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How to Unspoil Your Child: 9 Common Problems and Solutions

Kit Arbuckle
May 31, 2017

Does your child sometimes act in a disrespectful or ungrateful manner? Here are 9 tips to handle this type of behavior.



Does your child sometimes act like a spoiled brat? While all kids exhibit this type of behavior every once in a while, there are steps you can take to ensure that your little one is appreciative of all the wonderful things he has in life.

Here are nine tips to learn how to unspoil your child:

  1. If Your Child Screams, "I Want It NOW!"
    Does your child turn into Veruca Salt when you deny her request for a particular toy or tasty treat? Then you might want to consider limiting the amount of material gifts she receives on a regular basis -- and ask your other family members and babysitters to do the same! If your child has grown to expect certain things, you should talk to her about being grateful for what she does have. Check out 5 Ways to Instill Gratitude in Your Child for some ideas.
  2. If Your Child Has a Public Tantrum
    Embarrassed parents often cave into their child's demands just to end the scene caused by a public tantrum. If your child acts out in this way, you should explain that while you understand his frustration, it isn't appropriate to behave in this manner. And if the tantrum continues, you should warn him that you will go home if he doesn't control himself.

    After the first warning goes unrecognized, you should immediately remove your child from the situation and ignore the bad behavior while en route back to your house. If you have young children, check out How to Stop Temper Tantrums Before They Start.
  3. If Your Child Always Wants to Haggle and Compromise
    Threatening your child with consequences and failing to follow through contributes to spoiled behavior. As such, it's crucial that you give your child clear expectations and stick to them. You should only allow for haggling and compromises in special circumstances.
  4. If Your Child Expects Mom and Dad to Always Come to the Rescue
    Children need to be able to have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and see the natural consequences of their actions. Therefore, it's important that you never coddle your kids or set up a condition in which they know you will just solve all of their problems for them.
  5. If Your Child's Favorite Phrase Is "It's MINE!"
    Many young kids like to keep their toys all to themselves. Lead by example by sharing your things or donating something you love to charity. Then, encourage your child to do the same and explain why it's important to engage in this type of compassionate behavior. For more information, read up on How to Encourage Cooperative Play in Your Child.
  6. If Your Child Is Unwilling to Do Chores
    Does your child throw a fit when you ask her to help out around the house? It might be because she has grown a bit too accustomed to having you clean up after her. You can fight laziness head-on by slowly incorporating chores into her daily routine. Check out 22 Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids and Ways to Make Sure They Actually Get Done for some ideas.
  7. If Your Child Exhibits Disrespectful Behavior
    Children who are disrespectful towards others often have a sense of entitlement. Lead by example and show your child the appropriate manner in which to speak to others and handle negative situations. Be sure to correct your child when he says something hurtful and ask for an apology. For more information, check out Teaching Manners.
  8. If Your Child Tends to Whine
    Extensive whining can definitely be a sign of a spoiled child, so it's important that you stop this bad behavior in its tracks. Tell your little one that you can't understand her when she whines, and that you're ready to listen only when she speaks in her normal voice. Be sure to ignore whining on a consistent basis.
  9. If Your Child Acts Bossy
    You can put a stop to bossy behavior by teaching your child the appropriate ways to ask for things and respond to the answer "no." Be sure to model and practice this behavior too! For example, if your child demands that you do something, explain that you would be happy to help if he were to ask nicely.

Can you think of any other tips about how to unspoil your child? Let us know in the comments below!

Kit Arbuckle works as a freelance writer covering parenting, education, health and pet care topics.

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