Buddha Quotes

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Spoiled Brat

 During a holiday season, a package arrived from family out of town for my child. It was filled with clothes, toys, treats galore. My little one immediately put on one of the dresses and began playing with the toys. I told my daughter, she had to call theses thoughtful givers to thank them. Yet at that moment, it wasn't what she wanted to do. I reminded her they love her very much and would love to hear from her. That didn't convince her. I then explained, they didn't have to buy her any of this and that they work hard to be so generous. Yet the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and I saw my own stubbornness in her face. So I took the box and all the toys minus the dress she was wearing, away. She threw a fit. I was adamant, she call and at very least say thank you. She finally agreed. We called out of state and when I handed my daughter the phone, all she said was thank you and ran off to play with the toys, dropping the phone to the floor. I was then told I shouldn't have forced the gratitude. Yet, if I don't instill a sense of reasonable gratitude, the consequence will lead to sense of self entitlement. 

As a parent who supports free thinking, it's hard for me to make my child do things against her will.Telling her no she can't have junk food, insisting she hold my hand in the parking lot or occasionally a time out, can be stressful for all of those involved. My daughter is fighting for her boundaries and I'm trying to enforce mine. I have no desire to mold my child into an imagine. I won't choose my children personal beliefs, who they marry, what career path they choose, their taste in fashion, political standing, etc...

I'm trying to let her be who she wants to be,
however I there is one mentality I will not tolerate, 
the self-entitled spoiled brat.

"Oh I don't want to have children, until I can afford to spoil them!
 They will be soo spoiled!" 
Said a gleeful former coworker.

I literally cringe when someone tells me they intend to spoil their children. They envision designer clothes, mountain of toys and anything their child's heart desire.
The parents mind set often ranges, but a reoccurring mentality has risen its ugly head enough, the belief materialism will somehow instill work ethic and cause the spoiled brat to become a financially independent adult.

 However raising in luxury, without an understanding how that luxury came to be, leads to the image as the parent as a Santa Claus. A Santa who have given into naughty behavior. Even if your child becomes successful and powerful, what kind of person will they be to others?

Another example is the parent reenacting their childhood, vicariously through their children.
They wanted a pony, so Damn it, their children shall have ponies! Have you ever wondered that maybe the reason you are successful is because you had less growing up?  By denying your child the experience of want, you deny them ambition and ethics towards those who do struggle. Including the parents.

Spoil brats are often the worst example of children and often become even worst adults. They usually lack empathy, hold little respect for others and will either be a bully or be shunned. In the end, everyone suffers. The child suffers an inability to appreciate life, leading to boredom. The boredom could result to a disgruntled personality to violence. Those who do not over come their self entitled mentality often associate emotions of pleasure with getting their way.

Remember when they are little, 
you are strong.  
However they don't remain little  
you won't remain strong.
This also harms the parent/s later in life. Having worked nearly fifteen years caring for seniors, I've seen the result of adult children feeling entitled to their parents estates. Hiding DNRs (Do Not Resutate order,) setting patience up to appear to have serious memory issues, mental and even some cases of physical abuse are common enough. Many parents of these adult spoil children feel neglected and often ignored by their children. For many parents, they were a never ending wallet to their children, in old age, the parent now needs both time and money. Depending on the conditions of the free ride, parents are either worth more alive or dead. Neither results are pretty.

You are not the only who will suffer as a consequence of spoiled adult child. Your child will interact with others. A college roommate in a dorm room, co-workers, employees, children, spouses and labor's who have the ill fortune of working for them, will suffer from the destructive behavior of the self-entitled mentality of the spoiled adult child.

Tip avoid the Spoiled Brat

  1. Don't over indulge your child. Over indulgence nullifies the pleasure, whatever it may be. Giving gifts, expensive trips, money, etc... are always nice, but shouldn't be taken for granted. Put away your wallet and put some of that time earning money, with your family. 
  2. Don't over indulge yourself. Lead by example. If you are working double time on a regular bases, just pay off the two cars, the mortgage, the utilities, your kids pony, maybe it's time to down size. Ask yourself, you really need a new car? How many dresses just like the one you're about to buy are hanging in your closet right now? Does your kid really deserve that new toy? If all these things are consuming your life, try to take away. Sometimes less is more. Like more time in your smaller house with your family, than at work. 
  3. Don't go the opposite extreme, with extreme measures, like hitting or running your home like a prison. Going in this direction leads two ways, you'll raise a bully or a victim. This idea back fires and remember as you age, you will be at their mercy. 
  4. Give your children chores and responsibilities, early on. Make it a part if every daily life. Show them appreciation, for their role in the family system. You don't always have give money. A roof over their head is worth doing dishes. However, try to give them means to earn some extra cash. Or if you can't, when you can spare, throw them some pocket chain. Also take school work into consideration and make sure you kid has some personal time.  If it's finals time, maybe you can give them a break and wash the dinner dishes. Just as if you're doing double shifts, they can vacuum the living room. Help each other!
  5. Requiring a level of gratitude for special gifts. I'm not saying, have your kids drop to ground and kiss your feet. However, let your child understand hard work you do for them. When they receive a gift, reward, treat, whatever, make sure they say thank you. 
  6. A job early on. Summer time and weekend are great time for kids to take on a little responsibility and capable. I'm not suggesting children support their family, but some time out in the sun mowing lawns or babysitting the neighbors kids will give children appreciation for money and maybe you.
  7. Volunteering. Sometimes we are all guilty of not appreciating what we have. You and your kids can both be guilty of this, at the same time. Try volunteering together and make it hands on. Remind yourselves, no matter how little you have, there is always something of yourself to give. With that, you will always be rich where it counts, humanity.
  8. Making birthdays about their birth and the person they are becoming. Make holidays about family. Give gifts and by all means have parties. Just don't lose the significance of the celebration to materialism.

Most importantly, your children may not live up to your expectations. 
Remember it is better to raise a good person over a rich one. 

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