Unspoiling Your Child

Daughter being told off by her mother

As parents, we want our children to be happy and healthy. We want our kids to have a good life and maybe a better one than we did. Unfortunately, even with good intentions we can sometimes end up spoiling our child. If that happens, as long as you recognize it, there are ways you can “unspoil” your child.

First you want to identify any patterns. Do you give in when your child whines for a new toy? Or maybe you give a treat to keep them quiet or behaving. Make some rules, or if you have rules, you must stick to them. If you whine for dessert during dinner? Guess what, no dessert all week!


If you tell your kids they can’t have something, don’t let it turn into twenty questions. The child may ask “Why not?”, but you are not obligated to give them any answer. You are the parent, so stop explaining yourself. Your kids will start learning to accept your decisions.

Your child may also throw the “everyone else has one/is doing it” line. Make sure you do listen to your child, since he/she may be just trying to fit in. If it is something you can’t afford, it may be a good time to discuss money and budgets. If it something that seems reasonable, come up with a way for the child to get it in the future. Think about having them put on their birthday or holiday wish list, or doing chores to earn some extra cash so they can help pay for it.

spoiled

MORAL OF THE STORY: In today’s world everybody expects to get things right away, and with little effort. You will be doing your child a big service by making them wait, or earning things. If you start doing this after allowing other behavior, there may be some tantrums or meltdowns, but things will get better. Your children will thank you someday, especially when they have kids of their own!

Images via Getty Images

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24 comments

  1. This is a great post. It can be hard not to spoil your kids. We tried to teach out son that no means no. He didn’t like it at first, but he finally accepted it.

  2. It can definitely be hard not to spoil your child, especially if you have spoiled them in the past. It’s helpful to figure out why and when you give in!

  3. These are some great points. It’s easy to confuse spoiling with giving them the attention and care that they need. You really do have to set boundaries for yourself.

  4. My son was not spoiled at all, he was had a bad tantrums before when he was 3 year old but he was not spoiled, but this is really great advice, I’ve a lot of mom friends, this is they’re number one problem, I’d like to spread this for them.

  5. I found it was really hard not spoiling my kids while they were growing up. It’s difficult to say no when you want to give them everything in the world, but I agree with your tips they are definitely helpful.

  6. I am not yet a parent, don’t have a kid either but I strongly believe in not spoiling one’s kids. Spoiling children can be cute, makes their lives easier, but it has its drawbacks once they grow up. I think even at a young age, kids need to be taught about the reality that we need to work for stuff that we want. It’s for their own good.

  7. My son definitely has tendencies to show his spoiled ways. We’ve gotten better over the past month – he’s not whining and asking for every toy under the sun, nearly as often as he was a few weeks ago!

  8. It seems so easy to spoil kids today. So much is instant gratification. But as a parent with an only child, it’s so hard to say no – our justification is that we are only having one:)

  9. We are pretty tough parents but it can be hard sometimes. It would be so much easier to cave to their demands especially when the “so and so gets to do it” phrase comes out. Good tips to keep in mind to help me keep on track, I know it will all be worth it in the end!

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