Spoiling your children

Erin - posted on 07/12/2012 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Do you think it is ever okay or acceptable to spoil your children?

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Johnny - posted on 07/13/2012

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When I think of "spoiling" I think of taking actions that ruin something. So I'd say no, it's never okay to "spoil" your children. Is it okay to given them occasional treats for special occasions or because they've done something spectacularly wonderful? Yes, of course. But I don't consider that to be "spoiling". If you have firm boundaries, maintain discipline, and your children know that they don't just get everything they want whenever, a treat now and again doesn't ruin anything.

Beth - posted on 07/12/2012

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I think that "spoiling" a child is an all or nothing deal. To clarify, if you give them what they want once in a while, or if you have one of those days where they get all kinds of candy and toys and whatnot, that's not really "spoiling" them. Spoiling is an all day every day round of giving whatever they want, and that I can't get behind.

Elfrieda - posted on 07/13/2012

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Maybe one definition of spoiled is not being able to accept "no" for an answer.

Stifler's - posted on 07/13/2012

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No. Spoiling to me is ruining the child's attitude towards life. Giving them whatever they want exactly when they want it so they expect that forever and never have consequences for their actions.

Shawnn - posted on 07/13/2012

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Define Spoil

Without a base definition to agree or disagree with, I'm going to say my children aren't spoiled. ever. They are TREATED, on special occasions, or if we've had a particularly rough week, or we have an unexpected windfall, but they are not spoiled brats.

So, I'll wait for the definition before deciding

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Amy - posted on 07/23/2012

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Some people would consider my son spoiled I'm sure but truly I "spoil" everyone in my family when I can (money time etc). For example last Christmas everyone in my family (son, husband, mom & dad, mother-in-law, sister) got a stocking full (& I mean full) of candy or special things. So for me I look at it and say as long as he keeps a good attitude, can accept being told no & is still willing to help me whenever I ask then I have no problem "spoiling" my son. Btw he does not get an allowance for chores because that is part of life so that might be part of why I indulge him when he wants a toy at the store or whatever :)

[deleted account]

I spoil my kids when it comes to affection. I never turn down hugs and whenever they want me I respond to them and I play with them a lot since that's basically the reason I stayed home to raise them. They do get a lot of gifts from family at Christmas and Birthdays, but I try to ask for clothes so they don't get all toys. I try not to give them food treats, we don't believe in giving them sweats, but they do earn rewards and I do believe in special occasions. Whatever you do to ensure your kids that they are loved doesn't count as spoiling, but I wouldn't want to make material things more important.

[deleted account]

When I was a child, some of my friends said I was spoiled. I pretty much got what ever I wanted, I never had to do chores (except if Mum was in hospital, and I did those chores happily) and I was allowed to have an opinion on many things that my friends were not. I'm sure there were times in my youth where I was a "typical spoiled brat" and perhaps my Mum re-thought her decision to indulge me (and my brother) on occasion. But I am now 42, I have a family of my own and I am a fairly "well-adjusted" (I know some people hate that term) member of society. I'm not self-absorbed and I don't have a sense of entitlement that prevents me from contributing to the community. My Mum probably never considered in her mind that I was spoiled, she just wanted us to have a happy childhood, with toys and pleasures that she never had growing up. She still taught us values, and the importance of good manners and working to get along in the world. So Erin, what you do now may well be seen in some people's eyes as spoiling, but if you are still teaching right from wrong and letting them know what is expected of them as they grow into young adults, then I can't see a huge problem. :-)

Aleks - posted on 07/13/2012

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Dove... how they act when they don't get things is more determined by their age.

A toddler is more than likely to have a tantrum. A pre-teen or teen... will most likely sulk (pre-teen) and a teen yell and screem and go and slam their door (teen tantrum).
And a school aged kid will probably just feel unhappy, cry and possibly say "But I want to" or "I want it"..... Sometimes, they are more willing to let it go than at other times, and that is dependent on a whole lot of things too (ie, why they are happy to let things go one day but not another).
We all get disappointed when we don't get something we want.... but kids (most kids) will show their disappointment a whole lot more than a mature and controlled adult (even though there are many adults who cannot do this also).

