They are everywhere. In shoe shops, the restaurants, in public transportations, in churches, but mostly, they lurk in packs… in toy shops. Who hasn’t heard the wailings of a kid demanding from their parent the latest doll (“I don’t care that I have 25 of those already mom!”) or remote controlled whatever. I personally hate it when they unleash their secret weapon, “the tantrum”: sitting on the floor, feet splayed on the ground, arms flailing, howling like you’ve just hit them on the head with a big bat, while the poor red-faced parents, heads hung low, are silently hoping the ground opens up and eat them. Yep, you’ve seen them. They’re everywhere, the spoiled brats.
But how are they made? It is not so hard to turn little bundles of joy into little monsters. Here’s how:
Bribe them, buy their love. In our society where both parents are often working, we are constantly beset with guilt: guilt that we often leave our children to caregivers or grandparents, guilt that we are not there to witness their milestones in life, guilt that there are times when we are not there for them. So how do we compensate? We shower them with expensive gifts, treat them to any toy of their choice, we give in to just about anything they ask for, after all we owe them. Here’s a newsflash, kids are extremely intelligent creatures, believe me they will catch up on what you’re doing. They will try to stir every situation to their advantage, they know that mommy and daddy will eventually give in.
Ignore the work that they’ve done. Not letting the kids know that you appreciate the extra effort they made to make their beds or bring the dishes to the sink will surely nurture the little brat in them. After all, whether they do good today or just slack off, it will all be the same with mommy and daddy. Slacking is much easier.
Be a bad example. How do we act in front of our kids? Do we also act hard to please and demanding? Do we give more importance to the monetary value of the gifts we receive, rather than the thoughtfulness of the giver? Do we constantly berate our household help for the littlest things? Perfect!
Be inconsistent. When trying to discipline our children, we often unleash a torrent of threats: don’t watch tv on a school night or you’ll be grounded for a week; if you hit your sister one more time I will not give you any cookies; if you don’t pass all your subjects this quarter you won’t be allowed to leave the house forever! And when the set rules are not met, we don’t follow through on our threats. Again, kids are really intelligent, after a while they realize that by saying that they are really, really, really, really, really sorry (plus a sad puppy look to boot), you eventually let them off the hook.
Ok, I’ve given you so guys some guidelines on how to make a spoiled brat, now go on and check on your little ones and see how far along they are in making their way into being the next spoiled brat in your neighborhood. Good luck! (you’ll be needing it!)