How to Raise a Spoiled Child

  • Don’t expect too much of him too young, assuring yourself that “he doesn’t understand”.
  • Laugh at “how cute” it is when he throws his food down from the high chair.
  • Comfort him when he throws a fit; at least give him the thing about which he is throwing the fit.
  • Make sure he gets to do/have “what everyone else does/has.”
  • Don’t ever make him earn money to buy things he wants.
  • Make excuses for him when he misbehaves.  This will help him learn to blame his problems on everything or everyone else.
  • Wash all his dishes, make his bed, clean up after him and keep telling yourself that “childhood is just for fun–he’ll grow up later.”

And above all else, to successfully raise a spoiled child, let him think the world revolves around him, his food preferences, his recreational needs and his whims.  Do whatever you have to do to keep him in the center of the universe, including but not limited to refusing any more children from God.  After all, spoiling one or two is difficult (and costly) enough.


23 Responses to “How to Raise a Spoiled Child”

  1. Autumn Beck says:

    Love it! #4 Make sure he gets to do/have “what everyone else does/has” drives me crazy! I have a friend who thinks her 2yo should be able to do everything her older kids do. She’s even chastised me for eating chocolate in front of him (as I was eating it in front of mine).

  2. Jennifer says:

    Here’s another great way to especially raise a spoiled boy: let him think that “no” really means “ask me some more” or in the case of girls, “I’m just teasing, keep doing it”. How many males get the idea that they can tease, make fun of or jab a girl, whether physically or verbally, because their “no” and “quit” don’t mean anything? After a while, it evolves into the girl snapping at or smacking him and the dumb boy thinking she’s over-reacting and “has no sense of humor”. Kids need to know that “stop”, “no”, and “quit” mean something, whether from parents or peers.

  3. “Don’t ever make him earn money to buy things he wants.”

    Huge mistake – my kids have been paying for everything they “want”, save a birthday gift or two, since they were 4 years old. You can walk into their rooms and tell which toys/items they saved and paid for, and which were given to them. It’s not that they treat the gifts badly, but they aren’t stored and displayed with the care their own purchases are. This has also helped eliminate the junk – they learned early to inspect for quality, and the disappointment of a broken something that was an impulse buy is rare. Their mother should be so discriminating :).

  4. Ruby says:

    A proven recipe known and used the world over!

  5. Beth says:

    I think you should specify what age you are referring to. An infant (like in numbers 1 & 3)? That can be very harmful advice.

  6. Jessica says:

    I’m sure Kelly isn’t referring to a infant needing to understand that mommy really wants to sleep for 8 straight hours.

    I don’t think #1 needs age specifications. My 14 month old knows how to carry tupperware from the dishwasher to the correct drawer, she knows how to put back the magazines (the she pulls out) back in the rack (both of those things she does when I ask her to), and she knows that she only gets her pacifier for sleeping and car rides. She probably knows a lot more than what I’m even aware of. We don’t give children enough credit.

    As for #3 if they are old enough to know how to throw a fit they are old enough to learn that throwing is a fit is not the way to get what you want.

    Maybe I’ve had kids with nice temperments… but as infants mine never threw fits.

    Kids crave guidance and structure. I believe most if not all children naturally want to please from an early age. If parents are willing to take the time to pay attention and develop these traits things work out much better in the long run.

  7. Bethany says:

    Good post, but what happens when you don’t follow these ‘rules’ and the children are still difficult?

    My younger brother was a very difficult child. My brother and I had to earn money for what we wanted much of the time, did not get everything that we wanted, did plenty of chores (making our own beds, doing the dishes, cooking for the family, laundry), and life did not revolve around us. I accepted this and was a pretty good kid, though I did have a lot of food restrictions due to health issues. (I was ‘spoiled’ there!)

    However, from a very young age, my brother would throw huge tantrums (in stores, at home, in the car) when things didn’t go his way. He was punished as appropriate (spanking, time-out, loss of freedoms), but still continue to be difficult by refusing to do his chores, throwing tantrums until he broke blood vessels in his eyelids from screaming, and fighting.

    What can be done about difficult children? It’s a sincere question, as I am at the age and stage of life where children might be a reality.

    • Word Warrior says:


      I would first encourage you to not give way to hypothetical fears based on your brother’s behavior. There are certainly children who are more difficult than others. There is also a completely different side to this post that involves “winning” your child’s heart, building the kind of relationships that make children feel safe and requiring honor and obedience from them.

      Parenting isn’t rocket science on the one hand, but some children require a special dose of “knee-prayer” (and maybe guidance as you parent). Still, I would wait until you cross that bridge to give too much energy toward preparing for that “most difficult” child that you may never have!

  8. Donna Hebert says:

    Children learn by example too and sometimes we really need to look at ourselves and how we behave. Are we “spolied” adults? Is our marriage a reflection of Christ, sacrificial, humble? Do we throw “adult temper tantrums”? Are we good stewards with our finances or are we frivolous and always buy the latest and greatest in technology, games, DVDs etc. Do we grumble about what we don’t have or are we content with what the Lord has given us? Are we an agry parent and therefore are guilty of producing angry children? Just some other thoughts that came to mind.

