How Do You Know if Your Child Is Spoiled?

Reviewed on 7/9/2021
signs of a spoiled kid
It’s not always easy to tell what behavior is normal and what is a sign of a spoiled child. Here are 5 signs to look for

Every kid acts up from time to time. But how do you know if your child’s behavior is normal kid behavior, or a sign that they are spoiled? And how can you prevent spoiling them further?

Here are signs backed by experts that could indicate your child has been overindulged and may need more discipline.

5 signs of a spoiled child

  • Can’t handle hearing “no”
    • Spoiled children may throw a tantrum or have a meltdown when you tell them they can’t do something.
    • While this is fairly common in most young children, if it happens constantly even as your kid gets older, it could be a sign that they are spoiled.
  • Never satisfied with what they have
    • Spoiled kids may have tons of toys and clothes, but they always want more, more, more.
    • They tend to be unappreciative and instead of saying “thank you” for what they are given, they just focus on the next thing they want.
  • Think the world revolves around them
    • Spoiled children are often self-centered and think more of themselves than of other people.
    • They also feel entitled and expect people to give them special favors.
  • Are sore losers
    • No child enjoys losing, but spoiled ones may have a tougher time managing disappointment when they don’t win.
    • Spoiled kids may:
      • Blame others for poor performance
      • Expect praise for every single thing they do
      • Scream at people for not doing things their way
      • Refuse to recognize the success of their competitors
  • Refuse to complete even simple tasks
    • Spoiled children may refuse to do simple tasks like brushing their teeth or putting away their toys.
    • They may not do basic things until you beg or bribe them money, toys, or treats.

How can parents prevent spoiling their child?

  • Set age-appropriate rules for your child
    • Children need someone to set boundaries for them until they are old enough to develop self-control and self-discipline.
    • You have the right and the responsibility to set limits for your children in a way that disciplines them.
  • Give them a balanced amount of attention
    • Attend to your child’s needs, whether that’s pain, hunger, or fear.
    • However, excessive attention or attention at the wrong time can interfere with your child’s ability to learn things on their own and lead to frustrations later in life.
  • Train them to respond to directions
    • This is a pattern that needs to be set even before your child enters school.
    • If not, you will be dealing with complaints from school in addition to your struggles at home.
  • Don’t give in to tantrums
    • Tantrums ranging from crying and whining to breath-holding and pounding the floor may be overlooked to a certain extent, if they are not too disruptive or in a position to harm them. 
    • Many children try to test their limits, and your holding your ground will teach them to respect the boundaries you have set for them. 
  • Teach them patience
    • Immediately jumping up to fulfill every mundane demand your kid makes is just going to create an easily frustrated person who always wants instant gratification.
  • Discipline them when needed
    • Even when you’re playing with your child, be aware of the fact that you are the parent and need to fix problematic behavior.
    • Often in working families, when parent-child quality time is precious, it is easy to lean toward flexing the rules to make kids happy. But be careful about allowing bad behavior to continue just so the evening can be uneventful.
  • Give them chores
    • Assign chores regularly, even if they are simple things, such as helping set the table for dinner, folding laundry, or making their beds.
    • Small chores can also teach your child basic skills they will need later in life, and help them learn how to help people around them.
  • Let them learn things for themselves
    • Life’s biggest lessons are often learned from dealing with mistakes. Let your child become confident and self-reliant by teaching them responsibility for their own actions.
    • Be available and supportive but try not to do things for them that they can handle for themselves.
  • Don’t overpraise
    • While children need praise and rewards for good behavior and following rules, it should be earned. Overdoing it can make your child take it for granted.
    • Avoid the tendency to overpraise normal developmental tasks.
  • Manners and respect
    • Your job as a parent is to prepare your child for the world. Instilling good manners and teaching your child to respect others is essential.
    • Be consistent and calm, and do not be emotional about your expectations.
    • Apologize when it is warranted but do not apologize for disciplining your child.
    • Remember, tantrums are learned behavior that can be unlearned, and the sooner the better. 

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References
Shaw G. Is Your Child Spoiled? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/spoiled-child

Funtastic Toy. 7 Signs of a Spoiled Child and How to Deal With Them. 2021. https://www.funtastictoy.com/spoiled-child/

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