When it comes to parenting, the main focus for many is placed upon making sure that your child has more happiness and opportunity than you had during your own childhood years. While it’s certainly admirable to want to provide your child with everything she needs in order to be happy, healthy and to grow into a thriving, well-adjusted adult, it’s suprisingly easy to tip the scales in favor of spoiling your child without meaning to. On the surface, a bit of spoiling can seem harmless. After all, what’s the worst that can happen if you give your child the best? In all actuality, there are some very solid reasons for making sure that you don’t spoil your children and why you may actually be doing them a disservice.
Spoiled Children Are Often Entitled Children
Making sure that your child wants for nothing as she grows up may seem like the recipe for a perfect childhood, but that’s not actually the case. When your child has everything she wants delivered with no questions asked and is never forced to work hard in order to earn luxury items, she learns that she’s entitled to the best simply by virtue of existing. This sense of entitlement can become very problematic as she gets older, leaving her resentful of any situation that requires her to expend effort and utterly incapable of dealing with disappointment or rejection.
Spoiling a Child Will Leave Her Unprepared for Adulthood
As an adult, you know that nothing comes to you for free and that it’s necessary to work hard in order to obtain the things that you need to survive, let alone luxury items that you’d like to have. You understand that conflict resolution is an essential skill, that disappointments will come but that they must be faced and that you won’t always get the credit or rewards that you deserve. It’s normal and natural to want to protect your child from those lessons, but it will only leave her more bewildered and hurt when she eventually has to face them as an adult. Rather than spoiling your child with a shower of gifts, intervening to fight her every battle for her and demanding that she be rewarded for the slightest achievement, consider the impact that such behavior would have on her view of adulthood. Unless you’re willing to financially and emotionally support your child for the rest of your life, you’ll need to help her learn to navigate these very real aspects of adult life by allowing her to experience disappointment and helping her to work for the things that she wants.
Spoiling Your Child is Spoiling His Work Ethic
Because you know that adulthood isn’t easy, it’s tempting to shower your little one with gifts to make sure that he has a magical childhood to look back on when the going gets tough. The truth of the matter is that regardless of how harsh it may seem, childhood is a training ground for the tough work of being an adult. If the hottest and most expensive new toys are purchased at the slightest indication of desire, your child is never expected to do any chores and has no concept of the value of a dollar, how is he ever going to learn how to make a living when he gets older? There’s nothing wrong with purchasing the occasional gift or making a splurge purchase for a birthday or holiday, but you’ll still want to make sure that your child also works to earn money in order to save for things that he wants. Otherwise, he’ll have no work ethic as an adult and no understanding of why he should work hard as an adult.
A Spoiled Child is Less Likely to Respect Authority
Catering to your child’s every whim and refusing to act as an authority figure not only diminishes your own role as such in your home, but also makes it difficult for your child to respect any authority figures. After all, you’re the first and last word in authority over your child; if you don’t exercise any and make it very clear to your child that he’s entitled to any behavioral habits he likes, he’ll extend that teaching far beyond the walls of your home. What begins as a problem deferring to the authority of a teacher could easily become a refusal to respect that of an employer, making it difficult for your child to hold down a job or enjoy a successful career.
Your Child is Not a Status Symbol
Showering your child with the best of everything and making sure that she’s always dressed to the nines is not an effective method of spoiling her irreparably, but also of turning her into a status symbol. Proving to your neighbors and friends that you’re affluent and successful by turning your child into one not only spoils her, but also sends the message that her only value lies within her ability to be a great accessory. If keeping up with the Joneses is something that you simply must do, buy a few luxury cars rather than spoiling your child senselessly.