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Too Much Love Never Spoils Children

“Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute presents for presence.” — Dr. Anthony P. Witham

Nobody likes spoiled children and their antics. They scream until they get what they want, they are irritable, and they don’t care about the people around them. However, spoiled children often don’t like themselves either. They are unhappy, resentful, frustrated that they can’t get what they want. Whatever they have, it’s never enough. Since they lack discipline and patience, they often grow up to fail socially and professionally. It’s up to the parents to prevent their kids from becoming like this.

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However, many people associate spoiled children with giving them any material possession they want. For instance, parents who try to “buy” their kids’ love without giving them much attention are at risk of this. But there’s another side to spoiling children: parents who give in to their children’s whims and don’t discipline them. This could include the parents giving in when the child demands privileges, ignores the needs of others and refuses to accept accountability.

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However, there’s no such thing as too much love when spoiling children. That is to say, parents who are attentive and discipline their kids aren’t at risk of spoiling them. They know how to say no and, in turn, the kids eventually learn how to accept it. [1] And it’s hard to say no, especially when the children are upset. But it’s a little easier when parents do everything possible to ensure their kids feel loved.

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How to Avoid Raising a Spoiled Child

Non-spoiled children are generally pleasant, grateful, and have self-control. Here are some important ways to help set them up for this success.

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  • Assign age-appropriate chores. This will help the children’s self-esteem and sense of responsibility. Plus, housework is an important skill for their adult life.
  • Teach them to say thank you for big things and little things.
  • Discipline by setting firm boundaries and expectations. This will certainly help them develop patience and self-control.
  • Don’t give false praise. Instead, tell them it’s okay to fail and that everyone is good at different things. Encourage without giving unwarranted praise.
  • Teach them the value of money and how to manage a household budget or their allowance. [2]

Related: Holding Your Crying Baby isn’t Spoiling Them, You’re Just Meeting the Child’s Needs

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How to Make Your Children Feel Loved

Fortunately, there are many ways parents could show their love to their kids. Emphasis on “show” it. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Some of the items on this list seem small, but they could have a profound effect on a child. 

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  • Look them in the eyes. You may be able to multi-task, but your kids will feel like they don’t have your full attention. So when kids talk to you, put down your phone and focus on them.
  • Make physical contact to show affection. Hold their hands, give them cuddles, kisses, high-fives, and hugs, and don’t hold back!
  • Compliment them. And be specific about them. This will help them build their self-confidence and self-love.
  • Thank them. To teach gratitude, you have to demonstrate it. This helps them feel validated and happy with themselves.
  • Spend quality time with them. Read books together and discuss your favorite characters. Talk about their day. Make bedtime special. Take them on one-and-one outings. Cook together. And show them that they could always talk to you.
  • Show enthusiasm for the things they are excited about. And show how excited you are to see them when they get home from school.
  • Encourage them. In other words, let them know that you believe in them.
  • Start traditions. For example, this could be a special game, outing, song, story, or anything that creates beautiful, lifelong memories. [3]
  • Wake them up with a smile to set a happy and loving tone for the day. 
  • Let them express themselves. Above all, listen and empathize; don’t jump to fix the problem or criticize. This will build trust. You’ll know you’re listening well when your children come to you when they need support.
  • Learn their love language. As spiritual parenting expert Christine Marrin says, “For example, even though you might feel very loved and cherished if your spouse arrives home from work with flowers for you, someone else might feel loved when her spouse empties the dishwasher for her.”
  • Say “I love you”. Because there’s no such thing as saying “I love you” too much. Say it at bedtime and before they go to school, and also when they are acting up or feeling upset. This shows your unconditional love for them. [4]

There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Love

Remember, there are always ups and downs in parent-child relationships. The important thing is that you keep building the connection. Make it your point to have fun together during difficult times. Try to be available to listen and comfort them whenever they need it. And above all, keep showing how much you care. Because too much love never spoils children. [5]

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Keep Reading: Giving your children experiences instead of toys boosts their intelligence and happiness

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Sources

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  1. “Spoiling a Child.” Psychology Today. Fredric Neuman M.D. August 24, 2017
  2. “How to Avoid Spoiling Your Child.” Very Well Family. Katherine Lee. November 23, 2020
  3. “15 Ways You Can Show Your Kids You Love Them — Every Day.” HuffPost. June 25, 2018
  4. “10 ways to make your child feel loved.Today’s Parent. Marissa Stapley Ponikowski. February 14, 2019
  5. A Psychologist’s Guide To Having A Loving Relationship With Your Kids.” CBC. Dr. Ester Cole and John Hoffman. February 28, 2020
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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