Is it possible for spoiled children to become responsible adults?
Parents find it hard not to spoil children because they naturally want to provide their children better childhoods than they had.
We all know what spoiled children are like: They are impatient, selfish, manipulative, used to getting what they want.
They’re not at all admirable, and according to parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba, their parents are to blame.
In her Mama Mia story, mom Jo Abi discusses this very concept, and in the process analyzes her own children.
They aren’t spoiled, she argues. They, however, are loved and provided for, and there’s a difference.
“Still I was startled when my son Philip, 12, texted me yesterday to let me know he was hungry,” Jo says. “He was home and I was at school with the little kids.
“I took a moment to wonder when exactly I had transitioned from ‘mother’ to ‘butler’ and then texted him back, suggesting he get off his butt, walk all the way to the kitchen and get himself something to eat because I was busy.”
Upon arriving home, Jo asked his son mockingly, “Did you find something to eat, Your Royal Highness?” It was then she realized that, yup, her son’s a little spoiled.
At least he wasn’t as bad as Prince George.
When asked what his son has received for his third birthday, Prince William said “I am not telling, he got too many things, he’s far too spoiled.”
Jo then found herself asking whether or not spoiled children can become good adults, or are the spoiled for good?
“I think we can all agree that Prince William is a lovely despite his privileged upbringing and so too is Prince Harry," she says. "Most of us attribute the fact they turned out well to their late mother Diana who was one of the most compassionate royals the world has ever seen.”
Yet for most parents, not spoiling their children proved to be a tough endeavor, Jo says. That’s because parents naturally want to provide their children better childhoods than they had had.
When it comes it lavishing children with love, gifts, and material possessions, Dr. Michele Borba says it’s relatively harmless: children are capable enough of comparing their lives to others who are less fortunate.
What makes children decent adults is instilling in them young good values and attitudes, not the amount of things they receive.
"Bad attitudes are far more deadly than mere behaviors because they are more entrenched and are kids’ operating beliefs for life,” Dr. Michele writes on her website. "And there lies the danger: bad attitudes such as disrespect, bullying, arrogance, cheating are becoming ‘acceptable’ to all too many kids."
Yes, it is possible to spoil children and have them become kind, responsible adults, says Jo. That is, as long as children appreciate the things given them.
“You can spoil your children with material possessions if you must as long as you still take the time to teach them to learn how to deal with setbacks, nurture empathy, teach financial responsibility, avoid feeling guilty when you have to say ‘no,’ teach them to give as well as receive and encourage them to think not only of themselves but about others.
“You want to raise a child who is willing to share.”
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