Are you worried that your child is spoiled? We all wonder that from time to time, particularly if we are the kind of parents who are inclined to be liberal with treats and nice presents. And while it’s important to prevent bad behaviour and self-centredness, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat. Read on to learn about how to strike a balance with treats and promoting good behavior.
Know what spoiled behavior is and how to prevent it
The first step is to be aware of the types of behaviour you want to prevent. While some actions may be simply age-appropriate ways of expressing emotions, such as tantrums in two-year-olds, there are certain actions that you should identify and work to prevent. They will be different for each child and each age, but an example could include an unwillingness to try new foods at the dinner table or a tantrum in an older child.
Generally, most experts agree that setting boundaries early on can make a huge difference in preventing harmful or negative behavior. Setting up systems for punishments and rewards are very important because then the child knows what is expected of him or her. While you shouldn’t bribe your kids into behaving decently, a structure in place for earning and receiving treats and rewards can make a huge difference in the long run.
Helpful ways to give treats
So what if you are in a giving mood and want to treat your child? There’s nothing wrong with an occasional spontaneous treat. However, it is important to make sure that the treat is not in reaction to anything on the child’s part, such as a way to stop out-of-control-misbehaviour. If you hand out treats as a way to bet your child to behave, then he/she will learn that a certain way to get more treats is to break out the bad behavior.
How often is too often? For starters, you should have a system in place where children can work toward treats and rewards through good behavior. Therefore, once your kids have earned their reward, you can present the treat you had seen in the shop two days ago and just had to buy for them.
You can also use the holidays as a time to give treats. Instead of treating your kids every day, save it for Christmas or their birthdays. This works well if the treat is a big one, such as a special toy or game. That way, you can save your money for the holidays and shop at the fancy stores for toys for discerning toddlers.
Nevertheless, it is important to strike a balance with gift-giving. As long as you follow the rules and systems in place for your family and be consistent, then treats will be nothing more than an occasional bonus to make the day extra nice!