Good parents want their children to be happy, healthy and to have everything they need. According to Ask Dr. Sears, parents often go overboard in their desire to give their children everything they need, and end up giving them everything they want as well. Parents aren't always aware when they're spoiling their children, but there are characteristics you can look out for to see if your child is spoiled.
Even children in wealthy families can be taught to be grateful for what they have. According to Psychology Today, the difference between a spoiled child and an unspoiled child is that the spoiled child feels entitled to have whatever they want, while the unspoiled child feels fortunate for what they have. If your child takes gifts without showing any appreciation or turns up her nose at gifts that aren't good enough, she is likely spoiled.
According to the University of Alabama, spoiled children are self-centered and have no consideration for the wants and needs of others. While it is normal for children to occasionally be possessive of their own toys, a child who consistently refuses to share is probably spoiled. Spoiled children also have no qualms about hurting others’ feelings and often don't show sympathy when others are upset.
Spoiled children are used to being entertained and develop an expectation that others will keep them occupied. According to Summit Medical Group, by the age of 3, children should be able to keep themselves occupied about half of the time. While an unspoiled child with nothing to do might search her toys for an activity or create an imaginary world, a spoiled child will lose interest in activities more quickly and be more likely to complain of boredom.
By the time your child reaches kindergarten, he should have learned that tantrums aren't successful in getting him what he wants. According to kidshealth.org, temper tantrums usually occur between the ages of 1 and 3. If a child is still throwing tantrums much past this age, it is likely that his past experience has taught him that he can always get what he wants if he just screams loud and long enough.
A spoiled child is always in charge, so she has no consideration for rules. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children at the more extreme end of the spoiled spectrum rule their own sleep patterns, eating habits and general behavior. Parents will usually feel that they have lost control with a child who has been consistently spoiled.
- Ask Dr. Sears: Spoiling
- Psychology Today: How NOT to Raise Spoiled Brats
- University of Alabma Parenting Assistance Line: How to Recognize and Reform a Spoiled Child
- kidshealth.org: Temper Tantrums
- Pediatrics, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: Spoiled Child Syndrome
- Summit Medical Group: Spoiled Children, Prevention
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images