We all want what is best for our kids. But when we do this to a fault, we may no longer be effective in preparing our kids for the future. When purchasing stuff for the family, do you scrimp on your own purchases and splurge on the things for your kids? If kids are so used to getting what they want and having their way all the time, they may not learn how to become contented with anything.

It can be difficult to deal with kids who are very skilled at manipulating their parents. A parent may unsuccessfully impose rules when a child may resist by screaming, or crying relentlessly. If parents are not firm with house rules and discipline techniques, a child may take it to their advantage so they can get their way all the time.

But spoiled kids are not as bad as we think they are. It’s actually a learned behavior that can stem from different causes like ineffective parenting techniques, or the absence of structure and limits at home. If you feel that you have already spoiled your kids rotten, don’t blame yourself for doing so. In life, there are just instances when the best of intentions can just go out of hand.

On the brighter side, it is never too late to “unspoil” your children even when they are already exhibiting spoiled behavior. Kids are intellectual beings and when they are taught the right behavior, they can eventually deviate from their old habits. But for this to be attained, parents should be firm in setting limits and enforcing consequences.

If you bend your own rules, there is actually no point in setting limits in the first place. Give clear instructions on what you want accomplished, and be consistent in giving consequences. If your child continued to watch television after his bedtime, don’t give him television privileges the next day. Expect your child to throw tantrums initially, but don’t give in to his demand for more TV time. If you are consistent in setting limits and giving rational consequences, your child will learn to obey rules.

It is also important to examine whether you are excessively providing material things to your kids. While we want our kids to have the best, giving them more than what they really need may prevent them from learning essential life skills. They will never value their material things if they just get it out of nagging, or if they didn’t exert an effort in saving for it. The next time that you are tempted to purchase another pricey electronic gadget for your child, think twice whether he really needs it. If he doesn’t, the money may best be saved for future purchases that are really necessary.

In your resolve to stop spoiling your kids, you will definitely encounter challenges. There will be times when you are just tempted to take the easier route of giving in to your child’s wishes. When you reach this point, remind yourself that children will always have limit testing behaviors. And the way you respond at present can influence the way your child will behave in the future.

Parenting is a challenging yet rewarding journey. Sometimes it requires us to take the road less traveled so we can bring out the best in our kids. Don’t be afraid to spoil your kids with love, but do not lose yourself in the process. If you can find the right balance, you can equip your kids with life skills that can last a lifetime.