Apr 25 , 2017
As parents, we never want to be accused of raising spoiled brats. We’ve seen how spoiled kids grow up into adult brats who have difficulty dealing with whatever life throws their way. To know more about spoiling kids, let us first look at the definition of a spoiled child.
Child and adolescent psychiatrist Maria Celina H. Germar, M.D., F.P.P.A., F.P.S.C.A.P., who holds clinic at the UERM Memorial Medical Center, describes a spoiled child as “an overindulged child who engages in socially inappropriate behaviors (i.e., tantrums, whining, crying, being excessively demanding or manipulative) whenever he does not get what he wants.” She adds that a spoiled child is one who has received excessive material resources and has not been given adequate structure and limits. “He lacks self-control, acts impulsively, has poor frustration tolerance, and has difficulty delaying gratification.”
As a mother of two, Dr. Germar says that spoiling a child is never justifiable and that no good can ever come out of it. “I think the annoying, ill-mannered behavior that defines a brat is essentially the same behavior we see in a spoiled child,” she explains. Dr. Germar notes that spoiling one’s child has many possible negative effects. “It hinders the development of self-sufficiency because the child becomes overly dependent on others. A spoiled child may fail to grow into a mature, responsible adult who is able to take care of himself and take control of his life in positive ways. He may not develop problem-solving skills and may find it hard to cope with life’s daily stresses. He may also have difficulty relating with others because he hasn’t learned how to consider other people’s needs and wishes,” she says.
Christopher Franz A. Carandang, a psychology teacher at the University of the Philippines Diliman, shares similar views with Dr. Germar. He speaks from his years of experience conducting play therapy with children and talking to parents as well.
“‘Spoiled’ is a term used to describe kids (even adults) who seem to always want to get their way without any effort to earn it,” says Carandang. He adds, “The only ‘forgivable’ thing I can think of is when grandparents ‘spoil’ their grandchildren. But even then, it is still the parents’ role to set limits.”
A spoiled child is also one who gets away with anything. He thinks he does not have to be accountable for his actions and the consequences that come with them. Carandang explains, “What’s dangerous is that these kids may turn into adults who feel they can ‘get away with murder,’ because no limits have been set when they were growing up.”
Carandang believes that spoiling one’s kid also causes the child to be uncertain about his own abilities, strength, and resiliency. He has never had to rely on his own resources because there have always been adults who rescue him from the consequences of his actions.