Stopping Spoiling Before It Starts

Most parents love their children and want them to have the best of everything, but when does this desire turn into spoiling a child? Sometimes it’s harder to tell than you might think. If you suspect your child is spoiled, know how to tell and what to do about it.

Lack of Gratitude

At any age, spoiled children are ungrateful for what they have. This could be the preschooler who demands a new toy every time you go out or the teenager who says, “Our house is a dump” when in actuality you have nice property. Set an example for your kids. Say “thank you” often to family and the people you meet in public. Donate possessions and volunteer your time at charitable organizations. Ask little ones to tell you one thing they’re grateful for each day.

No Responsibilities

Spoiled children don’t have responsibilities, and nothing is expected of them. If your child isn’t expected to pull his or her weight now, he or she will struggle in the real world. Give your kids reasonable, age-appropriate chores. If desired, tie allowance or privileges to chore completion.

Rudeness and Bossiness

Some kids are naturally headstrong, but a spoiled child wants to control everyone and everything around him or her. Do your children demand you do everything for them? Are decisions such as what activity to do on family night always in their hands? If yes, you’ve got spoiled kids. Set clear boundaries and stress the fact that your child can’t and shouldn’t always be first.


Little kids throw tantrums because that’s where they are developmentally. They don’t yet have the words to express their emotions. However, if your child throws tantrums all the time over everything, he or she is spoiled. Make it clear that you won’t tolerate it. For example, say, “We’re going to the store for groceries, and we aren’t buying treats. If you throw a tantrum, you will lose X privilege.” Always follow through.

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