verb, spoiled or spoilt, spoil·ing, noun
verb (used with object)
1. to damage severely or harm (something), especially with reference to its excellence, value, usefulness, etc.: The water stain spoiled the painting. Drought spoiled the corn crop.
2. to diminish or impair the quality of; affect detrimentally: Bad weather spoiled their vacation.
3. to impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence, etc.: to spoil a child by pampering him.
The topic for this article came about during a recent discussion with a good friend of mine. We were conversing about the resolve to not spoil our children due to the disgusting effects spoiling has on the attitude of the child and worst, how dangerous it is to instill an undeserved sense of entitlement into a child.
According to the above definition of spoiling courtesy of dictionary.com, spoil essentially means ruin. Now, I’m not telling anyone how to raise their kids, that’s on you. This is strictly a matter of opinion based on experience and personal ideology. It is your right to raise your child as you see fit and if spoiling them rotten is your thing, power to You! HOWEVER, it then becomes your responsibility to ensure that decent morals, values, principles and work-ethic are instilled into that child to combat the negative effects of over indulgence.
In other words, recognize that in spoiling your child, you may in fact ruin them so, as parents we must find a way to create a balance that is healthy to the development of the personal integrity of that child.
In re-educating our children, perhaps it’s time to take a new approach to how we reward our children. For example, many of us grew up knowing that come June, if we passed we would get a present for “grading”. In my house, I say “HELL NO! Your present IS grading.” The attention you paid in class, the hard work you did and the homework and projects you handed in on time resulted in you passing on to the next grade and this is your reward. Everything that you learned that propelled you to the next level in your academic achievement is your reward. This is my personal philosophy.
Look at it like this; Every day us responsible parents come home from work and prepare meals, sit through countless hours of homework and test preparation, help with last minute projects, practice for spelling tests you name it. There is no reward for this other than knowing that we’ve done our duty in supporting our children and that through our engagement and support, they stand a better chance of becoming successful in their endeavors. We’ve simply done what we are responsible for doing. You don’t get a prize for doing what you’re supposed to do. Not in the real world where the majority of us dwell. That’s just how life is. I believe that early in life, kids need to learn this and deal with it.
In spoiling our children, we are creating sociopathic monsters; Ignorant, name-brand-clad-shallow-tech-junkie-no manner- having little fools running around believing that everyone owes them something and never learning that hard work, dedication and commitment are the only things that will get them anywhere in life.
We know that spoiling our children is detrimental in various ways and encourages negative behavior, immaturity and dependence. But, when we spoil our children with reward systems for doing things that they should already be doing for themselves, i.e. household chores, homework, good test results, grades and such, we undermine the natural course of developing positive self-esteem, confidence, independence and responsibility through following a task through to completion simply because that is what is required. This is how our children learn the coping skills necessary for success in society.
Begin teaching your children that through diligence and assiduity; they can dominate any industry in the global market and be as successful as the icons they idolize.
Spoil them with modelling positive behaviors, encouragement, inspiration, enthusiasm, and most importantly, leadership. Guide them along the pathway to achieving their dreams.
If after reading this you’re not on-board to quit ruining your child, that’s fine though, at least consider the “rewards, treats, presents and tokens of appreciation” you give. Instead of material things, instead invest in science, math and writing tutors so when it’s time for graduation they’ll have done well enough in school to access more scholarship money. You’ll save a fortune in the long run! Invest in music lessons and sports to help build their confidence and shape their attributes and strong points. Spoil them with listening to their plans and believing in their goals. Spoil them by enriching their exposure to the arts and to life in general so that they become well-rounded whole individuals. This is ultimately what our children deserve, they are entitled to this.
Think about why you are spoiling your children. Is it to make up for something? To shut them up? To make yourself feel better? To keep up with the Jones’? Whatever your excuse is, fix it. Do something about it before it’s too late and your monster turns on you and everybody else in society and we fight back. Think of the consequences a negative and foul attitude brings. Remember the lazy person you can’t stand at work and the other takers you know in your lives. Do you want someone to paint your offspring with that brush? You’re not doing your child any favors when you spoil them. Home disabilities can quickly turn into learning and life disabilities. You know better so do better.
Besides, we ought to love our children enough to not proactively ruin them.
Light reflected is enlightenment infinite.