Is it spoiling the children if they contribute to the purchase price, clean stalls, and play a role in feeding and grooming the horse? Is it spoiling them if they learn lessons about safety around large animals, bond with another of God's creatures, and learn about the self-discipline it takes to become an accomplished rider? Is it spoiling them if they connect with their father working side by side in the barn, sweating, laughing, and learning about each other?
Whether a child has a 10 speed bicycle, a horse, or a convertible is not an indication of whether or not she is spoiled. Look instead to how the material object was obtained, how it is used, and to the child's attitude about it. That will give you more information about "spoiled" than the amount of material things she has.
Spoiled children need to change.
No, parents need to change. Parents need to change their attitudes about spoiled children and see instead a child who is attempting to satisfy his needs with an ineffective behavior. They need to change their own behaviors and be willing to take the time to teach new behaviors to their children. They need to be willing to confront, deal with conflict, and take the time to do solution-seeking.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They also publish a free email newsletter for parents and another for educators. Subscribe to them when you visit, www.chickmoorman.com or www.thomashaller.com. Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children.
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