In a society where parents are busy with office meetings and spending more time at power lunches than at the family dining table, it wasn't long before the kids start to feel left out. And what do parents do to compensate for lost time spent away from their kids? They shower the kids with money, toys, gadgets, gaming consoles and the latest smartphones.
But parents should know that spending quality time with their kids cannot, and should not, be substituted by fulfilling their materialistic desires. Dr. Connie Dawson, co-author of How Much Is Enough, says "When parents give children too much stuff that costs money, do things for children that they can do for themselves, do not expect children to do chores, do not have good rules and let children run the family, parents are overindulging."
Here we take a look at proof that you're overindulging your child...
You Buy Your Children The Latest And Most Expensive Phones
Back in the 1980s, children would play with sticks and rocks. An empty cardboard box was a make-believe castle for them to play with all day. Fast-forward to modern times, and you see kids less than 12 years of age sporting the latest iPhones that cost a fortune. One can't help but wonder why would a 12-year-old kid be roaming around with an expensive smartphone? Daddy's money, that's why. But what most parents fail to realise is that with this kind of overindulgent behaviour, their children will grow up not knowing the value of money.
Imposing Your Taste In Fashion On Your Little Ones
Ever so often, you see parents decking up their 10-year-old kids in the latest outfits complete with makeup and wacky hairstyles. What parents need to understand here is that kids should look like kids and not like they're going to walk down the ramp. So let's not project our fashion tastes onto our little ones, instead let them dress the way kids ought to.
Letting Your Kids Stay Out Late Without Deadlines
Are you one of those parents who allow their kids to go out as and when they please? Does the word 'curfew' have no place in your child's dictionary? Well, then maybe it is time to get them a new dictionary. One in which, "Be home by 9 PM" means, be on time or get grounded. Kids need to have a firm foundation with certain ground rules set in place. This helps them stay on track and instils a sense of discipline in them.
Giving Into Their Every Demand
When your kids ask for something without the use of pleasantries like "Please" or "May I?", do you give into their demands anyway? Is it more like an "Ask and you shall receive" kind of situation with your children? If that is the case, then know this – they will most likely grow up to be spoilt brats! Consider giving them only things they need and not what they want. And when they ask for something, make sure that they realise they have to earn it and that nothing in this world comes free, except mummy and daddy's hugs and kisses; a parent's unconditional love comes free :-)
Picking Up After Their Messes
Kids can be pretty messy and if you don't stop picking up after them at a young age, there's a good chance that they will grow up to be messy adults too. Start off while they're still young by ensuring they do chores around the house. This way they will slowly learn to pick up after themselves and be a whole lot more independent.
Now that you know you are overindulging your kids, you know what you need to do to get things back on track. Good luck!
Also read: How Strict Should A Parent To A Teenager Be