I once had a student who proudly declared that he is “spoiled”. By that he means that he gets his own way, gets what he wants and when he wants it. I calmly handed him a dictionary and asked him to look up the word “spoil” in it. One of the definitions stated that spoil means “to decay or lose freshness especially because of being kept too long” and he asked me what that meant. I explained to him that that definition means that like overripe fruit, a spoiled child stinks and/or can’t be of use anymore. I asked him if he is spoiled like that, “bulok” or rotten. He was shocked and said he doesn’t want to be that, “spoiled rotten”.
More often than not, parents (and grandparents too) relish the branding of their child(ren) as spoiled. “Hay naku, sobrang spoiled ang batang yan” is said with a proud smile.
Perhaps the statement somehow reassures them that they can afford to give their little ones the best that their money can buy: a roomful of toys, a play house in the backyard with two or three rechargeable cars parked near it, or a closet full of branded clothes worn only a few times or not at all because there are just so many clothes in there.
If you are so inclined to get your child the best, there is no problem with that. BUT if you give your child things she doesn’t really need, without regard for delayed gratification and cost which, most of the time you honestly can’t really afford, then there is something that seems to be a problem or would be in the years to come, as the child is growing up. Getting your child the latest in audio-technica microphones at guitar center or the newest building blocks box or the newest edition of her favorite toy character is not something we tend to think over getting because the child wants it NOW but if we stop and think for a while and ask yourself if the child truly needs it, would you still get it?
Perhaps it makes them feel better that they are able to provide for the child’s needs which are actually “wants” and believe me, that big doll the little girl spent five minutes crying for you to buy would be forgotten soon because next week, she will have her eye on a new toy.
Perhaps it takes off the guilt in not having the time to spend with the child because mom or dad or both are busy earning money to buy these things for the little princess/diva/divalette/emperor/prince child.
Perhaps it is so much easier, to over-indulge and to give in to the tears, the tantrums, the rolling-on-the-floor and the pouts than to explain why you are saying “No” to a child’s excessive demands.
Is it possible to unspoil a spoiled brat? It is, but this will depend on the determination of the parents to do so, amidst the mother of all tantrums that the child is expected to throw every time she realizes and knows that she can’t get her way this time.
These are a few behavioral patterns that over-indulged and “entitled” children exhibit plus some suggestions on how to deal with these situations:
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This entry was posted on Friday, January 31st, 2014 at 6:27 am and is filed under Challenge Yourself, Lessons in Life, My Thoughts, Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.