The title might seem to you like an oxymoron. After all, how can mothers spoil kids? I believe all of us will agree that no mother will intentionally spoil her children, or do any kind of harm to him or her. But then, it is a fact that unknowingly, many mothers do engage in unhealthy ways of bringing up children. Let us see how.
Spoiler #1: Giving in unreasonable demands
It is 9 pm at night. You ask your daughter to go to sleep. She says that she wants to play a game on the phone instead. You say no. She starts throwing a tantrum, and finally you give in. This happens in many homes. The problem is that through this and similar incidents, the child learns that throwing a tantrum will get her whatever she wants. Such children will grow up to feel entitled to anything they want, and may stop at nothing to get what they want.
Spoiler #2: Do everything for them
With very young kids, it is understandable that the mum has to tie the shoe lace, or button up shirts. However, what if a ten-year old child still cannot do things on his own? We have all seen teenagers who cannot even heat up some water on the stove! In fact, mothers and other caregivers have to see that children learn independence gradually, and let them do age-appropriate things on their own. If they do not do their part of the work at home, they should face the consequences, such as ‘no TV time’, or ‘no video game time’.
Spoiler #3: Excusing all bad behavior
There can be no excuse for certain behaviors such as showing disrespect to elder, or bullying younger children or animals. When a mother tries to justify such behavior, she is inadvertently condoning it, encouraging the child to repeat it. Similarly, when the child breaks school rules and teachers punish him/her, plenty of mothers get upset, go to the school and try to justify the child’s behavior. Needless to say, this is the recipe for a disastrous future for the child.
Spoiler #4: Pick up after your kids
Your son’s 9th birthday celebrations are just over. His friends have left and the house looks as though a hurricane has just passed through. Now, who does the cleaning up? Do you do it or do you ask your son to do it? It is definitely the child’s responsibility to clean up the mess. Of course you can help, but the main responsibility rests with him. If mothers pick up after their kids, we have adults who are dependent on others for every mess they create.
Spoiler #5: Let them boss you around
Believe it or not, there are mothers who are scared of their little children. Ever heard of little tyrants? Spoiled kids can be expert manipulators. They may make parents feel guilty and try to control them. There are little children who behave like kings in their kingdom, where their every wish is fulfilled. The family life revolves around them. Soon they believe that the whole world revolves around them. Once they venture out into the wide world, they will know that it life does not work out like that. That is when they begin to crumple. Mothers should never let kids boss over them, and to control them. Children should know their place in the family, and respect their mothers in their rightful role.
Spoiler #6: Bribing your kids
There are mothers who bribe their kids to get them to eat, clean up their room, to go to school, to do homework etc. This will make kids expect rewards for everything they do. Children should do what they are supposed to do without being bribed by their parents.
Spoiler #7: Giving them too much money
When your child asks for lunch money you give more money than what lunch typically costs. The child now has surplus money with him, which he may spend on things he did not really need in the first place. This creates two types of problems. It teaches children poor money management skills. Secondly, it makes them feel that money is available in plenty. They will not appreciate the fact that money is the result of hard work and careful savings. All this will result in very poor finance management skills as they become adults.
Love always nourishes, but misguided and ill-informed love can spoil.