    Great post again Kelly!

  9. Joy says:

    Great advice Kelly! I have some tweaking to do….. Also, Donna, you have an excellent point…..again…I have some tweaking to do.

  10. Katie Grace says:

    I just had a talk with a friend last night about some issues that she is having with her almost 2 year old little girl. She’s very frustrated right now because her child is demonstrating a lot of this undesirable behavior and she and her hubby are at a loss of what to do. After a series of questions, I think I uncovered their biggest problem. Inconsistency. The mom works full time and the child spends 1 day with one grandmother, 2 days with another grandmother, 1 day with an aunt, and 1 day with a retired couple who keep children in their home. Bless her heart, the child has 5 different sets of rules and enviroments to navigate in one week. Discipline is inconsistent because where she spends most of her time there is no discipline. The parents are trying to set rules and consequences at home but they are getting tamtrums for every little thing.

    She actually had never thought about the fact that
    her child got her way all day. She admitted that
    every caregiver spoiled her by giving her anything
    she wanted and by letting her “run the show”. I
    didn’t offer any advice. She just asked a lot of
    questions and I offered to pray for them that God
    would help them find a solution. I really felt for her
    because she says it’s making her want to avoid
    having more children

    I think that’s one thing that is lost when children
    are cared for by multiple people. A lot of the time
    there is no consistency in rules, expectations, and
    discipline. I’m with my children 95% of the time.
    My in-laws are the only other people who keep my children. My husband has talked extensively with
    them about our rules and expectations and they have implemented the same at their house.

    I really felt for her. Her child is so precious and the mother is so frustrated.

    • Tiffany says:

      Katie Grace,
      I know what you mean here. My 9 month old son spends 2 days with a babysitter, 2 days with dad (my husband), and 1 day with grandparents (plus 2 with my husband & I on the weekends). My husband and I have had many conversations about this because we both agree the tough training period is right around the corner and we must find a way for me to come home and stay full time with him, plus any other children God blesses us with. We were both literally in tears last night as we discussed this situation. Even as an infant it has been hard on my son because he has had to deal with 3-4 different routines. I know God will provide if I come home, I just need to continue to pray for my husband to overcome his fear of being the sole provider.

      • Katie Grace says:

        My heart goes out to you. I know the fear that comes with that decision. I worked for the first 10 years of my marriage and when I came home with our first child I was earning 40% of the income and had free health insurance. Our budget only provided for the bills – not groceries, gas, etc. On paper we were at a big loss. But, we took a leap of faith. We sold everything we could do without – the riding lawn mower, extra tvs, and eventually our home. We downsized. We cut back as much as we could on monthly expenses. My hubby got a second income of 400$ a month which helped keep us afloat. We systematiclly got out of debt. Now, 27 months later, God has been faithful. The only debt we have is our mortgage. We have a tight but workable budget. We are expecting #3 in February and my hubby LOVES my being at home. I spend several hours a week finding ways to “save” money. I can’t believe how much money I wasted when I worked.

        I know everyone’s situation is different. I pray that you and your husband find a way to make your dream of being home a reality!
        Katie Grace

        • Tiffany says:

          Katie Grace,
          Your story is very encouraging. Just yesterday a friend of mine mentioned that we could sell our home (which happens to be our only piece of debt) and live with her if I wanted to quit my job. I thought WOW! I never even thought of selling our home, especially since it’s not that much to begin with. But, there are definitely things we can get rid of inside the home. This month we are doing Dave Ramsey’s envelope method of budgeting and paying cash for everything. So far so good and amazing to see how much we spent on items we didn’t need. Right now we are taking baby steps…but the leap will come soon I pray. Congrats on your baby #3!

        • Tiffany says:

          Oh, and I meant to mention that I’m a CPA so I LOVE to find ways to save money too!

    • Kelly L says:

      I would also say, in addition to inconsistency, is the issue of covering. When we allow others to care for our children, we are suspending our covering over them as their spiritual leader, and giving it to another. I do not think any of us can know what the full spiritual condition of a person or his/her house is. I believe that can have a huge manifestation in our children’s behavior as I have experienced this myself when I used to have my parents watch my kid.

  11. Claudia says:

    I agree with you, but I’m not sure what tone was meant to be implied in this post. I find myself with a bad taste in my mouth after reading it.

    I think perhaps it’s best to stick to an encouraging word without such an ambiguous tone 🙂

    • Kelly L says:

      To me this was encouraging, as I am not partaking in these activities. Not finger pointing that you are, just saying since I am not, it encouraged me that I was on the right path.

  12. Mrs. Armstrong says:

    Wow! Great post Kelly. Sounds just like my mother! Unfortunately, she opposes my child training (maybe that’s why they never get to babysit). I needed that reminder that I AM DOING THINGS RIGHT when I train my 15 month old in the ways of the Lord.

  13. […] How to Raise a Spoiled Child – A satirical little piece that deserves reading. […]

  14. Christabel says:

    You should never raise a spoiled child, they’ll be a bad adult and will not be educated. BOOO!

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