Dove - posted on 07/13/2012

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How is there attitude when they DON'T get something? That is a good tip to determining spoiledness. If they are grateful for the things they have, take care of them, and graciously (or semi-graciously... depending on age/maturity) accept when they can't have something... then I don't think they are spoiled even if they get lots of stuff.

Although if you husband gets mad about it then it may be time for a sit down discussion with him and see if you can come to a better agreement.

Aleks - posted on 07/13/2012

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Erin,

This is what I do. I also ask my kids their opinion or wishes (eg. what should we do for breakfast, or dinner or lunch, etc). I/we sometimes take them out to special places that they love and enjoy. And if they ask for this, and it fits into the plan for the day, then why not?

I also happy to get them little treats now and again. But they also have boundries and rules they have to follow. They also get reprimanded when they misbehave, etc.

As long as there is BALANCE, then the spoiling, isn't spoiling... its doing nice things for eachother... and isn't it what love is all about? Making eachother feel special, or that THEY are special TO YOU?
I think this teaches a very important and valuable lesson to our children about loving others and living with others...Don't you think?

Erin - posted on 07/13/2012

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I guess I didn't really have a definition when I posted this, and it can have a lot of different meanings depending on how you look at. I think I more along the lines of giving them whatever they want/ask for/demand.

My boys are somewhat spoiled - I will admit it and take the blame~ but I dont think they are beyond control and spoiled in every part of their life. I like buying them little things when we are out - toy cars, trips to the dollar store etc, and doing things for them that they ask me to do or activities they want to do, however there are plenty of times that I draw the line and they don't get toys or treats or whatever.

I am not ashamed or feel bad about what I do, I know that I will not be able to do it forever, and what them to have very pleasant memories of this time. My husband gets so mad about what I do - but I just can't help it lol

MeMe---(Past And Present) - posted on 07/13/2012

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I agree with Johnny. Spoiling has to do with ruining their development process. Hindering them from becoming an independent person.

If there is a good reason for something extra, then yes, they deserve it (but that is not spoiling). All the time, for no damn reason? Ah, no (that IS spoiling). My kids typically have to work for something special or over-and-above, their needs. We have firm discipline, guidelines and consequences AND TONS OF LOVE!

As for spoiling? Never.

Dove - posted on 07/13/2012

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Ditto Johnny. By my definition of spoiling, it's never ok because it isn't ok to ruin your kids. :)

Elfrieda - posted on 07/13/2012

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No, never, but again, I would define "spoiling" like Johnny does, to ruin or break something. Extra pampering and going against the normal rules when the child is sick or we're on vacation, yeah sure that sounds fine.

I'm actually a little paranoid about spoiling my son. I'm trying so hard to make sure that I don't turn him into a useless brat like some kids I see, but it's easy to do things for him because I think he's not capable or because it's easier in the moment, or I just don't realize that WHAT, maybe he's old enough to be responsible for putting his own shoes on and off, etc. I really don't want to spoil him, I want him to grow into a competent, good child, and then a competent, good adult.

Vegemite - posted on 07/12/2012

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ummm their birthday, when they're sick. Yes define spoiling, I tend to think of spoiling as Beth said.

[deleted account]

Define spoil.
I think if you mean by giving them stuff for no real reason, then yes occasionally it is acceptable. I mean, we all like some treats now and then. If we have been a bit lucky and have some money to play with we like to spoil the kids by getting them something nice they would normally only get for a birthday gift. We also like to spoil ourselves on occasion too. We recently had a little extra money so my hubby took us out shopping and bought the kids each a big gift and then took us all out for lunch. It made them happy and it made my hubby feel good. If a child has been having a bad time due to illness or just having some unpleasant things happen then I also think a bit of spoiling can do no harm. But I don't believe it is ever good to continuously or repeatedly spoil kids as it teaches them the wrong message.
If you mean in terms of behaviour then that is a different issue. I wouldn't be so quick to condone allowing kids to "get away with" bad behaviour or disrespect despite unusual circumstances.

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