Myself and my sister Linda took some responsibility over, when we accepted to take care of a second grader for a month until his mother comes home from working abroad. As we spent more time with the boy we realized that he was very spoiled. He tried to manipulate us that we might do his will. At home with his parents he did whatever he wanted, i.e. when he had to read he didn't want to, so he didn't do it; when he wanted to watch TV, he watched it; when he wanted to eat, he ate; etc. He did whatever he wanted and manipulated his parents whenever he wanted to. As he came to live with us, we didn't let him watch TV, but learned with him, taught him to read, played with him and spent time with him by explaining him things. We realized he can't read, he doesn't have manners, forgets very quickly, can't find something to play with, gets bored rapidly, etc. Parents often think if they let the child do whatever he or she wants they are showing them that they love them or he/she will love and listen to them more. But it's such a big lie.
I really like what other meanings of the English word for "spoil" in the Merriam Webster Dictionary say. Take a look:
- to damage seriously
- to impair the disposition or character of ___ by overindulgence or excessive praise
- to practice plunder and robbery
I think the first meaning can be taken in account with raising spoiled children as well. They are damaged seriously and can't develop a strong character. The third meaning is also good, because parents rob their children of so many valuable and precious things which children have to learn when they are young for their own good.
I really think that parents nowadays don't prepare their children enough for life, that they might help the society when they grow up and not just take advantage of it, that they might act with love and integrity, that they might know to chose between good and bad. I think most parents only want their child to survive by letting them do whatever they want. I really don't want to give a lecture about how to raise children, but I want to raise some awareness. Those children are so precious and parents are responsible for raising them.
The most important thing is to spend time with the child and have a close relationship with him/her. Parents should take example from our Heavenly Father and ask Him for help. He's the best Teacher, Helper, Leader and Parent. We shouldn't give excuses like "I can't talk about this or that with him/her because he/she is too little to understand." That isn't true, children understand when you explain them things and they have a need to be seen as children with whom you can speak all kinds of stuff. Parents should show and teach their children patterns of personal responsibility and accountability to a God, who loves them over all and wants them to take good decisions and choose life, instead of bad decisions and choosing death.
It's much more to it and it flows out of me, but I don't want to write long posts that very few will read. It's such a huge topic which involves so many others. I don't know if I've even reached the point I wanted to, but I hope you can understand how important it is to RAISE godly children without spoiling them.