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Here are 5 tips you can use to avoid raising spoiled kids.
- Don’t make everything about them
- Don’t assume your past trauma is the same as their own
- Have a balance between reacting on knowledge and reacting based on emotions
- Follow the three rules always ‘’Respects others, Respect ourselves and Respect our environment.’’
- Get the full pictures and ask someone else opinion
- It’s okay to give out consequences.
As a teacher I have years of experience with many different types of children. I hate to say the word spoilt. I always give excuses. If your child has not hit the teenage years yet then I can give you some advice on how to stop the mistakes you might make!
Don’t assume your past trauma is their own
To be honest, we always want to avoid our children from the trauma we had as a child. This leads you to make the mistake of assuming your child is in the same circumstances you were as a child. For example; if you were always bullied in school, you might assume the same for them. You build anxiety if your child has any conflict in school and begin to see every situation as a bullying incident. You may have had the trauma of never being heard so you jump to defend your child in situations that are not necessary. In some situations, this can lead to spoiling a child. Have you ever heard of people saying ‘’I never had any toys as a child so I buy every single thing my child wants.’’? These decisions now can lead your child to have arrogant, manipulative and entitled characteristics if your decisions are not balanced. Trust me. I’ve seen it in manifestation! Spoilt children are not the children who scream down the shopping aisle, they are children who have no regard for others simply because they value themselves over others.
How do you avoid this? The first thing I would advise is to reflect on your own traumas and past experiences, try to understand them and get a second opinion on your hesitation. This would be by a level-headed person. I have recently purchased a book called: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents. This book has given me a beautiful insight into how the upbringing of my own parents has affected me in the long run and is an amazing journey on healing your own childhood traumas. This is key to avoiding the same mistakes your parents made with you and avoiding negative hereditary patterns.
Don’t make everything about them
Although it may be sad to admit, the world doesn’t revolve around anyone.
- If you’re waiting in line but your child really wants to be first – teach them to wait till it’s their turn.
- If there are treats being handed out to everyone do not push others and try to make sure your child gets it first – teach them others have needs too.
- If you manage to obtain a seat on the train or bus but see an old lady struggling to stand – teach your child to get up.
- If you’re struggling to complete a task – teach your child to help you out with it.
- If they speak rudely to an adult – talk to them about expressing themselves appropriately
This may seem shocking to you because you may feel as though you’re just expressing love and care. No. It teaches your child entitlement. How do I know? Here’s the case – I used to be a spoilt child. When I lived in Africa we had masses of wealth and fortune, we were high-standing members of society and both at home, by my housemaids and at school, I was taught that I was better than everyone else due to my social class. It never felt right with me but if I was mean and unsympathetic, I gave a simple explanation for my behaviour ‘’I was better than them.’’ Thankfully it only lasted about 2 years before my family members put me back in my place. I’m so glad! I remember visualizing it from a child’s perspective, although deep down inside I felt it was wrong. I wanted to ensure that I stayed with the status quo and ‘’fitted in’’. Modelling healthy behaviours to your children teaches them to respect others. It didn’t mean I always put myself last. It taught me that there was a balance of needs for myself and others.
Have a balance between reacting on knowledge and reacting based on emotions
Are you perfect? No? Then why do we expect the little children who haven’t even lived half your life span to be? Children make mistakes and we have to allow children to be aware of this.
The school of life has a beautiful explanation of this:
Teach children they are perfectly imperfect and that mistakes don’t define them. Teach them to face mistakes head-on! Here is a discount on books that help explore the emotional well-being of children so you can also help find that balance. If you are looking for books that focus on emotional wellbeing you can get a 20% discount by clicking here.
Follow the three rules always ‘’Respects others, Respect yourself and Respect the environment.’’
The three rules are simple
Respect others: Try not say or do actions that may hurt others
Respect yourself: Try not to say or do actions that may hurt yourself and when you make a mistake it’s okay to work on it. You are perfectly imperfect.
Respect the environment: Try not to say or do actions that may damage animals, plant life or belongings.
These three rules can be used to put boundaries on behaviour. For example; if your child says ‘’I’m so stupid and can’t do anything.’’ remind them of the rule respect yourself. Ask them to rephrase what they have said in a way to be kind to themselves.
Here are some scenarios:
A child comes in with muddy shoes onto your clean carpet- Respect the environment
A child is fighting with their sibling or using rude words – Respect others.
These are strategies on how to deal with these behaviours these can be your basis of rules for drawing the boundaries. Remember, this is only purposefully breaking the rules. This is when a child is fully aware of the actions they have made. If they break these rules being unaware of their consequences you can simply remind them.
Get the full picture and ask someone else opinion
If you are seriously emotionally affected by an event around your child and it is not a dangerous situation then don’t react based on your first emotion. Take time to contemplate the situation or get a second opinion from your spouse or close and reliable family member.
Ask yourself these questions:
Is it as bad as I think it is?
Will this leave a long lasting effect on my child?
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
What choices can I make to help with the best emotional outcome for my child?
How do I model to my child on handling these situations?
You won’t get it right all the time! Trust me! However, take your time.
It’s okay to give out consequences for actions
You may gasp when I refer to consequences as many assume corporal punishment such as hitting. However, there are many positive parenting strategies to help teach your child the consequences of their actions and enable them to make the right choices! Without feeling guilty. If you want more positive parenting strategies have a look at my blog post How to get kids to listen (The calm way) – How to Teach My Child. My favourite video breaks it down is from a Montessori school and she has excellent mindful parenting strategies that support parents! You can listen to this as you busy yourself with the chores of life.
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