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Signs of a Spoiled Child has an excellent article discussing spoiling children and signs of a spoiled child. This includes having a child who has separate meals every day from the rest of the family because of demand, not necessity; a child past the toddler age who still throws fits of tantrums whenever they don’t get what they want, and extreme dependence on parents.

I agree with the article though, babies younger than 1 yr. old really can’t be spoiled as they have yet to learn how to manipulate other people. For me, I have other surefire ways to spoil a child:

  • Not being given consequences for unacceptable behaviors such as tantrums. Corrective actions: set the ground rules for the household and take away privileges when they are broken. Praise and give rewards for extra “good” behavior.
  • Not having any type responsibilities to help the household. And if they finally help out, it’s always “what’s in it for me?”. Corrective actions: emphasize group work, and how it makes the home run smoothly, and express appreciation for a chore well-done.
  • Demanding to be dressed in brand name clothes all the time; demanding the latest electronic game system or toy. Corrective actions: teach your child early on the value of hard work and frugality, and practicality. Leave big-ticket item presents for birthdays or special holidays. Give them an allowance and encourage them to save up for expensive items not in the budget.

Nobody likes to think they’ve raised spoiled children. Sometimes, we want so much for them to have a life we never had that we overcompensate and overindulge. There’s nothing cute about giving in to every whim. A child who can appreciate the small things in life early on, and who are taught that to value relationship is above everything, comes out ahead later in life.

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