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Am I raising a spoiled child?

Updated on January 15, 2014

What is the behavior of a spoiled child?

What is a spoiled child? A spoiled child is one who is manipulative, undisciplined and just plain unpleasant to be around. Have you ever gone out to dinner fully expecting to enjoy a relaxing, delicious meal with interesting conversation? Of course you have. Well, five minutes later, after studying the menu and making your selection, you notice an increase in noise level. You look around and locate the cause of the disruption and realize its all centered at a table with three people seated at it. There they are two adults and one pint size person who is building herself up to causing a great big scene. It turns out the child wants dessert and no meal. The mother and father are quietly trying to persuade the little one to eat real food first and she is having none of it. As their voices become more hushed and pleading the little girls is becoming louder and more shrill. Who do you think wins? You got it. The parents give in and order a large sundae for the child and furitively look around to see who is noticing. By now your dream of a nice relaxing dinner has left you, you know its only going to get worse. Your sitting there invisioning yourself snatching the child up and swatting her on the bottom. But wait a minute. Is it really her fault? Maybe the parents are the one's who need the swat.

Parents are the one's who are untimately responsible for the behavior of the child. I know, we can't control everything but we can certainly start them off in the right direction. Many people feel that decsipline should begin when they are babies and that their behavior is set by the time they turn two or three. So, what are the behaviors of a spoiled child? There are several tell-tale signs that the child is spoiled.

*They don't respect other peoples rights. To them the only person who matters is themselves. What they want is what they get and they want it immediately.

*They don't respond to the word no. Many feel that this stems from babyhood when no one set boundries as far as what they could and could not touch. As a matter of fact, many of the children who do not respond to the word no do not respoond to any command that they don't want to hear.

*They will argue or protest anything you say that does not go along with what they want at the moment.

*They try to control or manipulate people to get what they want.

*They frequently throw temper tantrums. This is the behavior that opened my eyes. One day I was shopping in a toy store with my three children (This was more years ago than I care to remember) and my middle child decided she wanted something that cost more than I was willing to spend. When she finally realized she was not going to get the toy of her choice she proceeded to throw herself down on the floor kicking and screaming. I took the hands of my two other children and walked around the corner standing where I could peek through a display of toys so I could keep an eye on her. When she realize we were not standing in the aisle watching she picked herself up and stopped screaming. I bought her sisters their toy of choice and she did not get one. I never had a problem after that with listening to the word no when it came to shopping.

*These children also have a low tolerance for frustration. Afterall, if you were used to getting everything you wanted you would have a low frustration level too.

*These children have also learned that a little bit of whinning goes a long way. To me there is nothing worse than a whining child following you around. Many parents give in just to make it stop.

*This last sign of a spoiled child is very telling. These children complain about being bored. They are so used to being entertained that they have no idea of how to entertain themselves.

Believe me, I am far from a perfect parent (is there such a thing?). However, people did not cringe when they saw me coming with my children in tow. I know only too well how much easier it is when they are small to just give in instead of having to endure the crying and whining. Believe me, all the hard work will be worth it as they get older. You will have a pleasant, caring child who is a pleasure to be around. Later we will discuss how to unspoil the child.


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      alphagirl, it sounds like you're a terrific alphamom. Kids need to have limits set for them. I am also bothered by the technology that some children have. I have seen children running around with smart phones with access to things they have no business seeing. For me I was always more concerned with they doing the right thing and myself keeping them going into a good and responsible direction. It is hard to say no but sometimes you just have to for their own good. Nobody said being a good parent was a popularity contest.

    • alphagirl profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Great hub and I appreciate your honesty. I too agree it is tough parenting. I struggle with the spoiling my kids. I think UGG boots are the ugliest things and they are costly. I waited til they were ages 11 and 13 to buy them. I waited til their feet were size 6/12 and 8 adults sizes because I know their growth have slowed down. Not to mention the costs of those UGGS! My hope is they will get 2 years of wear. Most of their friends may have a pair or two and they have had them since 4 th grade. So I feel like i did not spoil them. What bothers me more is the tech phone gadgets. Parents buy a 10 year old a smart phone. To me that is spoiling. I refuse to buy my kids a smart phone. They want iphones. We are a mac household and I will not allow my kids to download anything from itunes whenever they want like their friends or any apps unless I approve. I know, there is so much outh there for our kids and it is the responsibility of the parent to place those boundaries, otherwise they do become BRATS. And when my child tells m so-and so has this or that, my response is, " that is great for them. Each family has different priorities and rules. You will always find someone that has more than you. Be happy with what you have. I don't get a winning response from my kids.But that is ok with me."

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      katie, I think when we are out in public and see another mother struggling with their child who is having a temper tantrum we do tend to feel vindicated. We become a little more tolerant of misbehaving when home.

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Oh my have I ever wondered this before. Sometimes my two are the most wonderful children amazing me and then there are those times when they seem out right spoiled rotten. I appreciate this as now I fee both sane and vindicated. All in all I know my kids aren't but do I ever know some who are, I will have to share this in a friendly way... :) Katie

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      angela, you sound like a wonderful parent. You havwe a very lucky daughter. I love the idea of mopping.

      In class when I hear the phrase "I'm bored", I hand a worksheet to the child or write a page number for them to do on the board and say "Now you won't be." I don't hear that phrase much anymore.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      My daughter is very much not spoiled. Yet occasionally she'll beg. I look at her and say, "Has begging yet worked for you?" Her answer, "No," then she stops. She'll occasionally even complain of being bored. So I fill up a bucket of water and have her mop floors. I have found she doesn't like mopping floors. These two methods seem to really work. The other day, she goes, "Mama, I'm bor... nevermind." and walks into her room to color.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Dolores Monet, I have to agree a spoiled child does grow up to be a rotten adult. I tried very hard to keep my children from doing themselves in.

      Your son sounds like a character and you like a great mother. As you said, he does it with humor.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      A spoiled child becomes a rotten adult. I had one son who tried very hard to be a spoiled child but it didn't work out for him! haha! He still, as an adult, throws mini fits but no one seems to care. Don't know why he bothers. When he was 22, I could get him going, in a disagreement, by saying 'suit yourself, dude.'

      'That's so dismissive!' he'd yell. Laughing at him didn't really help much. Except that when he fumes, he does it with humor.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I can't agree more, it's so hard to say no in the beginning. There's nothing like having three children within four years to change your mind. Thanks

    • Missi Darnell profile image

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Great hub. Good advice and like the story of the store. Brings back a few memories with my oldest. In the beginning, yes, I admit I had a very difficult time saying no to him, I wanted him to have what I didnt mentality, until I had number two and it was time to share or be rewarded based on merit. That was an eye opener and wondered uh oh what have I done. Now, if it isnt Christmas, isnt your birthday and you want something, you need to earn it.


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