9 Warning Signs of a Spoiled Child

Struggling with your child’s behavior? You might be guilty of spoiling. Discover 9 signs of a spoiled child (and how to turn it around).

Signs of a Spoiled ChildIt can start off as the occasional whining. Your child wants to stay longer at the park or get a new unicorn toy (never mind the many others sitting in a box at home).

Then it escalates to throwing a fit when you try to tell her no, or outright disobeying on purpose when she gets upset. She might even demand which restaurant to eat this week, all without showing gratitude when you agree to go.

No parent intentionally sets out to raise spoiled kids.

Maybe you want to provide financial comforts you never had, or a busy work schedule makes you feel guilty for not spending enough time with her. Giving in seems much easier than putting your foot down, especially when you’re exhausted.

But taken too far, you might realize you’ve got a bigger problem on your hands than you anticipated. You’ve always wanted her to be polite, listen most of the time, and be kind to others.

Instead, you feel like you have no control over her any longer.

If you feel like you have a spoiled child, rest assured you’re not the only parent struggling with this kind of behavior. Many have realized that time outs don’t work, or that counting to three haven’t had the effect they used to. And you dread the idea of this getting worse over the years.

Why Time Outs Don't Work

9 signs of a spoiled child

Except sometimes it’s not always so easy to see the signs of a spoiled child. How do you know if your child’s behavior is normal for her age, or if it’s a sign of serious issues you’ve overlooked? When might you be too strict about boundaries, or too lenient about picking your battles?

Maybe we’ve even seen other kids show similar traits, or worse, adults who didn’t seem to outgrow their bratty behavior. How can you prevent the same from happening with your child?

The first step is by being aware. The earlier you can spot problem signs, the quicker and easier it is to steer course. Take a look at the following telltale characteristics and signs of a spoiled child — and how to turn things around:

1. You give in to your child’s every request

Have you had one of those days where you’re too tired to be on your A-game in parenting?

Maybe you just came home from a long, I-had-to-skip-lunch-and-now-I’m-hungry day at work. Or you’re not in the mood to deal with yet another tantrum about eating a snack 30 minutes before dinner.

Other times, you’re driven by the desire to make your child happy. Tossing in a toy into the shopping cart doesn’t seem like much harm done, especially when you can afford it easily.

Except giving in to her every request doesn’t put her best interests first. This teaches her that she can get anything she wants, an unrealistic expectation not only from you but from strangers she’ll meet in the real world.

She’ll learn that she only needs to whine, pout, throw a fit, or make another person uncomfortable enough to cave in to her wishes. This clearly isn’t a healthy way to begin future relationships she’ll have later in life.

She won’t learn how to listen to another person’s point of view or understand the logic and reason behind decisions. Instead, she’ll only focus on her wants.

Giving in to every request doesn’t establish the boundaries she needs. She may look like she wants you to cave in, but deep within, she truly wants a parent who can stand up to her tantrums and remain strong and consistent.

Free resource: Want to know how to unspoil your child? Despite what it can sometimes feel like, you’re not stuck living this way. Grab How to Unspoil Your Child—at no cost to you. Plus, you’ll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:

“Thank you! You have an amazing look at those frustrating situations we as mothers deal with. You help me find some way out of the yelling game I seem to always find myself in with my kids.” -Kristy S.

How to Unspoil Your Child

2. You deliver empty threats

My kids and I were getting ready for swim class when they were fooling around instead of doing what they were supposed to. So, I said, “If you don’t get ready, then we’re not going to swim class!” Other times I’ve threatened, “If I see any of these toys left lying on the ground, I’m going to throw them in the trash.”

I had no intention of skipping swim class or throwing any toys away. Instead, I resorted to making empty threats to get them to listen.

It’s easy to see why we do this.

We’re exasperated and react instead of pausing to see whether this is even the most effective or respectful way to speak. Other times, we feel threatened when they don’t listen and try to up the ante by threatening something extreme. And sometimes, it just seems like nothing else will get through.

But empty threats hold no value. We say them when we’ve reached our limits or are too tired to think properly. We don’t consider their point of view or how we might be making the situation worse.

Empty threats might work the first or second time before they call our bluff. They’ll no longer take our word or believe we’ll follow through with what we say.

