All Woman

There's a thin line between loving and spoiling your child

Wednesday, December 04, 2013    

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There is a thin line between loving a child and spoiling that child and experts will tell you that parents who spoil often do so with the best of intentions.

Take the example of St Andrew grandma Amelia S, who doesn't let her grandson on the floor, ever, and didn't realise he was walking until he wriggled from her arms one day and stepped away.

It's often grandparents who are guilty of shirking mom and dad's rules in favour of coddling their grandchildren, filling their pockets with sweets and their toy boxes with presents. Those parents who spoil often do so out of the best of intentions, as they want to give their children what they didn't have, and those grandparents who spoil often just want to re-do the parenting process, leaving the discipline to the parents.

It is possible to spoil your older child by giving him or her too much, not setting boundaries, and not expecting your child to do what's healthy, but it's not possible to spoil an infant, whose demands are most times based on basic needs, experts say.

So what's your view on spoiling? Here some parents weigh in.

Marcia Bailey, mother of two:

It is possible to spoil a child. It happens when you give the child everything that they want, and when you do not give them and they start crying, you give in.

Audrey Wilson, mother of four:

If you want to know if children are spoilt, watch them in the supermarket wailing on the ground and demanding that their parents buy them things. I made sure to tell my children from they were small that if they ever tried that, there would be hell to pay when they got home.

Althea Gray, mother of one:

You have to set certain boundaries and let the children know that they cannot cross these boundaries or they will be punished. If you allow the child to have his/her way all the time, that is spoiling. In the end it is hurting them because they won't grow up knowing right from wrong.

Denise Saunders, mother of one:

My daughter is the first grandchild for my mother and she spoils her bad. She is three now and she refuses to stay with me for long because she knows there are things she can get away with when she is with her grandma that she won't with me. Anything she wants, my mother gives to her. And when she was smaller she would not even put her down to walk. My daughter never started walking until she was nearly two. I believe it was because my mother would always have her in her hands!

Orenthia White, mother of three:

As a parent you have to be careful that you don't really push the children away because you tell yourself that you don't want them to grow up spoilt. Really and truly there is a thin line between loving the child and spoiling the child.

Pamela Thelwell, mother of seven:

Some people love their children too much, so anything they want they give them and you find that those children cannot do anything wrong. And it's those children who grow up and give trouble.

George Henry, father of three:

Some parents give the children everything that they want whether good or bad. And then because the children are used to getting any and everything that they ask for, when they genuinely can't get it then they will steal it. It's parents who cause that by spoiling them.

— Donna Hussey-Whyte





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