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Bloggers weigh in on the issue of 'spoiled' kids

Published: Sunday, Oct. 28 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

Parents are finding it difficult to separate their child's "wants" and "needs."

Kylie Lewis, Shutterstock

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Maria Yagoda knows her childhood would be classified as "spoiled." But she also thinks it's possible for a child to be spoiled and grateful at the same time.

"We can’t help being spoiled; our parents did that to us," she writes. "But what our parents can also do to us is instill a sense of social responsibility and humbleness that will prevent us from becoming adult brats."

Yagoda, an editorial assistant at saveur.com, wrote an article featured in the New York Times on the topic of being spoiled. She's one of several bloggers who have weighed in on the parenting issue recently.

Yagoda feels that the problem arises when kids fail to realize how fortunate they are.

"Spoiled children, in themselves, aren’t dangerous or problematic; there will always be children who have their needs (and more) taken care of by their parents," Yagoda writes. "Rather, spoiled children become toxic to society when they are unable to acknowledge their privilege."

Yagoda feels that parents should be obligated to raise their children in a way that will benefit them once they are adults.

Neale Godfrey from the Huffington Post writes of an experience she had with her friend, Carol. Carol was one out of millions who bought a new iPhone 5 the first weekend of the phone's release. But Carol wasn't originally planning on getting the new iPhone for herself; she was at the store to buy her 5-year-old daughter an iPad because all the other kids in her daughter's class had one.

"I couldn't help but wonder what message was she was sending to her child," Godfrey writes. "I'm all in favor of having the tools for learning, but not just to keep up with the neighbors."

Godfrey said she teaches kids the difference between "need" and "want" as well as how to resist pressures when other kids have what they don't. Parents have a responsibility to raise their kids in a similar way.

"Parents need to teach by example," Godfrey writes. "We also need to watch what we say in front of our kids. 'I need that new iPhone' sends the wrong message. Our kids learn from our shopping and spending habits and those lessons become a part of who they are."

An article on Fox Business gives ideas for parents to use when attempting to unspoil their kids. For some families, cutting back on spending money is necessary in today's economy.

Linda DiProperzio, a parenting writer and mom of two, says parents should not feel guilty when they start to cut back on their kid's "wants" and focus more on their "needs."

"Kids don’t come out of the womb spoiled — we make them that way," she writes. Instead of feeling guilty, you can look at this change as a great lesson for your child in spending, saving and sticking to a budget.”

BabyCenter’s Global editor in chief, Linda Murray, gives parents advice for one of the best ways to unspoil their kids.

“You have to teach them how to work for what they want," she writes.

Murray suggests:

Creating a sticker chart. Parents reward their kids with a sticker each time they complete a positive action such as making their beds. Once a kid reaches a certain amount of stickers, they are rewarded with a new toy.

Trading in old toys with new ones. This teaches kids to give in order to get while avoiding clutter at the same time.

Kylie Lewis is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and other feature articles. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving her bachelor's in Communication.

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