And finally, no parent wants the kind of relationship that relies on empty threats and power struggles just to get anything done. Focus instead on mutual respect and communication, not commanding orders or bossing your child around.

Get more tips about avoiding empty threats.

Empty Threats

3. You’re inconsistent with expectations

Despite his demands, your child wants consistency with enforcing consequences and establishing expectations.

Maybe you told him to stop jumping in the living room when just yesterday you created an obstacle course using couch cushions and pillows. Or you don’t always address the times he hits or teases his siblings, getting down on him one day, only to brush it off the next.

You see, it’s unfair to expect him to know what to do when you’ve been inconsistent. He’s confused when his responsibilities aren’t clear, or if you don’t always follow through with consequences.

Permissive parenting can make him feel anxious of the rules that seem to flip flop all the time. With no expectations in place, he doesn’t learn how you want him to behave, or what’s acceptable or expected from him.

Instead, be consistent, even if it means upsetting him or dealing with a meltdown.

You can be flexible and “pick your battles”—after all, we need to accommodate life’s inconsistencies as well. But let those be the exceptions, not the norm. Because, despite what he says, he needs you to remain consistent to guide his behavior and decisions.

Get more tips on how to follow through with consequences.

Follow Through with Consequences

4. You shield your child from difficult emotions

No parent wants to see her child deal with difficult emotions and experience, but sometimes we take it too far.

We can be so hung up on pleasing our kids that we try to shield them from disappointment and boredom. Or we want them to be happy all the time, so much so that seeing them hurt or upset pains us. And sometimes we’d rather cave in that let them have a meltdown or deal with their frustration.

So, we give them toys when they’re bored, or reassure them they’re still the best even though they lost a competition. And when their ice cream cone falls to the ground? We’d rather walk all the way to store and get another one than see them throw a fit.

Even with the best of intentions, shielding them from difficult emotions can do a greater disservice to them.

Protected from difficulties, your child can’t learn from these experiences or develop the valuable life skill to bounce back. Instead, she’ll have a hard time dealing with moments like these and will try to avoid—rather than face—them.

And perhaps the worst consequence? She’ll lack faith in herself that she’s strong and resilient enough to get through these challenges. She’ll doubt how she’ll ever get through them when she’s never had to before.

Life has its ups and downs. Rather than trying to protect her from the inevitable difficulties in life, show her how to cope and get through them. And explain that all emotions come and go, including difficult ones she’ll eventually overcome.

Learn how to talk to your child about challenging emotions.

How to Talk to Your Child about Feelings

5. You overindulge with material items

We all want the best for our kids, from experiences we never had growing up, to a lifestyle we want them to enjoy.

Maybe you want your child to stay current with trends her peers rave about, or you figure you can afford to provide with no problems. You even enjoy the process of giving gifts and relish in her reaction and joy.

But taken too far, overindulgence of material items can be one of the telltale signs of a spoiled child.

An excess of items can prevent her from appreciating what she has. With so many things to choose from and an endless supply, she isn’t able to express gratitude or see the generosity of others. After all, it’s pretty hard to cherish one special stuffed animal when 50 others are piled in her room with little regard.

Giving too many things also raises unrealistic expectations. Finding joy from “external” sources like lavish gifts forces you to up the ante when the initial buzz fizzles away. She might expect these gifts as the norm, rather than the exception.

And finally, you risk tying her joy with receiving gifts, and not to the relationships and simple pleasures that matter most. You focus on the item rather than the thought behind it.

One alternative? Focus on experiences instead of material gifts. Studies have shown that giving kids experiences over material items provides more happiness. From The Atlantic:

“Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions.”

Rather than the latest toy, take her to a beach outing, and instead of 10 holiday gifts, give a few and participate in holiday traditions.

Read the downsides of having too many toys.

Downsides of Having Too Many Toys

6. You need to bribe your child to get things done

Getting out of the house isn’t always easy for many parents. Your child resists putting on his shoes or takes his good ol’ time coming to the door. Whining and complaining have been more common, and you find yourself taking a whole hour to leave the door.

It’s tempting to lure him into compliance with a minor bribe: “Hurry and put on your shoes, and we’ll get candy at the store,” you might say.

