Glue4Families has a great post about spoiling kids. And I thought of a lot of things to say, so I figured I ought to just post it all instead of dragging her blog down 😉
My kids are definitely spoiled. They have so much stuff it’s crazy; more than what they need. Our son regularly gets new little cars, just because he likes them and we want them for him. Lately I’ve been bribing him to obey when we go to Wal Mart to do the shopping. If he obeys, he gets one. If not, sorry, little guy…maybe next time. My 3 yr old knows this very clearly.
One thing I did to teach my kids appreciation and not to always expect toys or treats, was to regularly play with them in the store. I know it sounds crazy, but it worked. They could see the toys, etc., then we would say bye to the toys and move on. They learned throwing fits wasn’t going to get them what they wanted, and by doing so would have the opposite effect…no toy for fits. If they wanted a toy, it’s best to behave. Then, when they did get what they wanted, they appreciated it all the more. It’s just the way it’s always been in our house and they accept it. They grow out of the fit phase.
A few months ago we saw a girl about my dd’s age (10) throwing a tantrum about opening a bag of cookies in the store. “But I want them NOW!” She knew eventually it would work, she’d get the cookie. Otherwise, at 10 years old, she would have grown out of the fits that she threw as a normal toddler.
And as for babies…I don’t mind spoiling my babies. For 2 reasons…1) they grow up quickly, and 2) I’m the one who deals with any issue that might come up with spoiling them. I carry the little one around everywhere, I hold him during some naps, and he sleeps within arm’s reach of me at night (my arm’s reach, not his).
I just think common sense and observation are key. If the kid’s acting like a whiney brat, you scale back and use discipline. If they are appreciative and can hear “no” without screaming like a banshee, they’re ok.