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How can I prevent my child from being spoiled?

Michele Borba
Psychology
• Nearly two out of three parents surveyed feel their kids are spoiled and say their kids measure self-worth more by possessions than their parents did at the same age. Time/CNN

• Only 12% of adults polled feel that kids commonly treat others with respect; most described them as “rude,” “irresponsible,” and “lacking in discipline”. AOL

• 80% of people think kids today are more spoiled than kids 10 or 15 years ago. Time/CNN

• 3/4 of Minnesota kids agreed that today’s kids are materially spoiled and generally irresponsible. Mind Works

• The average kid nags 9 times to get a product his parents refuse to purchase; about half the parents finally give in. Center for a New American Dream.

• Since 1969, high school test cheating increased from 34% to 68%.

• 84% of college students believe they need to cheat to get ahead in the world. U.S. News & World Report

• 1 in 4 high schoolers said they would lie to get a job.  Josephson Institute of Ethics

For shame for shame! Worse yet; we have only ourselves to blame. The truth is folks, there is no gene for “spoiled.”
But let’s not go surrendering by waving the white flag and thinking we can’t do anything about all of this. Turning this epidemic around is doable. Remember, attitudes and behaviors are learned so they can be unlearned. Research shows that when it comes to our kids’ character, parents are the key influence.
Research also finds that parents who raise kids who turn out to be caring, respectful and unselfish took time to think through how they wanted their kids to turn out. Then they turned their goal into their core parenting operating principle.
It’s what I call “Character-Building Parenting” and it’s the best antidote to curbing “The Big Brat Factor” which from those stats seem to be a growing and troubling childhood epidemic. Character-Building Parenting involves using those simple everyday moments to tune up our children’s character.

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

More About this Book

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...
Charles J. Sophy, MD
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Attitudes and behaviors are learned so they can be unlearned. Research shows that when it comes to our kids’ character, parents are the key influence.

Research also finds that parents who raise kids who turn out to be caring, respectful and unselfish took time to think through how they wanted their kids to turn out. Then they turned their goal into their core parenting operating principle.

It’s what I call “Character-Building Parenting” and it’s the best antidote to curbing “The Big Brat Factor.”  Character-Building Parenting involves using those simple everyday moments to tune up our children’s character.

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    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.