You’re too tired to deal with yet another hour-long power struggle, especially when nothing else seems to work. Plus, bribes can feel like an effective way to motivate him—grades and household chores seem to improve and get done with these rewards.

But there are many reasons why you shouldn’t reward kids. For one thing, bribes are a short-term solution that can backfire. As they become the norm, he’ll come to expect them before agreeing to do the task. Motivation wanes each time you need to convince him to agree to the bribe.

He’ll also seek joy in external, not internal, rewards. You’ve trained him to expect something in exchange for a task he should be expected to do and perhaps even enjoy and take pride in. For instance, he should clean his room because:

  • that’s what you expect him to do,
  • he’ll be able to enjoy a clean room, and
  • he’ll feel proud of himself.

And finally, bribes don’t nurture a sense of goodwill or instill the values you want to teach. Cleaning his room and doing helpful tasks should be the right thing to do, even without a bribe.

Why You Shouldn't Reward Kids

7. You don’t teach manners and courtesy

Manners can be easily overlooked, especially if you’re bogged down with monitoring your child’s behavior. It’s hard to remind her to say “please” and “thank you” when you can barely convince her to take a bath and go to sleep.

But manners and behavior go hand in hand. Showing good manners isn’t about raising goody two-shoes or robotic children for show. For instance, saying “please” and “thank you” instills a sense of gratitude, while “sorry” offers a way for her to show remorse.

Manners go beyond saying the “magic words,” too.

Teaching courtesy means she doesn’t always run to be the first in line or hog all the food at a party. She knows that being silly and loud isn’t appropriate when her little sister is in tears, and she understands she can’t always get what she demands.

8. You allow your child to disrespect you

You may have seen it: The child who speaks rudely to his mom as she helps him with homework, or the one who insults and terrorizes her parents. Talking back and being rude are some of the biggest signs of a spoiled child.

While kids have valid reasons for being upset, it’s still unfair to them to allow them to speak to their parents that way.

For one thing, they don’t learn a better way to communicate. However valid their reasons may be, they’re not held accountable or shown how to communicate calmly.

Talking back also creates a rift in the parent-child relationship. It’s much harder to have any influence on your child when he can treat you with a lack of respect.

He doesn’t have any boundaries and may likely continue to push your buttons until you erupt. The lack of boundaries invites him to insult others in ways he never knew he wasn’t supposed to.

Allowing him to disrespect you doesn’t model how a person ought to be treated. As parents, we need to respect ourselves enough to expect a certain way to be spoken to. Kids can definitely disagree with us, but they should do so respectfully, as we would to them.

9. Your child has too much say in family life

Does your child decide you’re going to eat at her favorite restaurant… again?

Giving choices is healthy, so long as the options are parent-approved and child-appropriate. Choosing her outfit is one thing, but turning the master bedroom into her room is another. Yes, welcome her opinion, but don’t bow to her pleading and whining.

Why? It’s not her place to make all the decisions—that’s your responsibility. In fact, giving her decision-making power reserved for adults is far from helping her feel empowered. Instead, she’ll feel burdened with a responsibility that shouldn’t have fallen on her shoulders in the first place.

Kids also don’t have the family’s best interests in mind when making decisions the way you and I do. For instance, if it were up to them, many would prefer to eat fast food and ice cream every day, a choice that wouldn’t help with their health at all.


So, how do you avoid spoiling your child and course-correct? Giving in to children’s demands and whining is the easy way out, especially when we’re out of patience.

We avoid feeling embarrassed by their outbursts or guilty for not spending enough time with them. We’d rather not disappoint, especially when it seems simple enough to buy the newest iPhone or give them what they want. And our patience isn’t tested when we can avoid yet another  confrontation.

Spoiling is the quick fix-it that seems to solve the problem now.

But we deny them lifelong lessons, like developing grit, coping with disappointment, and showing empathy to others. Our job isn’t to stop tantrums or whining—it’s to raise future adults ready to face a world that won’t always bend to their whims when they grow up.

Deep down, kids want their parents to be parents. We’re not doing them any favors by being anything else.

