Announcements / Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Parenting is as individual as a fingerprint, but when it comes to spoiling children, the effects seem pretty consistent across the board. From buying your children anything they want, to settling the longstanding question, “Can you spoil a baby?”, we’ve scoured the web to share 7 signs you’re spoiling your kids.

  1. You apologize for disappointments.“I’m sorry” has its place in family life, for example, when you lose your temper or accidentally throw away your child’s precious artwork. But there’s no need to be remorseful about not being able to buy her pricey boots that aren’t in your budget or putting off a trip to the park because you have to cook dinner. It’s beneficial to empathize with her disappointment, since doing so shows that you respect her feelings. Just don’t harp on what caused it (“I know you’re sad that we can’t visit the playground, but we don’t have time today; we’ll go another time”). “Helping a child accept that she won’t get everything she wants is an important life lesson,” notes Karen Ruskin, Psy.D., a family therapist in Sharon, Massachusetts. (That said, if you promised her a playground visit and can no longer swing it, you should express regret for the change of plans.) If your 6-year-old remains determined to get those Uggs, say something like, “Yes, those are awesome boots. What do you think about teaming up on this one? Here’s what I’m willing to pay toward them; you can save for the rest.” This gives her some control over the decision and lets her know that she needs to earn special things rather than simply be given them. Via parents.com
  2. Your child cries instantly when he doesn’t get his way. Does the word “no” send your child into tears? If you answered yes and your child is of a certain age, it’s a bad sign, but the most telling sign of all is if you give in to your child (or not). If you don’t, good for you, Mama! The tears are simply a test to see if you’ll cave. If you do give in, it’s time to brace yourself for some serious parenting changes. Life won’t give your kid sunshine if he or she cries all the time, and we all know that! Via popsugar.com
  3. Your child doesn’t have to work for what she wants. Many experts believe that kids become spoiled when things come too easily, encouraging them to take those things for granted. If your child wants a new toy, set up a reward system for good behavior and let him earn it bit by bit. You don’t do your child any favors by being a softy. Studies show that being strict on chores and responsibilities helps him develop the ability to cope with frustration. Even your toddler can do simple chores around the house, like putting away his playthings or helping you clean up messes he makes. Via babycenter.com
  4. You compensate your child for every accomplishment. My son Daniel is far from the best soccer player on his team. He enjoys the camaraderie and postgame snack as much as the games. So when he assisted on a goal last season, I almost bought him something special to mark the occasion. I’m glad I didn’t make that mistake. He got ample payoff from reading about the “great goal-winning pass by Daniel in the second quarter” in the coach’s weekly e-mail of game highlights. “A child who receives compensation for every little accomplishment will start to lose his natural drive to excel at things,” says McCready. By contrast, specific praise (“You’ve worked hard on your passing, and it paid off in today’s match”) will stick with your child a lot longer and boost his motivation. That said, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging your child’s achievement, whether it’s for a great effort in building a block tower or a positive report card. As long as you label your treat a celebration rather than a reward, letting him pick his favorite place for dinner or enjoy an ice-cream sundae with his buddies won’t spoil him. Promise. Via parents.com
  5. You give your kids empty threats. If you say ‘no’ you must mean it. Don’t issue empty threats. Child psychologist and author of the ‘Golden Rules of Parenting’, Dorothy Einon, says: “If you have a history of giving power to your children it’s going to be hard. There’s no point in threatening your child if you don’t mean to carry it through. You can’t say ‘don’t do that or you’ll get no Christmas presents’, as your child will know that’s not going to happen. “If your child nags you in the supermarket – and one in three times you’ll give in to their demands – your child will act like a professional gambler and keep on doing it,” says Jennifer. She warns that you have to be consistent and be prepared for nagging and full blown tantrums when you don’t give in. It’s no good saying ‘this is the last time’ when your kids know you may back down. Via webmd.boots.com
  6. You 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 extracurricular activities help children learn valuable lessons or skills and can also help them academically. Via imom.com
  7. There’s no such thing as spoiling a baby! David Elkind, a professor of child development at Tufts University and author of The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon, says, “Infants cry when they need something, and it’s hard to spoil them because they’re not trying to manipulate or maneuver. In infancy, you really need to build the feeling that the world’s a safe place.” Via webmd.com

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