Why Spoiling Your Kids Isn’t Always bad

Kids TreatsHave you ever seen a child throwing a tantrum in the store? Their bodies get stiff and they begin screaming, kicking their legs and lashing out at their parents? Depending on their age, they may yell or cry or demand. And all you can do is slowly shake your head and thank your lucky stars that your kids aren’t that spoiled. After all, if you want to raise children who will become responsible adults, you need to be firm with them. They need to learn that in life they aren’t going to get everything they want, and there’s no better time to teach them this lesson than now. Right?

Maybe not. While it’s definitely a parents’ place to prepare their children for life, it’s also just as important for them to create an environment that lets their children know that they are precious and spoil-worthy. Yes, spoil-worthy. See, the word ‘spoil’ has gotten a bad reputation. Many people have the idea that a spoiled child is one that gets whatever he or she wants whenever he or she wants it. But spoiling isn’t always about giving in to your children, it can be about finding ways to let them know that they’re treasured. And, yes, this can be done by spoiling them.

Your children are precious to you. That’s why you spend so much time setting up rules and boundaries for them. They need to go to bed at a certain time. They can’t eat candy at all times of the day. They don’t need more toys. They need to learn that they can’t get everything they want. All true. But what would it look like if, every now and then, you relax those rules, let go of some of those boundaries, and just spoil your kids?

Let’s look at it from a different angle. Have you ever seen something while you’re out shopping and it reminded you of your spouse or partner? It could have been something they mentioned wanting at some point or it just really hits you as being something they would love. Whatever the reasoning, when you saw it, you had to get it for them. So you bought it to surprise them, for no reason other than you saw it and thought of them. Or, turning this on its head, has your spouse or partner ever bought or done something for you that was just because they thought you would like it?

In either case, did you feel like you were spoiling them or that they were spoiling you by doing this? Or did it just seem like one of a million ways that they showed they cared for and loved you? As adults, we do things like this for each other all the time. We don’t worry that the person we’re ‘spoiling’ will expect this every single day. It’s a sweet gesture that comes out of love.

Back to the issue of spoiling kids. Is there really something wrong with seeing something you know your kids would love and getting it for no reason other than you thought of them? Can you imagine how excited they’ll be when they see their mum or dad has thought of them randomly? If you’re anything like us, you’re probably grinning at the thought.

Now, despite our examples so far, spoiling doesn’t have to be about spending exorbitant amounts of money on your children. In fact, that’s probably not a very good idea at all. We’re about bargains here, right? But most kids are very easily spoiled. You don’t have to spend heaps of money to do it.

Here are some of our favorite ways to spoil children without going over budget:

  1. Stay up late watching their favorite movie
  2. Surprise them by making their favorite meal
  3. Have a day off from school to do a fun activity
  4. Do a family art project
  5. Make a dessert together
  6. Go for ice cream
  7. Let them pick out treats at the pound shop
  8. Plan a weekend schedule together and then do it
  9. Take a surprise day trip somewhere fun
  10. Buy them a toy they’ve been eyeing
  11. Play their favorite game with them

Sure, it might take a little extra time, and in some cases money, but these are great ways to make your child feel truly cherished. And, the best part is that doing this little things every now and then won’t make it so they expect these things regularly. It will still be something special.

Now, don’t get us wrong. There is a way to take this too far. It can be hard to discern between spoiling and rewarding bad behavior. Yes, you should love and spoil your children unconditionally. But, if they start to connect their acting out with you buying them something, it could be a long, hard road. At the same time, you don’t want them to think that if they behave well, they’ll receive a reward.

When you see how happy these little treats make your children, it can be tempting to do it excessively. But, fight the temptation. All those boundaries we mentioned earlier? The bedtime, proper diet, and limit on toys? They’re still important. You don’t want your children staying up until midnight every day. You have a routine for a reason.

Still, you know yourself. You know your children. You know what they would enjoy and how to keep things sane while splurging every now and then. And in the end, a little spoiling never hurt anyone. In fact, ten years down the road, your children will probably have the greatest memories of the one time you skipped school and went to the zoo instead. Or that one night you made ice cream sundaes and watched Frozen together. These little things will mean a lot to your children. And they’ll mean a lot to you, too.

So, go ahead. Forget the stigma that ‘spoiling’ has and spoil your kids. Trust us, it’s so worth it!

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigHow do you feel about spoiling your kids?  Do you think you will be putting some of the above ideas into action?  We love feedback so please use the comment section below.

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