Suzanne writes – I’m so upset, the kids are always acting up and my Mother is very quick to point out how I’m spoiling my three and I've year old. She’s probably right, but with my husband gone three days a week things are crazy.
Suzanne’s story is not unique and maybe you have a similar story. However, the red flag in her story is her agreement with her Mother that she probably is spoiling her children. Have any of us ever been guilty of that? Yeah, right!
We’ve all been there. But even so, spoiling can set us mom’s up for more work, more frustration and more feelings of being out of control. Some mothers feel they’re a failure as a mom every time their child pitches a fit or refuses to cooperate. Be careful, such a feeling can lead to more spoiling. Let’s look at some behavior that may be a warning sign that your spoiling you’re child in ways that are not beneficial to either of you.
Here are a few warning signs and a few suggestions: They continue doing what you have asked them not to do – drop what you’re doing (not always convenient but necessary) look directly into their eyes and tell them that they must do as told. If they resist, give them an appropriate consequence such as, time out or the loss of a favorite toy. Do this every time they ignore you until they get the message.
I know this interferes with your already hectic schedule, but it puts you back in control and eventually you won’t have this issue.
They throw a temper tantrum in the store, shoppers are now giving you “that” look. No matter what you do the temper tantrum is not stopping. – DON’T GIVE IN and give them what they want. The first time you do, they have won. Leave the store leaving the basket behind if necessary. Take them home and give them a consequence. Yes, this is a major inconvenience, but well worth your time if it stops the behavior. A temper tantrum, anywhere anytime, calls for immediate action even if it changes the activity at hand.
Sweetheart is now slapping you whenever you are not doing what he/she wants – don’t ignore or accept this behavior instead give them a consequence immediately. Correcting this type of bully-like, behavior each time it occurs, is the beginning of teaching them respect. Be careful not to slap back thinking you’re teaching them how it feels. All you will succeed in doing is collaborating.
Mothers struggle with what every child does during their development process. This is a child’s learning ground and a mom’s teaching ground. During the frustrating times, remind yourself that who’s the adult, who’s the teacher and who needs to be in control.
You can never spoil children with too much love and encouragement. But ignoring bad behavior spoils them in ways that is not good parenting and teaches them nothing.
Do you have an example of a child’s acting-out behavior that you can share with us and what are you willing to do about it and can you be consistent in doing it? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org