How often have you been told that your love, affection and mollycoddling is going to spoil your kids?
If you dread the prospect of these prophecies turning out to be true some day and feel that your child is taking undue advantage of your fondness for him, here are 10 signs or symptoms that will help you know if your child is spoilt indeed.
Or, on the way to becoming one- much to your horror!
10 Sure Signs of a Spoiled Child
Watch out for these 10 signs or symptoms of spoilt children below to know if indeed he is SPOILED already?
Throws Tantrums at the Drop of a Hat
A spoilt child will throw tantrums anywhere and everywhere whenever he/ she notices you are not yielding in to his demands or not giving him the love and attention he is so used to.
A child like that will not stop at balking in a crowded mall, at home, with grandparents, at school, at a movie. Just anywhere.
While it is normal for a toddler to throw a fit once in a while to get what he/ she wants, the behavior becomes a cause of serious concern if they continue to do so even at the age of 5 or 6.
“For little ones, it may be the only way they can express their feelings, but in older children, tantrums are manipulative,” says David Elkind, a professor of child development in the USA and the author a bestseller on parenting.
2. Tries to Control Adults
A spoilt child wants to be in command all the time. And doesn’t know where to draw the line.
He wants to do things ‘his’ way even when he is with grown-ups, often expecting them to listen to him rather than it being the kid listening to grown-ups.
It often manifests itself in subtle ways like wanting to hold the remote while watching TV with parents- which indicates that HE wants to be in command even when the parents are around.
They probably fail to delineate between peers and grown-ups.
3. Is the Quintessential Bully Everywhere
A spoilt child is always a bully.
Be it the neighborhood or the school.
A hobby class or with siblings at home.
That is because he is so used to being the BOSS.
When he doesn’t get what he wants, he will shout, kick and hit other children until he is in command.
4. The Kid Ignores You More Often Than Not
Though kids hate to be refused something they are asking for or being turned down, they should have the basic manners not to turn a deaf ear to their parents. They should not ignore you when you say something to them or call them out.
If the kid is doing that too often, it is surely a warning bell for you to deal with him more tactfully.
5. You Beg Him to Get Him/ Her to Listen to You
You might need to cajole a kid once in a while into doing something which is not-so-much-fun or not interesting enough for him but if you have to beg him as a matter of routine to get him to listen to you, it is time for you to start heeding these initial signs of being a spoilt child.
6. The Kid Hates to Share
Though it is not always easy to get those tiny devils to share their toys and belongings with others, you have to teach them to do so.
A child aged 4 or above should be willing to share his pack of chips, his bicycle or video game with peers willingly, without you having to coax him/ her into it.
7. The Kid Embarrasses You in Public Often
If the kid inadvertently ends up embarrassing you in public, you have to learn to take it in your stride and explain it to the kid later why it was wrong to do so. and how important it is for him not to repeat that in future.
But if the kid manages to leave you red faced too often, he might be doing so just to get your attention. While it is easy to forget an isolated event, such behavior should not be taken lightly if it becomes more of a norm than an exception.
8. You Have to Bribe The Kid to Let Him/ Her to Listen to You
If you have to offer him sweets, candies, toys, games or offer them other treats which you normally would not have given JUST in order to get them to listen to you or get things done the right way, it should definitely be seen as a sign of spoilt kids.
Though I give my child an incentive like a few extra pennies for his piggy-bank each time he does well at his class tests, I would have reasons to be worried if I had to bribe him to do routine things like putting his toys back after playing or behaving pleasantly in front of guests.
Now this might actually help the child:
9. He/ she is not helpful
Most kids love to run errands for parents.
If you know how to get them to do their work like packing their bag, putting shoes away, helping in making beds at night, etc., it will be good for both you as well as the kid.
If he/ she is not willing to help with little chores like these, you should be worried over this irresponsible and careless behavior.
10. The Kid is Extremely Dependent Upon You
If your kid wants to tow you along wherever he goes and can’t manage the smallest of tasks without your assistance, you have probably been pampering him/ her like you shouldn’t have.
Beyond the age of four, a child should learn to be comfortable on their own and even when their parents are not around, they should be able to manage on their own with their toys, friends, etc or spend some time with a babysitter or grandparents without crying himself hoarse.
Though there is no such thing as ‘spoiling’ a BABY, you could end up spoiling your child inspite of not wanting to do so because of ‘overindulgence’ or ‘pampering’.
If you feel that your child shows up 3 or more of the 10 signs/ symptoms of spoiled children listed above, seek expert help immediately.