How to Un-Spoil Your Kid

When it comes to parenting, there’s no one rule book to explain it all. Children are different, and every parent raises them differently. Sometimes it’s just easier to get them the small treat when they’re making a fuss, and we’ll gladly bribe them for some peace and quiet during afternoon playtime. However, while it’s all too easy to start that slippery slope, it’s also too easy to discover a few years down the road that you’ve created a spoiled child. That’s not to say that you’re doomed, and there’s no fixing it. We know how to un-spoil your kid, so listen up!

How to Un-Spoil Your Kid

Admitting a Problem is Half the Solution

Living in denial isn’t going to make your child a better person. You’ve got to own up to your mistakes and admit that you spoiled your kid, because let’s face it, it was mostly the parents’ fault. Once you’ve finally seen the light and understood that there is a problem, you can start to find ways to address the problem. That in of itself means you’re halfway there!

Make Good on Your Word

You’re going to have to start doing what you say. If you’ve been ineffectively threatening them with “if you don’t do this, then I’ll do that,” and not following through on your threat, it’s time to live up to your words. Start doing what you’ll say you do. If you threaten them with a time out, then put them in a time out as soon as they refuse to be obedient. This way they’ll begin to understand that when you say to do something, they’d better do it, or there will be consequences. Usually, those of us who do not follow through with what we say show the child that even if they misbehave, they will not have to be punished for it. This accounts for a huge chunk of the bad behavior they have. No matter how they scream, or how hard it is, you’ve got to stick to what you said.

Wean the Child off the Treats and Sweets

Instead of rewarding bad behavior with a candy, start rewarding good behavior with praise and hugs. Show them that you’re proud of them when they behave, and that you give them more attention when good things happen. Children want to please their parents, and often seek affection however they can. They’ve learned that if they act out, you’ll pay attention to them faster, and so they act out more often. Start showing them the opposite is true, and they’ll start switching their behaviors. Once they find that you give them more attention and praise when they’re good, and do nice things, they’ll want to do those things more often.

Candy shouldn’t be a factor in a child’s behavior, because they shouldn’t need candy every day. Candy should be a treat every so often, for no other purpose than to splurge a bit. Using food as a reward will set your child up for a bad lifestyle as an adult, and may increase their chance of adult obesity in the long run. This is because when someone sees food as a reward for everyday behavior, they will eat more, or eat unhealthy because “they deserve it.” Train your child to work for a positive social interaction, rather than for a candy bar!

 

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