Lesson 82: Spoil Your Child By Your Response

It was the first lesson when I received a call from a mother who had some problems with her daughter, "Coach, my kid wouldn't want to attend the class, so I brought her back home. Could she join her sister's class later?"

So what happened was, the girl grabbed her mother's arm tightly, stoned outside the classroom and was reluctant to enter the class. She was reluctant to listen even when her mother, the coach and her cousin spending time to persuade her. Hence, her mother had no choice but to bring her back home.

Oh my, if I were her, I would leave her in the classroom without any worries because kids tend to adapt to new environment very quickly. Furthermore, bringing the kid away from the class means that you allow her to escape from the class, which you should not.

Hence, I said, "I understood. You must be having a hard time. However, the lessons are different. We must try to persuade her. Why not giving it a try? Could you bring her back? I will talk to her."

"But... she will throw tantrum later. I don't want this to happen!" The mother expressed her worries.

"Just try. I'll be waiting here."

A moment later, the girl arrived with her "body guard" who were her sister, cousins and maid. She looked like she was the princess of the house.

"Let's go! Let's join the class!" I said to her.

She looked at me and shoo her head.

Well, I had to give her choices (refer to Lesson 71), "Then you choose. Do you want to go into the class now, or, after two minutes?"

She thought for it for a moment and replied, "Two minutes later." Hence, she played outside the classroom for two minutes before she willingly entered the class.

After that, her mother came to meet me. Because I was so curious, I asked her, "How did you make her come back?" The purpose of asking this question was to understand the interaction between the mother and the child because usually child's behaviors are affected by mother's responds. 

"Well, too bad I had to 'bribe' her so that she would come. I promised to give her a small present. Usually she would behave in this way."

"Bribe the kid? It seemed like this girl was being spoiled. The hierarchy in the family changed when a mother give in too much as if the girl was the 'queen' and the mother was a servant. However, the mother seemed did not realize about the issue here. 

Do not handicap your children by making their life easy. (Robert A. Heinlein)

How do we know that we are spoiling our kids?

1. Give in to everything

Just like the mother of the girl, you allow your kid to have everything he/ she wants. The result would be bribing your kid to do the things that they must do.

2. Stand up for your child in whatever circumstances

Whenever or whatever your child did, whether it is right or wrong, you stand up for your child, and some parents even  accuse the other party. So your child will think that he/ she is right in whatever circumstances.

3. Over helping you child

Whether it is big or small matter, you do it for your kids, even little matter that your child would be able to do. In long run, your child may tend to take it for granted and become dependent on others. When no help is offered, your child will tend to blame others for not helping.

4. Overly gentle to your child

I had seen some parents who could be very gentle to their child even if when their child was being unreasonable. They would say, "Honey, don't be upset. I'm so sorry." While some other parents were being looked down by their child because they were too soft-spoken. Even if you prefer to be gentle to your child, when your child is being disrespectful, you have to be strict with them.

If you do well, everything goes well. 

Hence, parents have to watch your own behaviors. If you could prevent the habits above since your child is young, then your child would not be spoiled. 

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