One of my friends is the mom of a 12-year-old girl who has been diagnosed with depression. When they found out about it, she and her husband decided to do everything the child wanted to prevent her from thinking of negative things. If she wanted to go to the mall, for instance, they would take her there. If she asked for a new pair of sneakers a week after receiving one, they would buy that for her.
Despite my friend’s assumption that what she’s doing will help her child recover, though, things worsened. The girl realized that her parents would do anything to make her happy, so she became more demanding. Every time she wanted to buy something, she would say so as if her parents were her servants. If they couldn’t provide what the kid was asking for, she would talk back, yell, or stare angrily at them even in front of other people.
All of a sudden, mild depression was no longer the problem. Instead, it was the spoiled attitude of the child that’s giving the parents a headache.
Whether you can or can’t relate to everything mentioned above, here are more struggles that only moms and dads with spoiled kids will understand. “Be a parent, not a friend. This means you cannot be afraid to be the bad guy. Sometimes, you have to fail in order to succeed.” Licensed Marriage, and Family Therapist Lori Freson, LMFT says.
Maxing Out Your Monthly Budget
The first issue has something to do with money. Most families try to stick to a specific budget to be able to get by without having to take out a loan, you see. Say, they wish to allocate $1000 for food, electricity, water, phone, gas, and other bills every 30 days.
It will work if your children have learned not to ask for anything they don’t need. There may at least be 100 bucks left as well if they are old enough to get a part-time job and chip in. However, in case your kids are used to getting whatever they want, $1000 may merely be enough to fund their wants.
Getting Criticized For Your Parenting Skills
The same friend mentioned earlier told me that she got scolded by her daughter’s psychiatrist one time. Before the appointment, the girl wanted to go on a shopping spree again. As usual, they bought everything, except for one white shirt that seemed too cheap to come with an expensive price tag. It pissed off the child and even pouted and didn’t answer her psychiatrist’s questions at all.
When my friend tried to cover up for her kid and said that she’s upset with them, not with the psychiatrist, the doctor called her out. She said, “This girl feels like she can step all over you. You can’t let her do that, especially since she’s only 12.” Because it was true, my friend could not do anything but avoid the mental health expert’s gaze the entire time. “The advice, especially by those who themselves have not experienced the struggles of parenthood, triggers negative emotions in parents,” Clinical Psychologist Anna Prudovski said.
Regretting All The Enabling You’ve Done
Of course, all the humiliating moments you’ve encountered due to your spoiled child can make you feel regretful. You tend to deal with a lot of “if only” sentences, too. “If only I firmly said ‘no’ to them sooner, their behavior would have been different.” “If only I scolded my kid the first time they talked back, I would not be suffering now.”
As you can perhaps tell by now, raising spoiled kids is a terrible idea. It will bring you nothing but disappointment, regret, heartaches, and sometimes even a huge financial debt. Worse, such children will continue to depend on you no matter how old they become. According to Laurence Steinberg, PhD, “Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness. It also promotes intellectual curiosity, motivation, and desire to achieve. It helps protect children from developing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anti-social behavior, and alcohol and drug abuse.”
If you want to live in peace, therefore, you should avoid spoiling your kids entirely.