These children are inconsiderate of others, demand to have their own way, find it difficult to delay gratification, and are prone to temper outbursts. They are difficult to satisfy and do not remain satisfied long. They are unpleasant to be around, even for those who love them. One often gets the impression spoiled children do not enjoy being with themselves.
A common misconception is children are spoiled by overindulgence. Indulging children is one of the joys of being a parent or grandparent. Instead, spoiling results when you give material things, accept behavior without critical review or fail to provide essential guidelines for acceptable behavior.
Some parents believe it is abnormal for infants to cry except when they are hungry or need changing. Most young infants cry two hours or more a day, perhaps to relieve normal daily tension. Parents worry that holding their fussy baby will spoil or make the baby excessively demanding in the future. Research indicates colicky babies benefit from increased holding and interaction. However, after three to four months of age, infants may use crying in a manipulative way.
Many parents are unprepared for their child’s intense curiosity and urge to explore the environment. Parents find themselves following children around, cleaning up messes and snatching them away from danger. Every comment seems to be “no!” Parents begin to believe the worst — their child is spoiled. They attempt to regain control by increasing the severity and frequency of punishment. The child is then repeatedly frustrated by normal impulses which create a state of continuing conflict. Parents should be forewarned of this developmental stage and not aggravate the situation by overreacting. A toddler’s curiosity is normal and not a behavior problem.
Parents should child-proof their homes. With most of valuables and fragile items put away, you can give your child the freedom to learn without worrying that your child will hurt himself or herself or other household items.
Young infants have difficulty distinguishing between themselves and the people around them. At two years, infants start to develop more autonomy and an awareness of his ability to make decisions and influence events around them. This period is often described as the “terrible twos,” and applies from 18 months until three years. During this stage, children resist efforts to control activity. Parents may think this resistance to their authority is an indication their child is becoming spoiled. In fact, negative two-year-olds really are showing they have minds of their own. The parent should try to avoid conflict and confrontation. Don’t offer a choice of actions when there is no choice. Don’t ask the child to say how he or she feels when in the end it will make no difference. Let your child know about what action is expected firmly and calmly. When appropriate, let your child make a choice when either choice is acceptable. This allows your child to feel some degree of control without your giving up .