Children who are not spoiled show more gratitude.
When you give birth to your child, the love is often instantaneous and overwhelming! An innate desire to give the little lamb chop the sun, moon, stars and yes, even the entire universe if he asks for it is also uppermost in your mind. Every loving parent wants her children to have it better than she did, but you have to restrain yourself and remember what is best for the child. Giving your child everything he demands is sure to result in embarrassing temper tantrums, rudeness and a self-centered attitude. Often, these character traits last during not only the preschool years, but also all throughout his life.
1Commit to not raising a spoiled child by being consistent in your discipline. Think carefully about the rules you want to enforce in your home. Make sure that when you say “No,” that the little darling understands there is no room for compromise. This helps prevent the toddler from flinging herself on the floor of the toy store screaming, “Bad mommy, you have to get me the new doll!” Pick your squirming kiddo up off the floor calmly and carry her to the car until she calms down. Explain that you will go back in the store only when she promises to be a good little girl. If she dares to repeat this egregious behavior -- and often youngsters do -- drive home and punish her in a fair manner.
2Ask your child to make a choice between two options. Children as young as 24 months are quite capable of choosing between two types of cereal at the grocery store, two choices of vegetables at dinner, two puddings and other small decisions. Choices give youngsters a feeling of control and show them that you believe they are capable of making some decisions on their own. This is also a wise way to show them that they must suffer the consequences for their decisions. For instance, if your 4 year old starts crying at the ice cream parlor because everyone chose chocolate ice cream and he chose strawberry, ask him to eat it or do without.
3Speak to your child calmly and coolly no matter how many times she tries to call your bluff and wear you down. Moms are often exhausted after working all day, running errands, chauffeuring children to activities, cooking and cleaning. This makes them a weak target for an energetic and stubborn youngster. If you back down even once, it makes your job more difficult every time you try to instill boundaries in the future.
4Tell your child that you have his best interests in mind when he argues with the tenacity of the best trial lawyer. Show him clearly that you can be more stubborn than he can and that his wailings and temperamental fits only waste his energy and time. Explain that he could expend her energy doing something else enjoyable rather than fighting this lost cause.
5Shield your tyke only from consequences that will harm her, such as touching a hot iron. The experiences that she learns from best are often those where she reaps the consequences. For instance, if she refuses to open her mouth so that you can brush her teeth, tell her there will be no sweet treats or desserts the next day. The next morning, remind her that she is getting no treats and stick to this plan, no matter how much begging comes out of her cherubic little mouth.
6Buy your toddler or preschooler gifts when it is his birthday, Christmas or at special times when he deserves a reward. An example of a special occasion is when he participates in a daycare singing program he has dreaded for days. When he exhibits exceptional behavior or tries something new, you can reward him with a present, such as a toy, a new book or even a special outing, but don’t make this a habit. Too many rewards give him a sense of entitlement and soon he will expect a gift every time he behaves or follows the rules. Waiting for a special toy or treat he desires teaches him gratitude and patience.
- Remind yourself that you would have no qualms in saying “No” to your child if he were to try to eat poison. Even if he screamed bloody murder for hours, you would not give in because you love him. Tell yourself that the daily battles of restraining from spoiling your child are just as important. A youngster who exhibits self control, knows how to share, is patient and has gratitude is one who will very likely succeed in the world as an adult.