Toddler Testing

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  1. Oh my goodness! Im super guilty of 98% of the above. I knew what the answer to the title was before I even started to read.
    Unfortunately, due to many reasons including overly strict parents, I’m tending to swing to the opposite side of the scale. I also am not disciplined in my own life making it hard to teach that very important quality.
    Perhaps with a lot of prayer for us both, I can get a handle on this before its too late. He is 5. Have you written anything on how to undo spoiling? LOL
    Thank you for this article!

    1. Hi Traci! I appreciate your honesty! Not many parents can do that. My mom was the same as you: HER parents were overly strict, so with us, she was very lax with discipline. Thankfully we more or less turned out all right 😉

      Still, the fact that you’re aware of it means you can change how you interact with your child. Try doing the opposite of this list! And start small, or one at a time, so it’s not overwhelming.

      The big eye-opener for me, when it came to setting boundaries with our kids, is that they actually NEED them. Through all their whining and yelling and talking back, that’s just them saying they need limits. Imagine a backyard. You have fences around your hard, and that’s you putting your foot down and setting boundaries. The fences are up so that your child is safe and healthy, but the fences also provide enough room for her to explore, play and be himself. It’s a balance of not having your fences too close and restricting, but not too far or nonexistent that your child wouldn’t know where to stop.

      Thanks so much for commenting, Traci! I appreciate it, and hope to see you around here again! Nina

  2. I’m a 30 year old mum to 5 kids ( 1 in heaven) so got 4 at home they are 11’9,8,5 I think my kids are really spoilt and 11 yrs down the line I’m regretting it as my 11 yr old thinks everything should go her way or no way I don’t know what I can do to have a easier life as her attitude is also discusting I don’t want my other children to copy her and think it’s OK ( although they have already started)

    1. Hi Claire, I feel you, especially with the eldest setting the precedent for her siblings. I encourage you to keep reading up about parenting, not necessarily the ‘discipline’ part but also about connecting with kids, having a do-over (it’s never too late!) and generally building a strong relationship with each of your kids.

      Thanks so much for commenting on my blog, and I hope to see you again soon! NIna

  3. I am guilty of all 9 It is so hard to say no to her but I know it will only get worse if I don’t stary being more aggressive and stick to my threats I always give in

    1. Hi Connie,

      It’s definitely hard to have reached your point! Maybe instead of being aggressive or threatening, you can hold your ground, connect with your child and empathize. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog.

  4. I’ve raised a spoiled 13 year old. How do i correct the damage that I’ve created? Everything you mentioned has come true with us. I know it’s my fault but I was only trying to make him happy. I just want him to be able to cope with life. Please help.

    1. Hi Tracy, thanks for your comment and for visiting my blog. I think that our job isn’t always to make our kids happy or to save them from discomfort, but rather to raise future adults. You’re doing the best you can, and it’s never too late to turn it around. Connect with your child, find ways to hold your ground in a nurturing way.

  5. Linda Sue says:

    Loved all your ideas; however, #6….not only for the reasons you already enumerated, but because they are part of a family and everyone should contribute to household chores. Not just cleaning their rooms, but age appropriate chores for everyone. How else will children learn to take care of themselves when they move out?

    1. Absolutely, Linda Sue! I actually wrote a post recently on getting kids to clean up, and that was a huge reason: it teaches them contribution and pitching in to the family unit. And there’s always a chore for each kid, toddler and upward. Even something as simple as putting clothes in a hamper.

  6. We gave our kids permission to discuss/argue so that they learn to form their own opinions about stuff. Now that they’re going into the teen years (13 & 10), we don’t think that the idea’s so hot anymore because they want to argue about anything and everything. Any advise?

    1. Hi Eli,

      Sorry to hear that! It’s always tough when your intentions get messed up over the years. I wrote a post a while back about something similar—some parents who give their kids choices as a way to empower them and help ease transitions end up overdoing it. Then the kids, rather than using choices as a way to feel included, instead expect and demand them from having been offered it so many times.

      I imagine the same is happening with your kids regarding debating family rules. At this point, I would define what is negotiable and what is not, and put your foot down on what is not. Your kids, regardless of what they say, *need* boundaries and for you to tell them what is allowed and what isn’t. And most importantly, follow through with logical consequences. That’s the only way they’ll learn for next time.

      Aim for consistency with flexibility. Obviously you don’t want to be a tyrant and go the opposite extreme and get down on them too hard. You really want to parent kindly but firmly, with their best interest always in mind.

