Unspoil your kids

You give them everything, and they don't appreciate it. Sound familiar? You're not alone.
a little boy screaming at a birthday party

How can you tell if your kid is spoiled?

It’s tough to define “spoiled.” It can vary by age, social skills, culture, and even individual’s perceptions. 

A child who receives lavish gifts can be gracious, and a kid with fewer toys can act entitled. Do parents spoil children through the act of giving, or by allowing bad manners? 

For the sake of argument, let’s say that it’s a combination of the two. Spoiled kids have been given too much, too easily, or without having to earn it. They are ungrateful for the sacrifices of others and expect special treatment. Here are a few examples of entitled behavior:

  • Expecting others to cater to every desire
  • Belief that they deserve special treatment, privileges, or material possessions without having to earn them
  • Lack of appreciation for the value of hard work
  • Not showing gratitude for what they have
  • Struggling to cope with disappointment or setbacks
  • Struggling with boundaries
  • Tantrums when they don’t get their way
  • Preoccupation with material possessions
  • Difficulty sharing toys, possessions, or attention
  • Difficulty empathizing with others
A little girl hanging up her clothes

How to unspoil your child

If you’re reading this post, it’s probably because you’ve already identified some spoiled behavior in your child. But don’t worry! There are lots of ways to start “unspoiling” your child.

  1. Set clear expectations: Establish clear rules and expectations for behavior, chores, and responsibilities. Make sure kids understand and stay consistent. Consistency helps children learn accountability and consequences for their actions.
  2. Delay gratification: Teach your children the importance of waiting for rewards and working towards long-term goals. Encourage them to save up for something they want instead of immediately buying it. Using Ketshop helps kids see that achieving their goals take time and effort. Delaying gratification develops a sense of accomplishment when they finally achieve their goals.
  3. Practice gratitude: Help your children develop empathy by exposing them to different perspectives and consider others’ feelings. Promote gratitude by noting the effort put into gifts, experiences, kindness from others. Encourage them to volunteer or donate items to those less fortunate.
  4. Focus on relationships: Reduce the emphasis on material items and focus on experiences and relationships. Appreciate moments spent with family and friends, and engage in activities that don’t revolve around buying things. Teach them that happiness comes from connections, not from acquiring stuff.
  5. Lead by example: Children often follow the example set by adults. Be a role model by showing kindness, gratitude, and responsible behavior. Demonstrate that you value experiences, relationships, and personal growth over material items. Your actions have a powerful influence on children’s values and behaviors.
  6. Teach Financial Responsibility:
    Encourage your children to earn and manage their money using a tool like Ketshop. Provide them with opportunities to earn an allowance through chores or small tasks. Teach them about saving, budgeting, and making responsible spending choices. This helps them understand the value of money and reduces entitlement.
  7. Foster Independence: Empower your children to solve their problems independently. Encourage them to take responsibility for their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and personal goals. Gradually give them more freedom to make decisions, as well as learning from their mistakes.
  8. Limit Screen Time and Consumption: Set reasonable limits on screen time and exposure to advertising that promotes materialism. Encourage more creative and constructive activities like reading, playing outside, or pursuing hobbies. Reducing exposure to materialistic influences can help your children appreciate the world around them.
  9. Promote Responsibility Through Chores: Assign age-appropriate chores and tasks to your children. Having regular responsibilities around the house teaches kids that everyone in the family plays a role in maintaining the household. Make sure to acknowledge and praise their efforts!
  10. Encourage Problem-Solving: Instead of always providing solutions, encourage your children to brainstorm and solve problems on their own. This helps them develop critical thinking skills and a sense of self-efficacy. Guide them through the process, but allow them to take the lead in finding solutions.
It may take some time to refocus your child, so don’t expect it all to happen overnight. Start gently, and be sure to give them plenty of encouragement when they’re doing well. Sometimes, it’s difficult to get harsh feedback, especially for children. And changing expectations can be a challenge, so you might encounter some resistance.

Just remind them that you aren’t saying “no” to their wants and needs, you’re saying “not yet.” When they’ve earned it, they’ll get it. Then, they’ll say thank you.

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