It’s hard. You want to give your children everything but you don’t want them to turn out like spoiled brats demanding everything out of everyone. The world only needs one Kim Kardashian, right? So, how do you go about raising your kids in a way that gives them everything you never had and everything they need, without turning them into fame-starved monsters who need to carry around the latest iPhone and Chanel clutch before they’re 13? Follow these great tips to ensure your kids aren’t on the path to self-absorption.
15 Everything Doesn’t Always Have to Be a No
Letting your child do something here or there that you’re not 100 percent sure of can be a good thing. Just like those with strict parents who have fits if their children wind up drunk at 16 (never a goal but will most likely happen), end up total messes later on in life when they should be focusing on more responsibilities. Not letting your child do anything or limiting them can turn them into spoiled babies who will do it anyways, regardless of your say so. If you still aren't sure, here are creative ways of saying no without having to say it.
14 Second Chances Seldom Work
Giving someone a second chance rarely turns out the way you want it to, and giving someone three or 10 chances never works out the way you want it to. So, why are you doing that with your children? If you ever find yourself counting down and turning a 3 into a 3 ¾ and a 2 into 2 ½, you’re already losing the battle. Letting your children manipulate you will only teach them to manipulate others later on in life. Stand your ground.
13 Disappointment Helps Them Grow
No one wants to be disappointed. Everyone wants to eat chips and cake and ice cream all day every day and wind up looking like Charlize Theron with the heart health of a vegan Olympic champ. It's not going to happen. Letting your children be disappointed in life (with the small things that really won’t affect them in the long run) can help them grow and appreciate everything they have now and in the future.
12 Etiquette, Please
Distill in them the manners of the Victorian era. No, full skirts and parasols aren’t needed here but showing your children basic manners (and then moving onto which fork is really for the salad and which is for the shrimp) to use in everyday life can go a long way. Somehow, seeing a child with everything but who says please and thank-you and looks like they actually mean it makes the whole visual less cringe-worthy.
11 Make Them Be Thankful
Teach your children to be thankful for everything they have because not everyone has it. Sure, rolling around in a Benz may come naturally to a lot of people and their children but not to everyone in the world. Teaching them to be thankful for the material things in life, as well as the things you cannot buy, will steer them into the direction of wonderful young adults.
10 "But It’s Only $100"
Sure, kids don’t always know the value of money; just look at how excited a 5-year-old would be with $2. However, teaching them that things cost money and that money doesn’t just grow on trees (sorry for the flashback of your mother's voice here) will help them understand that they don’t need and shouldn’t have everything in sight. Teaching them the money basics and how much things really cost and what it takes to get that money can help them in the longer run, too, when it comes to budgeting during university and later in life.
9 Show Them Their Money
Showing your children their own money in jars or piggy banks is a great way to teach them the value of a dollar. Try making jars labeled ‘to spend’ and ‘to save’, and even one labeled ‘to give away’. This can teach them to see where their money should be going, where it does go, and they can watch it grow.
8 Let Them Buy That Stupid Item
Kids are stupid. You’ve watched the videos, you’ve seen the ridiculous commercials, sometimes their minds just…don’t work. Other times, you can be convinced you have a boy/girl genius on your hands. But, they’re still learning and figuring things out and this is how everyone gets to be where they are, by making tons of mistakes. So, let them spend their money on that ridiculous item you know they’ll tire of in less than a day. Just like you did when you spent your money on that awful outfit or cigarettes and beer all through college instead of food and textbooks, they need to learn.
7 Lead by Example
If you’re throwing a fit with the cashier at the local Whole Foods, what are you teaching your children? First off, a cashier can’t do anything for you; you need to head up to corporate. Someone working for minimum wage behind a till isn’t going to care about you and whether or not your super organic grown apple has the tiniest of bruises on it. Second, if you’re acting like a spoiled brat, so will your children. Everyone learns by example, and if everyone’s acting a fool, you will too.
6 Give Up Your Excuses
So, you’re tired. You’ve had a long day at work; your boss was hounding you for that project that he sprung up on you only a day ago. You know that you shouldn’t be giving into your children’s tantrums or the fact that they want to stop at McDonald’s or grab that chocolate bar you said no to earlier, except…you feel your willpower waning. Don’t give in. Giving in to all these tantrums, even if you’re too bone-tired to argue, isn’t going to help you in the long run. In fact, it’ll cause more of these tantrums to pop when you’re too exhausted to argue. Just cut out the excuses and parent up.
5 Discipline Is Key
Discipline your children! Going soft on your children and letting them get away with more than they should because you don’t want to be ‘hard’ on them is completely and utter garbage talk. Disciplining your children isn’t going to make them into sociopaths; it’s going to make them into adults who will be able to take care of themselves in the real world and not have a breakdown because someone doesn’t want to do it their way. Going full WWE Smackdown isn’t the idea here but passively disciplining isn’t doing the wonders that that gluten-intolerant, sugar-free, organic eating, yoga instructor mom with the kids named Jorhden and Karlehai swears it does.
4 Want Vs. Need
Teach your children the difference between wanting something and needing something. Sure, wanting that pedicure after a long month (or even week) of stressful work and activities can definitely seem like a need…and may be put into that pile due to dire circumstances. However, getting one every day is definitely not a need, but a want. Getting groceries and feeding your family healthy meals is a need; getting groceries packed with gummy bears, chips, and ice cream is just a want.
3 Like Rihanna Says…
Work, work, work, work, work. (That is what she says, right? No one seems to have any idea as to what those lyrics really are.) Having your kids do odd jobs around the house, or to ‘earn their keep’ with chores such as sweeping and vacuuming or mowing the lawn is a perfect way to teach them responsibilities and keep them from becoming the spoiled brats you see on TV every day. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get a little help every now and then, does it?
2 Summer Jobs Teach Responsibility
Parents these days don’t seem to want to make their children in high school head off to work during the school year, or even during those summer months. Everyone can understand the need to focus on schoolwork and extracurriculars but what are these kids doing during the summer months? Unless they’re helping around the house a lot more (like A LOT more), or taking summer classes the answer is nothing. Teach your kids to work for their money, for their education, for everything in life, as everyone needs to learn that you have to work for everything--not get it handed to you.
1 Stop Bargaining
So, your toddler doesn’t want to put away her toys. You offer her ice cream or gummy bears to coerce her into doing what you need to be done right now. Is this teaching her that you’re in charge? Using beloved items for bargaining won’t get you anywhere later in life when the bargaining becomes more stressful, from getting into their car seat to coming home before 3 a.m. sober. Think about it.