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Ten Mistakes Parents Make

That Create a Self-Indulgent Child


1.       Do you always give your child everything he wants, when he wants it? It's much better to make your child wait, and learn to work to earn his desires. Why does a little child need "diversions" and "amusements" like a mountain of toys and all kinds of TV and computer equipment? What stresses and problems does a little child need "diversion" from?


2.       Do you allow your child to interrupt your adult conversations, in person or on the phone? That teaches her that she's the center of the universe, more important than anyone and anything else.


3.       Does your child call to you from across the house or the playground, and you run to him? Unless it's a real emergency, always require your child to come to you, and politely get your attention.


4.       Do you cut her bread crusts off her sandwiches? Why? She's "running" you, then. Stop it.


5.       Do you have a chores chart, with a simple list of daily chores your child must do? If not, why not?


6.       Does your child make his bed and keep his room clean? If not, he shouldn't be allowed out of his room, from about age 3 on. That's the "ticket" to start the day.


7.       Does your child whine, scream, swear, sulk, pout, or blurt out comments? Discipline her every time with a "time out," or it's going to get worse.


8.       Has your child ordered chicken fingers each of the last 42 times you've gone out to dinner? Why are you letting a tiny child make decisions about nutrition that are obviously bad choices? Exercise your parental prerogative, and order for him next time.


9.       Does your child insist on selecting what to wear, which items to eat off his dinner plate, where to sit at the table, what game to play, and every other possible decision during the day? Why should your child have that much power? It teaches her that she is her own authority, and that you, her parents, have no influence.


10.   Does your child resist bedtime, and keep popping out of bed with phony excuses and so forth? See #9. They usually come together.


Do you see many of these patterns going on in your home? Don't worry; they're fairly common. And you can stop it, starting now. It starts with setting clear standards and limits, enforcing clear consequences, and being loving and kind and most of all, firm.


By Susan Darst Williams Heart Lessons 032 2006


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