      Good luck and I’d love to hear if you have had any progress! Nina

  7. Very true. It’s so hard to say NO sometimes, but you have to do it.

    1. Yup Sheryl—boundaries are definitely important for kids!

  8. Great article. Being a young mother I see these things a lot from other parents. People seem down right shocked at how well behaved my kids are when we go anywhere. I think the problem is that most people are to lazy to really do any parenting anymore. It’s easier to just give in. God knows most days that is what I want to do as well, but I don’t because I want the best for my kids. And in the long run setting boundaries when they are young makes it easier as they get older. Yeah its hard to see your kid upset when they are little, and their tantrums can even be cute at times. But it isnt cute at 13 or 15 or 20 ect. Most people seem to think there is a switch that is going to flip one day and your kid is just going to understand everything but that isn’t the case. If you don’t teach them they won’t learn.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Great job on establishing early habits now Megan! I agree that it gets harder as they get older, although of course not impossible. I can only imagine how difficult it will be to face a “tantrum” at 13-years-old! It’s so true about that switch—there isn’t one, and it’s about creating the kind of relationship you want to have every day. ~Nina

  9. Tina Swindle says:

    My 35 yr old daughter doesn’t care about anything anymore she said. Her husband has voice in his head and don’t work. Her 4 kids have taken control of her life. She can’t say no or even punish them. She tells them to do something they say No because I don’t have to. Girl is age 9, boys ages are 14, 17, 18. The are very rude kids even to their mom’s mother. It hurts me to see this. My daughter didn’t do this to me

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Tina. It sounds like your daughter can definitely use all the support she can get from friends and family to help her put her foot down with her children.

    2. You as grandma set some boundaries. Will help a lot. If my kids got more boundaries from the in laws they would be more normal

  10. This is what I did with my son from day 1. Manners were and still are of the utmost importance. If I was having a discussion with someone and he would interven… ” “mom, mom, mom” I would only turn my attention to him if he politely said, ” excuse me” other than that, I didn’t give him the opportunity to speak. The rule was very black and white, as were all of the household rules. Maybe try that?

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      That’s a great idea, Estelle. These days I’ve been holding up my hand or a finger so they know I’m still talking or listening to someone. Sometimes I have to flat out say, “I’m talking to…” not in a mean way, but literally to just wait until I’m finished talking or listening to someone else. And of course, I give him the same respect when I’m talking or listening to him—I don’t let others interrupt that as well.

  11. We are busy blaming parents for kids being spoiled. What about other relatives? My kids have grandparents who spoil them. They come home and I have to battle them. I am stuck at least it is now only every few weeks we deal with them but the first week home omg. I spend the first week reminding them how to behave.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      You’re definitely not alone, Marie.

  12. Hello dear Nina. As always your article is very enlightening!
    Something else that I find can spoil a child is letting them do nothing at home on their own. Dressing them up in order to be on time to leave or doing everything at home instead of letting them try doing some chores in order to avoid mistakes can make a child want everything done by others.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      You’re completely right, Rosa! Just today, I had to hold myself back from buttoning my son’s coat for him just so we can get out of the house quicker, but thankfully he insisted, and I knew it was better to let him do it himself. Not only does he learn the value of making mistakes and trying over and over, he also learns to do things for himself. Thanks for the insight!

  13. Kristina garberich says:

    My grandaughter who’s 2, always wants to be held and wakes up in the middle of the night in horror. After she’s held and with an adult she’s fine and goes back to sleep. Is this something wrong that needs to be checked by a psychologist or is just a behavior? Her mother isn’t consistently in her life and has addiction problems… PLEASE HELP ME!!!

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Kristina,

      I’m so sorry that your granddaughter is going through this. I would see what her pediatrician recommends, especially since her mother’s addiction could be affecting her.

