Happiness is relative. For a 65 year old man, the ultimate moment of joy might be meeting his children after a year. A middle-aged man may associate happiness with getting a promotion at work.
Thanks to media’s growing role in consumerism and commercialism, kids these days find happiness in material objects like the latest gadgets and expensive toys. Sometimes in an attempt to fuel this “happiness”, parents tend to go overboard and overindulgent with their children. This especially happens when they attempt to overcompensate for the time they’ve not been able to spend with their little ones. Sure, this will give a child a sense of momentary thrill and delight, but it can also result in a lifetime of harm if parents don’t know where to draw the line.
Overindulgent parents as defined by researcher David J. Bredehoft, Ph.D., CFLE are those who offer their kids “Too Much Stuff: Materialism and activities, Over-nurturing: Too much assistance reducing self-reliance, and Soft Structure: Lax rules, no chores, aimless.” Here are 6 useful tips for parents to stop overindulging their kids:
- Being Assertive – A common mistake parents make is easily giving in to their child’s bad behavior to avoid unrest and maintain peace. What they fail to realize that catering to unreasonable demands of their child in pursuit of absolute calmness can go a long way in shaping up the child’s obstinate personality. A child who always gets his way will grow up with a mindset that things will always work as per his whims and fancies. Not only will this attitude impact his relationship with people around him but will also turn him into a bitter individual. According to an article in the Telegraph, lack of disciple at home can make kids disregard school rules, shun away responsibility and show little respect towards adults. It is important for parents to learn to say “no” and be firm with their kids when the situation demands.
- Setting Behavioral Expectations – Setting boundaries with respect to their kid’s behavior is the most essential practice that parents should follow. It is important to ingrain the basics of acceptable versus unacceptable behavioral traits in kids. For example, kids must be taught that it is unacceptable for them to throw a fit in want of a toy at a mall whereas politely requesting parents is the right thing to do. Similarly, it is wrong on the part of kids to be rude and to snap back at parents when they voice their concerns or opinions.
- Allocating A Monthly Budget – Parents must avoid shelling out big bucks each time their child demands something. They should instead introduce the concept of monthly allowance that will not only help their children understand the value of money but will also teach them the good habit of saving from an early age.
- Setting A Routine – These days children are so enamored and over-consumed by modern day technology that they often disregard important things in life such as education, a healthy lifestyle and family values. Parents must set a strict routine for their kids to follow with fixed timings allotted to important activities like playing outdoors, studying, cleaning their room and sleeping. Without a proper routine kids can get carried away doing things only to suit their liking. Too much time spent watching TV or playing video games can not only hamper a child’s cognitive development and eyesight, but can also lead to other health problems like obesity. An article by Harvard School of Public Health suggests that lasting weight gain in kids is directly proportional to the amount of time they spend watching TV.
- Appreciating Good Behavior – While it is essential for parents to reprimand their kids if they misbehave, it is equally important to appreciate them if they display good behavior. A word or two of encouragement helps reinforce positive actions in kids. It also helps kids realize that parents are their well-wishers and are on their side; they aren’t always set out to demean and prove kids wrong!
- Laying Importance On Family Bonding – Parents must teach their kids the importance of valuing relationships more than material pleasures. Instead of showering kids with pricey gifts regularly, parents should rather shower them with love and affection. Activities like picnics, board games and adventure sports should be regular happenings in families that want to strengthen the bond they share.
It’s true that parents want nothing but the best for their kids, but at times, in pursuit of offering the best, parents tend to spoil their kids. It’s not wrong for parents to pamper their kids, but the key lies in striking the right balance between discipline and gratification.