The Why and Ways of Spoiling

In our April issue, we featured the article, "Keep It Fresh! The Dangers of Spoiling Your Children" by Carrie Bevell Partridge. The article has some great advice on breaking the cycle of spoiling, but to help us understand it more fully, here are lists of the WHYS and WAYS we spoil.

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Why You Spoil Your Child

  • Not wanting her to dislike you
  • Fearing tantrums, which will embarrass you
  • Wanting to have a happy child, which makes you look like a “good parent”
  • Wanting to give her things to help her enjoy life
  • Wanting to keep her quiet or to eliminate conflict
  • Being too lazy to discipline
  • Fearing saying “No” to a sick child
  • Having an “I never had … so my kids will have everything” attitude
  • Convenience
  • Wanting her to have what other children have
  • Wanting her to be well-liked or to fit in with peers
  • Wanting to be a “cool” parent
  • Feeling guilty for not spending enough time with her
  • Wanting to build her self-esteem


Ways You Spoil Your Child

  • Always letting her have whatever she wants, whenever she wants
  • Never saying “No” and meaning it
  • Not giving her any experience in working or waiting
  • Not challenging her on thoughts or actions
  • Allowing her to dictate what she will eat at meals
  • Giving her certain items just because “everyone has them”
  • Being her friend instead of her parent
  • Putting her needs ahead of your spouse’s needs on an ongoing basis
  • Continually bailing her out when she gets in trouble, makes poor decisions, or is irresponsible
  • Dropping everything to listen to her when she demands it
  • Allowing her to treat you as her servant

Do you think these are accurate? What would add or take away?

**Remember, this is the last day to enter the March giveaway!

Photo by Tammra McCauley; used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.


  1. I think this is a very accurate list! I have fallen prey to the “if you _____ then you will get _____.” I am now pulling in the reigns on dishing out rewards for obedience. I want my children to obey because it comes from an obedient heart, not because they are motivated by the “gimmies.”

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