Spoiled rotten

Pampering children can do more harm than good

By Kim Sorenson, News Editor
An individual’s parenting style is a very contentious subject. No two people have exactly the same view on how to rear their children and telling someone how to raise their kid can lead to arguments. For the most part, kids turn out fine despite differences in the way they were raised. There are some exceptions though, such as those who were abused, neglected or abandoned. On the other end of the spectrum, over pampering kids can lead to negative consequences as well. Today’s society has no problem spoiling their children, and many have never heard the word ‘no.’ Not only is giving kids a world free of discipline or consequences damaging to the child, it will also lead to problems for the people around them as they grow older.

spoiled children
Pampering children may seem kind when they’re young, but it is harmful as they grow up. (image from growingleaders.com)

Overly pampered kids are a drain on society. When they are small children, they frequently misbehave and are more prone to tantrums. Kids who are almost never disciplined are the ones who make a scene in public when their parents say no, which ultimately leads to the kids getting their way. These kids learn that the way to get what they want is to throw a fit and each time they do it and get what they want this behavior is being reinforced, as a result. Ultimately, these problem children turn into insolent and entitled teenagers and eventually into self-centered and rude adults. Psychologist Alfred Adler has been quoted saying that pampering children is one of the greatest evils of mankind. There is even a medical term, affluenza, to describe people who were given whatever they want as children.
The “Affluenza Teen” is an example of this childhood pampering. When he was 16 years old, Ethan Couch hit and killed four people while driving drunk. He notoriously used the case that he didn’t understand the consequences of his actions because he was pampered too much as a child.
Children grow up to be more well-rounded adults if they have had to work for the things they want. In this capitalistic society, hard work is highly valued. Money is thought to be the reward for this hard work, but pampered children usually come from affluent backgrounds. This leads to children who have no concept of how a lot of the world lives, and have no idea what it feels like to struggle. Adler has also stated that pampered children are like parasites, and that they live off the indulgences of their parents. Most of these kids also have very little sympathy for those less fortunate than them, since they rarely pay attention to the struggles of the lower class.
The cultural wave of pampering children came about with the increase of busy, working parents. It seems that parents who spend limited time with their children often feel guilty about not having enough time to spend with their kids. Since they feel guilty, they try to make it up by making their kid as happy as possible and not wanting to disappoint their children by telling them no. However, that is not the way to raise a child.
A good parent should set their child up for success in the future, and teaching kids how to work and how to accept disappointment are basic steps to a successful future. Kids should not be taught to expect things in life that they haven’t worked hard to earn. In the real world, no one will be giving them those handouts, and they have to learn how to earn what they receive.