June 22, 2007
June 22, 2007


I was at the dentist’s office today and Dr. Reidlinger told his assistant that parents who spoil their kids are being abusive. Then he said he told all his patients that and he continued, “Do you know who told me that? This lady.” and he pointed to me. He said “I agree with you completely.” He stated that split families and/or working parents feel guilty and try to make it up to their children by granting every childish wish.

The Dr. is correct, but another motive may be to live vicariously through the kids for what the parents did not have. The reasons for spoiling may be many, but the results are often debilitating to the youths. Often young people who have every desire granted believe they have rights that supersede others. The symptoms may also be a lack of focus, desire, or ambition which leads to a massive dose of low self esteem. If one accomplishes nothing a person feels they are incapable of succeeding and therefore don’t try. Low grades and/or unemployment, and a resulting feeling of helplessness lends to the inertia that grown children now remain at home with the parents.

Now is that what we really want for our children? We want them to be responsible adults. One can not learn responsibility if one never is allowed to assume it. I can just hear parents saying, “Well I can’t make my kids even clean their room.” I wonder how many infants were not even allowed to hold their own spoon when they grabbed for it because they would get all messy. I wonder how many children become part of the unit of your family to realize that food, mortgage, electric, gasoline, etc. cost money and income comes from employment. How many parents share that they are not happy with their job, but are stuck there because a family needs money to survive. Teens will donate their time, services and even their extra income to help a parent in need. It is great to feel needed. It is a confidence builder.

And those of you who are well off and a few hundred dollars for extras does not compute to spoiling, may be in for a shock. I have had youths tell their parents that they would rather have them home more often to spend time with them rather than provide the luxuries.

What about the parents that spend a tremendous amount of time being there for their kids? That can also be an extreme that backfires. The Mom/Dad might become a “buddy” and now lack the authority to direct the youngsters toward the correct goals.

It really does seem as though whatever one does-one is wrong? Not so. Follow the guide line of Long Term results for the current life direction. Remember, it might feel good right now, but what will accomplish in the future?