  14. Katherine says:

    I generally do not to do any of these things, both my husband and I are very consistent in trying to do the right things and not spoiling her. We teach manners, we don’t over reward, we don’t give her everything she asks for, and we don’t let her get away with being disrespectful. We set clear and consistent and reasonable expectations. But still she acts so spoiled! She is good at school but at home she whines all the time, argues with us constantly, and often ungrateful when we do things for her. What the heck?! It is so frustrating because we spend so much effort trying to be a good parents and I feel like she just isn’t getting it. 🙁

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Oh big hugs, Katherine! It’s not easy dealing with challenging behavior. You are definitely good parents, even with these challenges, I promise. I find that with whining, there are a few ways to curb that behavior over time. One is to definitely not give in to whatever she’s whining about. Obviously you can pick your battles, but for the most part, the more you can hold your ground, the more she’ll realize that whining is not a way to get what she wants. I would then dig deep and see if there are reasons she may be whining that aren’t as obvious. For instance, have you been out all day running errands, and she’s just about had it and needs to recharge? Then I’d also correct the behavior and tone of voice by providing an alternative way to say exactly what she wants.

      As far as her being ungrateful for things you do, you can point out how her behavior is inappropriate, and help her develop empathy. For instance, you can tell her the effort put into making something happen (in a matter-of-fact way, not so much trying to guilt trip her). Then you can have her imagine what it’s like if it were her, such as saying, “You wouldn’t like it if…” or “Imagine if someone else did that to you…”

      Rest assured that this behavior is totally normal and not a sign that you’re bad parents at all. Childhood is practice for kids to develop empathy, gratitude, etc and it’s unreasonable to expect that they’ll get it right the first time or that it won’t take some time. Hang in there, mama! You’re doing a great job. xo, Nina

  15. Fantastic read!!! I thought that I’m a heartless mother because I insist that my daughter learns good mannerisms and learns to behave in public… everyone around me look at me as if I am committing a crime by being strict with her at times…. I love my child and it hurts to see her cry but I keep telling myself that it’s just a matter of time when she’ll start to understand why I had to be like that. DD is 4 yrs old

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      It’s definitely a balance! Kids definitely benefit from consistency and boundaries, while at the same time offering warmth.

  16. I’m raising my grandson and there are times in the car that while my husband is driving he wants me to hold his hand on our way to daycare. He’s only 20 months old. He cries for me to hold his hand. Is that spoiling him? Some people say yes and some say no. It’s not giving him candy or a toy. It’s just giving my attention. I really want to do the right thing.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Michelle! Just from what you described, I don’t think you’re spoiling him. That said, if anything in the situation is getting out of hand, for instance, it’s uncomfortable for you to turn around and hold his hand, or this requires you to sit in the back seat, then I would think of a different way to respond. I do believe that we should never withhold our love or affection as a way of punishing kids, but there may be other ways to communicate the same love without the specific behavior of needing to hold his hand if it’s causing you a problem.

      Maybe you can give him a special grandma hug and kiss before sitting him in the car seat, or hand him a special blankie from grandma that he can hold while on the car ride. His crying likely started the first few days of preschool because of a valid reason: he was scared of going, and you holding his hand gave him that reassurance that all is well. If you feel he’s still anxious about school, I would talk about that more than holding his hand. If he seems fine now and is crying for your hand because it’s all he’s known to do during these car drives, then I would focus more on giving him other options to feel confident about going to school like I described above.

      I hope that helps, Michelle! xo, Nina

  17. Lisa Harper says:

    This was so helpful

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Thanks, Lisa 🙂

  18. My child is turning 3 soon and a good kid at heart. He loves to be around people and I’ve taught him to be polite by shaking hands, introducing himself and asking about them. I have to remind myself that he is a good child, but his behavior with me is absolutely horrendous, although I do blame myself partly. I give in to his demands because I can’t take it. It’s not just that the screams annoy me. But I haven’t been truly happy and hopeful for a few years now. I had a terrible pregnancy and my husband and I moved to a place that seems so foreign to me. I’ve tried so hard to build relationships with people since I have no family and my best friends no longer come around. It hurts because I never let distance stop me from being there for them. I feel alone, abandoned, and feel like my life is only about taking care of my family and the house. I don’t get to do the things I love anymore, see the people I love, or have peace of mind. So how do I train my child and remain consistent and patient when I have these emotions and am already feeling exhausted from my daily chores? I always believed it takes a village and I have no village. So I give into my child because I feel like every day I am coming closer and closer to having a mental breakdown where I will either explode on my child or be committed into a hospital. If I give in I will at the very least have some sort of peace. But the behavior disgusts me. So maybe my question is silly but how do I endure long enough to get the job done?

