As a parent, it is so hard to hold back when it comes to your kids- and in many instances I think we all feel like showering them with stuff and not enforcing strict guidelines, is an expression of our love for them. So, as a parent now, I am always trying to find that middle ground- to be strict but not an army general; to give them chores and responsibilities but not invoke extreme child labor. It is certainly a balancing act and I can always use a few tips, so I asked Dr. Fran Walfish celebrity doctor and leading child, teen, parent, and family psychotherapist and author in Beverly Hills for her top 5 tips to help parents prevent their kids from becoming spoiled rotten.
* Implement “Special Time” daily with each child. This is 10-15 minutes at the same time each day of individual uninterrupted quality positive attention. You can scoop ice-cream cones with your child, eat them together while you look adoringly into your child’s eyes, take a walk around the block holding hands, or dig for worms in the backyard. Special Time lays the positive foundation for creating and following through on boundaries.
* Be clear about limits/boundaries. State expectations, enforce them, and take action when your child resists. Action means that you physically move your child to do his and her responsibilities. This teaches your child that resistance does not prevail in avoiding jobs.
* Have an action plan prepared in advance. You need to be equipped with strategies you can pull out of your back pocket. Don’t wait to figure it out in the moment.
* Encourage and invite your child to express powerful emotions including anger directly at you. Too many parents dodge being the target of their kid’s anger and rage. They fear it. I advise parents: Embrace your kids – flaws and all!
* Talk openly with your kids about their behavior and what they want and feel. Talking is the glue that holds relationships together.
So what are your tips for raising kids who aren’t spoiled rotten?