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You're just spoiled rotten

Listen along here if you like...

If you've ever called your own child spoiled rotten, you should be ashamed of yourself. Call someone else's kid that, no problem, but not your own. Why? Because all we can see of someone else's child is a result, and it may be disturbing. Whereas in your own case, the child is the 'spoilee' and you are the 'spoiler'. OK, perhaps your spouse, but you both have some responsibility in it.

Your child is like a dry sponge, with thousands of little cavities waiting to be filled up. And around the child is a world bursting with candy, toys, activities, snacks, TV and computer games all eager to pounce. And who is in the middle? You, the gatekeeper. The key master. The valve.

Now, if you think about it, a sponge works so so when it is bone dry. It actually works a little better when slightly damp, but if the valve is broken, the sponge will fill to capacity quickly and become useless.

Granted, you can point a finger at your mate. He or she is the one who gives Bobby everything he wants. You've even argued about it from time to time, and the same thing is said every time. "Come on, it's just until 11:00", or "think of how happy it will make him", or "I never got one of these when I was a kid", or "OK, but just this once". Sound familiar?

Almost everyone is guilty of this lack of will power to some degree. Unfortunately, if a parent lacks will power, the child will lack even more. This will develop to the point that the child will have no reason to deny him or herself anything. The notion was never passed down from the previous generation. Exercise a little restraint, can't ya?

OK, why should anyone deprive themselves of anything? Seems like a reasonable question. Well, for starters, if, in the extreme case, you got everything you asked for, you would never get to the point of truly wanting for something. However, without wanting something you can't have, at least right away, you don't set goals. And without goals you don't get anywhere. You are simply a full, soggy, sponge.

In addition, the spoiled rotten trait delivers a one-two punch. The spoiled individual may have little concept of the value of something. And worse still, the idea of having to save up for it and buy it on their own can seem ridiculous. Then there is the issue of generosity. How often is a spoiled individual truly generous? These and more negative characteristics can be attributed to someone who is spoiled rotten.

So my point is that as the guardian of all that is innocent and pure, being your child, you have the responsibility to think about such things and teach yourself how to control that which, if left unchecked, might put your child's life out of balance. If discussions with your spouse are called for and may cause some short term distress, better that than passing a bad apple down to your children to make them spoiled rotten.

I heard a remarkable phrase recently that I'd like to relate here. It had to do with ecology, global warming etc. "We did not inherit the earth from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children". And, in a way, I see this fitting in that we are the keepers of (their) childhood so that we can give it back healthy and strong.

Anyone you know? Comments?

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