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Big hugs, Tati… Your little guy IS an amazing person and human being, no doubt. His behavior is likely very normal and common. What you must focus on now is your own well-being. Have you spoken to your doctor about any treatments, or your husband for support and help? Perhaps find a local moms club that meets regularly to get to know others better. We can’t be good parents to our kids when we’re not taking care of ourselves. We do a disservice to them when we’re not present, joyful, or firm when we need to set boundaries.

      In short, don’t think so much about “fixing” your child or his behavior. Instead, start with yourself, and the rest will trickle to your family.

    2. Hi Tati,your life sounds similar to what I’m going through. I have a two year old baby who throws tantrums all the time and makes demands ( he would send me to get him a glass of water while watching catoons). I get so mad at times that I end up screaming at him, I’m losing my sanity, I’m in a place where I don’t know anyone and I can’t speak the language.
      If you did find a mommy group, where did start and how?

  19. Literally all but 7 I do and I feel now like I’m failing as a parent when I’ve tried so hard not to fail as my mother did with me; And now I have another child on the way that I’m quite sure I’m not ready for;.!

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Aw Raeana, don’t get too hard on yourself, mama! In fact, that awareness is key to making changes you want to see. The fact that you’re here learning and doing all you can is a sign you’re on the right path 🙂

  20. My boyfriend lost his children’s mother and his fiancé a while back. He gives into everything for his kids. They are entitled, don’t do chores, have no respect for him or anyone else, no manners, ask for things over and over until they get what they want, cry until they get it. He grounds them or punished them for like an hour and then gives in. He doesn’t see their behavior as spoiled because his children’s mother always did it that way. I can’t get him to understand. I have tried to make him enforce rules and responsibilities, as well as boundaries and accountability, but I literally have to nag him to get him to stick to it. I don’t know what to do anymore. His 13 year old has zero ability to adapt to situations and she is the most selfish and irresponsible kid I have ever met. His 8 year old is manipulative and gets everything he wants. It’s bad. He treats his kids that way, but yells at my 8 year old autistic son for not being able to control his anger or actions. The austistic child should be given into more often but I do the best I can. HELP!!

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Kim! I can definitely see why it’s frustrating for you to see all this. I can also understand why he’d behave that way. Not only is his parenting method the example he saw with his late fiance, but I’m guessing the burden of not having their mother is making it hard for him to put his foot down.

      Unfortunately, because they’re not your kids, your only role is to support him in how he decides to raise them. Not only that, but we truly can’t change other people, no matter how much we nag or pressure them to.

      Instead, the only thing we can truly control is ourselves, including how you demand to be treated by the kids, how you raise your own son, and having an honest and real discussion with your boyfriend about your relationship and your expectations.

      Best of luck, Kim! I hope you find a solution that works for everyone.

      1. Unfortunately I know I Ann guilty of all of the above my 3 and half year old Being an only child and living with in laws discipline never worked. I tried but soon she knew she can get things her way cos no one wanted a scene either at home or outside. Am desperate now. Really hard to deal with hours of screaming and wailing over small things.
        What do you suggest

        1. Nina Garcia says:

          Hi Shona! I’d start by putting your foot down and meaning what you say. Follow through with consequences, keep your word, and hold your ground so that she can start to take your word and listen. And remember, you can be kind and compassionate and still be firm—keep in mind that you have her best interest, and that it’s not about punishments or showing her who’s boss.

  21. Children should get a say in their clothing choices as long as it’s appropriate and should be able to speak back to their parents but try to avoid being rude. If children are controlled, they may resent their parents, feel unheard and develop issues stemming from a lack of control like eating disorders. No, they shouldn’t be overlavished with goods or get their way all the time but there are times when the parent does wrong, is overly critical and children should know that their feelings matter. They might not always be right and they should be aware of that but at times they are right and it ruins the parent-child dynamic if the parent can’t see or admit that.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Absolutely, Nora! Giving kids a choice in clothes is one of the best ways to nurture a sense of control and for them to feel empowered in a world where many of the choices are made by adults. And yes, honest, respectful conversation is definitely a good thing, not only to feel heard but to feel like their voices matter and are valued.