A spoiled child makes unfair demands on others, does not respond to “no,” and constantly wants an adult to entertain him. The spoiled child gets his way with whining and tantrums. Spoiled aren’t happy, because they don’t get along with age mates or grown ups. They also tend to be poorly motivated to work hard. The main cause is leniency and giving in too much. The opposite of a spoiled child is a disciplined, cooperative one, who respects the rights of others. If this is what you want, be sure you’re doing the following.
• First, provide an age-appropriate limit setting, starting about four months of age. Children can’t learn self-control without external control. Apply limits regarding sleep by four months and regarding safety issues by eight months.
• Second, teach children a respect for parents’ rights. Unless you do, they won’t respect other people’s rights. Don’t let them interrupt you when you’re talking with other grown ups.
• Third, teach them to play independently to entertain themselves. Start this in small amounts before they turn one.
In summary, in your quest for quality time with your child, don’t overlook his needs for limits.
During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.