, adolescents, couples and families. She is also an artist and has published two self-help best sellers distributed by MPH, available in all bookstores throughout Malaysia.