Having a hard time saying no to your child? Chances are your kid may be spoiled. Spoiled children are not a new phenomenon and by no means rare. Who wouldn’t find it hard to say no to an adorable min-version of yourself? It can be difficult to learn to discipline your child, especially if it’s your first crack at parenthood. There are steps you can take to unlearn the negative practices and help your child become more mannerable, grateful and happy. Check out these 6 ways to avoid spoiling your kid.
Set boundaries early and stick to them
The easiest way to avoid your child becoming spoiled rotten is to set limitations and rules early on. If you give in too easy in the beginning, it will be harder to get your child to unlearn what they already feel is normal. If you set rules early— such as chores before screen time, or saying please and thank you— this become their normal and will save you a lot of trouble as they get older.
Build their work ethic
If you still want to give your kid the world, but avoid spoiling them, make them work for the things they want. Develop an incentive/reward system with them, to help them develop an understanding of the concept of work ethic, which will serve them well for the rest of their life. This will in turn give them positive reinforcement for good behavior, instead of negative reinforcement.
Teach them the value of a dollar
Ungrateful children lack the understanding of value and sacrifice. Find creative ways to teach your child about the value of money and the cost of things they want. This will further reinforce that they must earn things in life, instead of feeling entitled and selfish. This can be through encouraging them to test out entrepreneurship (the trusty lemonade stand, for example), or teaching them to save their allowance for wanted toys or games.
Accept that you won’t always be liked
There is a fine line parents must walk with their kids, between having fun and establishing discipline. There will be times when your child will throw tantrums, sulk, and generally not be on your team. This is when you must be comfortable in the role of disciplinarian. You have to care more about giving your child what he or she needs, as opposed to always being their friend. Discipline will help them learn the values of respect, integrity and loyalty, even with its feels hard or doesn’t come easy.
Teach them to help others
Helping others will broaden your child’s mind and perspective, and realize that other people have needs and wants as well. Try having your kid volunteer to help the elderly or working in a soup kitchen for the homeless. Seeing that there are other people who are less fortunate can make them realize what they have and be that much more appreciative. Creating a heart of giving in your child will hone their selflessness, and help them to enjoy making a difference in the world.
Lead by example in your behavior
If you are always enraged while communicating with your child, they will likely learn to communicate back in extreme, aggressive behavior. A child’s behavior mirrors the parent, so you must maintain calm, but stern communication with your child, no matter how angry they make you.