Perils of Overindulging your Child

Who doesn’t love to pamper their little one? As parents, we take it as our duty to get our kids the best of things. The best toys, the best clothes, and all that we couldn’t have in our childhood. Now, on the surface, all of this seems pretty great, doesn’t it? Themed birthday parties, lavish vacations, the latest gadgets, and eating at expensive places.

But did you know that children don’t need to be entertained all the time? Giving them too many things and privileges tend to have negative impacts on their personalities. Overindulging is as real as it gets. And doing so could last in lifelong consequences for most children.

Different Types of Overindulgence

If you think that buying your children tons of toys and gifts is overindulgence, it is not only that. It also includes allowing too much freedom to your children and too little discipline.

According to the Overindulgence Project, the researchers have identified three types of overindulgence:

  • Over-nurturing: Parents prevent their children from learning independent skills when they do much for their children. Children’s healthy development is hindered when parents do all for their kids and rescue them from any uncomfortable emotions.
  • Soft-structure: Children are unable to function and grow up into self-disciplined adults if they do not get healthy limits and enough discipline. This could also include not giving your child any responsibilities and chores whenever they throw a temper tantrum.
  • Providing too much: No matter what it is, too many activities, too many toys, or gadgets, it could be harmful to give kids a lot many things. It is alright to get bored. Children need downtime, and they need to learn how to entertain themselves.

Why Do Parents Overindulge Their Kids?

There could be tons of reasons why parents tend to overindulge kids. The most common reason behind this is guilt.

Take the example of parents who work long hours and can’t spend enough time with their children. They try to make up for not being around by buying numerous gifts.

Another reason is that parents want their children to be happy. So, instead of risking your children getting unhappy or upset, parents give in and let them have whatever they wish to have.

Then, there are parents who are unprepared to deal with behavioral problems. To sum up, they are ill-equipped to handle children’s temper tantrums and defiance. To make their life easier, they avoid establishing rules and disciplining their children.

Some parents want to make up for their own painful memories of childhood and make up for them. They fulfill their dreams via their children. A parent who grew up in rough times and poverty would make sure that their child has everything. Also, those parents you grew up with strict parents don’t want their children to have the same childhood and therefore, do not give their child enough structure and rules to follow.

Reasons Why Overindulging Children Isn’t Healthy 

Following are a few reasons why you should think a few times before you give your child whatever he wants whenever he wants:

  • No Value of Anything: When children have too many things, such as clothing, electronics, and toys, they are unable to take care of them. Children cannot learn to be responsible because they cannot take care of too much stuff. They cannot notice when things are lost or mend when something gets broken. Having too much does not make them value anything as they have too many things.
  • Satisfaction/Happiness from Material Goods: Children begin to think that they can get true happiness and satisfaction only from material goods. And if they have more stuff, they would lead a more satisfying life.

  • A Link between Net-worth and Self-Worth: Material possessions become a status symbol for children. Children show off their stuff and might become arrogant as well. They might also get into a superiority complex.
  • Disregard of Rules: When parents don’t enforce rules, children begin to disregard rules and think they don’t apply to them. Children begin to think that they are above rules and are superior to everyone else.
  • There Is a Life Without Most Things: You need to teach your child that they can live without tons of possessions. If you give them everything they want, they think that their life won’t be complete if they don’t have the latest phone, the latest clothes, or watch. It is essential that you teach your kids the difference between needs and wants.
  • Lifelong Problems: Research shows the overindulged children end up with lifelong problems. People who had overindulging parents report chronic feelings of discontent. A large number of them report overspending and overeating as well as unhappiness and hard time in coping with the realities of life.

How you can stop overindulging your children?

If you are a guilty parent who has been over-spending on their child and overindulges them, you have to create a positive change in your family. You have to commit to yourself and put a stop to unhealthy behaviors. Say no once in a while so that your child learns that sometimes in life, you don’t get everything you want. Initially, when you stop overindulging your child and say no to them, you would see a retaliation. As your child has become used to getting everything he has ever wanted, it will be difficult to hear no. You would see behavioral problems as well. It is also possible that they would everything to undermine your efforts as well. Eventually, when you become authoritative and enforce the right rules, your child will learn valuable life skills to become a responsible adult.

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