How to Spoil Your Kids


While it may seem like a “nice” thing to do to “let kids be kids”, spoiling your kids does not make their life easier – or yours.  And, in the long run, you are not giving them the foundation they need to succeed as an adult.

In today’s Family Minute, I talked about two of the five ways to spoil your kids. Here is the complete list:

1. You Do Everything for Them.

As your children grow up, they should become increasingly self-sufficient.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way, especially if they’re used to you doing everything for them.  Little-by-little, start to reinforce your child’s self-sufficiency by limiting the things you do for them.  Teach them how to do those things and increase their responsibilities around the house.  If they don’t want to comply, limit the time they spend on the computer or watching TV.  “He who does not work, does not eat” is a good rule to live by as a family.  For example, sometimes it’s just easier to clean up your children’s messes rather than instructing them how to do it for themselves.  Don’t do it!  Instead, teach them how to clean up their toys, etc.; but, take it one task at time so they don’t become overwhelmed.  Do let them know there will be consequences if they do not follow-through.

2. You Let Them Boss You Around and Talk Disrespectfully to You.

Spoiled kids can be master manipulators.  They use words to induce guilt and to control their parents.  As soon as this begins to happen, make sure you put your foot down.  Being a kid does not excuse rudeness, disrespect, or careless actions either.  Age does, at times, go hand-in-hand with certain actions, especially when dealing with developmental behavior, such as crawling and toddlers; however, age should never be a blanket excuse for patterns of disrespect or disobedience. You have to let your child know what role you play.  As the parent, you must take charge.

3. Give Them Everything They Want.

Limits are absolutely necessary for everyone.  Your children may not like them, but they are in their best interest.  Parents must work as a team to draw limits for their children.  These limits should include what they wear, the movies they watch, the video games they play, the food they eat, the music they listen to, and even the friends they should and should not have.  As your children get older, the limits can be extended in certain areas; but until then, parents must enforce the limits or else they merely become suggestions.

4. Let Them Drop out Instead of Sticking it out.

When your child asks to quit an activity or sport, make sure you know their motive.  Perhaps there is a good reason for the decision, but if the child simply doesn’t “feel” like putting forth the effort, they should not be allowed to quit.  Many studies show that such extracurricular activities help children learn valuable lessons or skills, and can also help them academically.

5. Don’t Follow Through on Discipline.

When you ease off agreed-upon discipline, or scrap it altogether, you are communicating to your child that your words don’t mean much.  So, when you tell your child, “If you don’t stop that right now, you’ll go to your room”, follow through.  If you are not consistent, your words will become meaningless – and your child will know.

Which of these five areas is most difficult for you? Please share with me below.

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