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How to Raise a Spoiled Brat (and what to do if you're afraid you are)

I’m a psychologist and you’d think I would know better than to make some of the mistakes I’m listing below, but the fact is I have made some. It’s only by the grace of God that I have stopped short of doing most of them with my kids.

I am writing, not out of a sense of superiority, but compassion for the parents and kids who will suffer greatly if changes aren’t made.

If you recognize yourself in many of these examples, know that it is NOT too late. Take the actions I share at the end of this post.

 1. Never tell a toddler no.

Even if they kick you, bite you, or run from you.

2. Always give your preschooler what he wants.

Even if it means ignoring other people’s needs and your own.

3. Always make excuses for your child’s bad behavior.

And make sure she hears you say she was just tired or hungry.

4. Always give in to whining and begging.

Say no until they make a scene or bargain with you.

5. Let your child call you names without consequence.

Do not demand the respect of being called Mom or Dad.

6. Let your child disrespect your spouse and other authorities without consequence.

Always take your child’s side.

7. Ignore bad behavior until you explode.

Hit or yell at your child and give them more reason not to respect you.

8. Put your child in so many activities that you never have to spend time with her.

When she complains, tell her that you’re doing it all for her.

9. Never require your child to do chores.

Complain about picking up after them instead.

10. Don’t supervise your child.

Let him use the Internet without guidance and leave home without telling you where he’s going.

11. Give your child expensive gifts to make up for your lack of attention.

Brag about what you bought her to your friends within her hearing.

12. Curse at your child and call him names.

Tell yourself that you are motivating him.

13. Laugh about the idea of your child having sex or using drugs and alcohol at an early age because “kids will be kids.”

Serve alcohol at teen parties and let them go on unchaperoned co-ed trips.

14. Don’t require your teen to work.

Pay for everything he wants.

15. Pay for college even though your child refuses to study.

Keep threatening to make her pay for it, but never follow through.

16. Allow your adult child to live with you rent-free, though they refuse to go to school or get a job.

Blame this behavior on your spouse.

What to Do if You’re Afraid You’re Raising a Spoiled Brat

If you’re afraid you’re raising a spoiled brat, get a copy of How to Have a New Kid by Friday, Parenting Teens with Love & Logic, and listen to my interview with Reb Bradley; see a parent educator or counselor, and ask friends and family members you trust to help hold you accountable. Most importantly? Pray that God would make you the parent He wants you to be.

You may also like The Solution to Sibling Rivalry.