Spoilt children

Why we need to stop spoiling our children

 The topic of ‘spoiling children’ is a ‘hot potato’ and the most difficult topic to discuss with a parent that is spoiling their child. So what counts as spoiling, and what are the consequences?

 A spoilt child will likely exhibit excessive, self-centered, and immature behaviour  inability to handle the delay of gratification demands for having one's own way, becoming obstructive and manipulative.

 Children can be ‘spoilt’ by having poor role models as parents. Parents that exhibit behaviours that lead the child into certain ways of thinking, or behaviours that are selfish and narcissistic, will result in poor consequence for them as adults.

This might well be the excess of material gifts or privileges, even when the child behaves in a poor manner. This includes failure to enforce reasonable behavior or putting in place boundaries.  Failing to encourage the child to consider the effect of his behaviour on others.

Spoiling a child tends to create undesirable characteristic in a child that can persist and become fixed in later life. This can result in significant social problems. Spoiled children may have difficulty coping with situations such as responding to discipline at school. It can result in poor social skills ending up with few friends. Behaviors like refusing to allow friends to play with their toys and insisting on being ‘all powerful’   (a position they have been granted by a parent or parents) results in friends eventually refusing play dates with them.  This can further extend to a loss in friends, failure in employment, and failure with personal relationships.


Children do not really understand or grasp morality and their own place in the world until around six or seven. In the early years parents are their world …and to grow and develop successfully they need to develop a concept of the rules and expectation of the world they will enter into as teenagers into adulthood.

 Boundaries should be fair and firm in early years to allow the child to recognise that they are not the Centre of the universe. This can be done in a loving caring consistent way, without the tough regimes we have heard about in the past. The saying ‘spare the road, spare the child’ have a smidgen of truth in them, although we never need to use violence to bring up a decent human being. I would go as far to say that hitting a child just shows lack of self-control and teaches them to use violence to get what they want. Hardly a good moral lesson. However, if we spare the child the lessons of self-control, sharing, patience, respect, and to accept the word NO, then we have possibly failed to sufficiently parent. Surely it is down to  us the parents, to help develop our child into a decent, warm and caring individual.


Copyright jslater 2013