Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Not Raise A Big, Spoiled Rotten Brat

How To Not Raise A Big, Spoiled Rotten Brat
(Or Die Trying Not To)

No one likes saying no to their kids. We want our kids to be happy, we want them to have what they want, we want to give them the very best. But being a "Yes Mom" can backfire on you. Big time. Little spoiled rotten people grow up to be big spoiled rotten people and we know this because we all know adults who have a sense of entitlement and are not self-sufficient. Instead of raising a child who is confident, successful, compassionate and hard-working, you'll end up with one of "those people" who only remain on your facebook friends list because of their ridiculous, unintentionally hilarious status updates. 

 My little "brats"

Here are some tips on how to not raise a big, spoiled rotten brat...or die trying not to...

1. Just Say NO!

Always giving your child what they want or giving into what they want, gives your child a really poor image about life...that you always get what you want, no matter what, just because it's what you want. Unfortunately, we all know that's not the case. Your child isn't learning what it is to be disappointed or how to handle that feeling and if you think about disappointment (and the way you respond to it) is a huge part of life. When you do say no, mean it and don't cave. Giving into tantrums happens to us all once in a while. When it happens routinely you're teaching your child that all they need to do is cry and whine to get what they want. If that were true I'd have everything my heart desires as I'm really good at making a lot of noise. 

2. Reward The Right Way

Many parents think they are rewarding their children when what they're really doing in bribing them (don't get me wrong--bribery does have a role in parenting--but certainly not on a daily basis!). If you say, "If you do this, I will give you this.", that's not a reward system, that's bribery. A reward should be something special for something good that was done that didn't require prompting, prodding and promising. 

3. Newton's 3rd Law: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Kids don't realize that everything they do, good or bad, has a consequence and that what they do, good or bad, effects other people. Set clear rules for your child regarding the behavior you expect them to exhibit and have consequences when they don't meet your expectations. There has to be discipline. Try to always reinforce good behavior with praise. It's easy to focus on the negative. Sometimes kids will choose negative attention over no attention at all. Emphasize the positive!

4. All kids, even as young as 2, are capable of, and should be expected to do, chores. Teach your child that we all have responsibilities in life and that each member of the family needs to contribute to taking care of the house and each other. Praise your child for a job well done. It will make them feel good and it will make them feel important...and in the end, that's what everyone wants, to feel important. 

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