Showing love and affection to your child is a good thing, but make sure you don’t go overboard!

“I’ll be a good parent in the future. I will teach my child to be grateful and kind, instead of spoiling him.” You may have made this vow to yourself, but it’s natural to want the best for your child.

Great as it is to see junior playing happily and smiling, which lifts your mood, this doesn’t mean giving in to your child’s every whim and fancy. It might make him happy for a moment, but it won’t benefit him in the long run. Over-indulging junior is not a way to show your affection and love to your child.

Yet, you might not even realise that you might be spoiling your kids with these everyday actions….

1. Treating them like royalty

Problem: When your little sprout is young, it might be tempting to give in to their every want. I mean how can you ever resist that look of appeal and sweet smile she gives you when she wants something? If you give in to her all the time, you might lose the influence that you have over her. This will result in a stubborn and selfish child who is used to getting everything she wants.
Solution: Establish boundaries and limits, so that you don’t lose your authority. It’s your job to teach your children as kids need guidance in figuring out what’s the right thing to do. This is hard if they do not respect you, so make sure to set limits.

Establish boundaries and limits, so that you don’t lose your authority. It’s your job to teach your children as kids need guidance in figuring out what’s the right thing to do.

2. Giving them too much money

Problem: You should not give your child more than what he actually needs as your kid might not be able to manage so much money. Some parents feel guilty that they aren’t able to spend time with their child because they work long hours, so they try to make it up to them by giving them bigger allowances. However, this may result in kids who feel a sense of entitlement.
Solution: Check how much your kewpie actually needs per day before handing him the money. You can give him a bit more, so that he can practise the habit of saving!

3. Lavishing branded goods on them

Problem: You give in when junior nags you for the latest smartphone or Xbox game, maybe because you don’t want them to feel left out when they’re with their peers. Sure, your kiddo should have the best (of your attention) but overindulging them with luxury material things will likely give him a sense of entitlement. When they’re older, not only will it be harder for them to accept something of a “lower” standard, such instant gratification will result in an inability to grasp the real value of money or learn ways to manage it well.
Solution: Remember, your main duty is to love, guide, feed, clothe and educate your child as well as ensure that they are healthy. Everything else ― video games, the latest fashion ― is a want. One or two branded items are fine, especially if it’s a birthday or Christmas present. Just make sure not to go overboard and purchase a whole cabinet full of lavish items for your mini-me. You can also explain to them the value of the item so that they will understand its value and not take it for granted.

4. Offering gifts instead of encouragement

Problem: Getting your kiddo an extravagant gift can make him materialistic as he will start expecting a present every time he does well.
Solution: Whenever your little munchkin does something well, compliment and encourage him positively instead of buying him a present! Your compliment means much more to your child, and it boosts his motivation to do even better in the future.



5. Apologising when it is not your fault

Problem: Apologising when you’ve made a mistake is the right thing to do, and also teaches your tot that he needs to say sorry when he does something wrong. However, apologising for something that’s not your fault might just have the opposite effect. For example, you should not apologise if your outing to the zoo was cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather.
Solution: You should let your kiddo know that you empathise with him and you feel his disappointment, but make sure to move on instead of harping about the situation. Of course, if you had previously promised your tot a trip to the zoo, make sure to keep your promise and arrange the zoo outing soon.

It is easier for bubba to experience failure when he is young than when he is older. Only then will he know how to deal with setbacks.

6. Acting like a child in front of them

Problem: Sure, being as playful as your kid is not a bad thing as it helps you guys bond. But refrain from whining and throwing a tantrum in front of them. As you’re your child’s role model, he learns from you. If he sees you throwing a tantrum and whining, he will think that it is all right to throw a tantrum or whine whenever things don’t go his way.
Solution: Set a good example for your child and behave the way you’d want him to!

7. Giving too much help

Problem: When your tot is unable to solve something or gets frustrated, you tend to jump in. Your kiddo soon realises that you’ll rush to his side immediately when he starts to whine. Next thing you know, he looks to you for everything, from getting dressed to solving a challenging puzzle. He knows that you will be there to help him the moment he starts to whinge.
Solution: Instead of babying your little one, your job as a parent is to encourage and instil in him the confidence to accomplish things on his own. Refrain from going to him the moment he shows signs of distress, and tell him in a gentle but firm voice that he must attempt it by himself. It doesn’t matter if he fails because he has tried! Boost baby’s self-confidence, so that he will not be afraid to take up a challenge.

8. Behaving like a helicopter parent

Problem: Overprotecting your mini-me may lead him to rely on you to solve his problems whenever he encounters one. He will expect you to pick him up when he falls down, or have his back when he gets scolded by a teacher for bad behaviour. While you want to protect bubba as much as possible, interfering in every aspect of his life might backfire on you when he grows older.
Solution: It is fine if your child gets hit by something, or falls down. Kids are young and they heal fast. As long as it is not a serious injury, let them learn to get up on their own. Do not overreact as he will mirror your reactions. If you make it into a big deal, he will too. It is easier for bubba to experience failure when he is young than when he is older. Only then will he know how to deal with setbacks. No one wants to hang out with a bad sport!

Photos: iStock

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