Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Parenting Question

Will giving a child all he or she wants including gifts and privileges make him or her:
A.   Happier?
B.   Well behaved?
C.   Just wanting more and more? 

It’s doubtful that it will make them more behaved and it teaches a child to behave only if he or she gets something in return.

Will showering them with gifts make them happier? Overindulging children generally leads to headache later on. It doesn’t mean that we don’t give some, but we need to show our love in a more balanced way.

What is more often true is that giving a child all he or she wants tends to make them want more and more. Children will learn to expect whatever they request and some children begin to equate what they get with “love.”

I knew a mother who stopped at a store every night after work - before she picked her child up from day care - to buy him something. It was usually a candy bar or a small toy. She said it made him happy. Although I believe the true purpose of buying the child a gift everyday was to make mom feel less guilty. It’s sad that she didn’t’ think she could make him happy unless she was buying him something. I often wonder how that child turned out.

Showing love with gifts and privileges is great in small doses. But children who are overindulged often have trouble being happy as adults. Eventually the gifts stop and this can create a lot of disappointment for a child who learned to feel loved only when he or she was getting something.

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