Let’s begin talking about how not to raise spoiled brats by listing the top seven methods that do create lazy, selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, entitled, bullying tyrants. The underlying attitude that creates demanding, abusive bullies is the false idea that if children are never thwarted or forced to do what they don’t want to, they’ll be more creative and happy, and their self-esteem will be higher. This attitude is very prevalent among the helping professions; especially therapists and teachers.
What I say may anger people who think in black-while, all-none terms. Those people think that the only choices are total freedom and praise, or beatings and total repression. How silly to think that way.
My top seven attitudes, approaches, techniques, methods to create willful, domineering brats and teenagers are:
- Always give them everything they want and give them control of every decision. Teach them that if they don’t get what they desperately want at the moment, they’ll never be happy. Never force them to do what you want. Always try to get them to understand that you’re right, so they’ll willingly do what you want them to. Don’t act until they give you permission.
- Never correct them or say, “No.” Help them think they’re sensitive, weak and fragile. Be afraid that if their feelings are hurt, they’ll never get over it.
- Never show displeasure or tell them that they failed to meet your expectations. Always tell them that their efforts are good enough; no matter how pathetic the results.
- Always tell them that they should succeed instantly or that what they can’t do easily isn’t important. Tell them that hard work and struggle aren’t important. Blame everything that they don’t like on other people (bad friends, bad teachers, bad schools, bad society), not on their insufficient or mediocre effort. Always tell them that the world is supposed to be fair and to make them happy.
- Be afraid that if they’re unhappy or angry, they won’t love you. Always try to be their confidant and best friend. Give in to their fits and temper tantrums in order to get them to stop. Train them that you’ll give them whatever they want if they throw fits in public.
- Always excuse their bad behavior because they’re “cute” or “creative.” Always excuse them from chores because it’s no fun for them.
- Instead of calmly applying consequences whether they like it or not, always let them misbehave without correction or consequences. Hold your tongue or repeatedly tell them not to do something, but don’t actually do anything effective until you can’t stand it anymore and you throw a fit. Never smack their bottoms or grab them to make your point or to let them know that sometimes they will do what you want, no matter what – even though that’s the only thing that will get them to do what you want.
If you start these approaches when they’re infants, you can create manipulative, demanding teenage bullies who think they’re entitled to everything they want and you’re supposed to provide it. They’re the kind of children who may be living at home when they’re 40. Will you wonder why, deep down, you don’t like them any more than they like you?
Of course, don’t go to the other extreme and beat them into submission.
Don’t give in to guilt when you thwart them with your, hopefully, high expectations. Don’t give in to coddling and wishful thinking when they try to wear you down.
Think of the qualities you want them to develop and give them many opportunities to practice. Here are nine, for example:
- Will, self-mastery, courage and discipline.
- Emphasis on action and seeking solutions instead of blame.
- Grit – determination, dedication, drive, commitment and focus.
- Persistence, perseverance, patience, endurance and tenacity.
- Resilience, flexibility and humor.
- Comfort in change, ambiguity and the unknown.
- Heroism in the face of discouragement, so you’ll treat obstacles like speed bumps.
- Taking calculated risks and making the most of opportunities and luck.
- Learning from great models, heroes, mentors and coaches.
Without your guidance and discipline, they won’t magically develop those qualities when they’re 25.
Stand up and say that you do know better. Don’t give in to bullies; especially when you love them.
See: How Not to Raise Spoiled Brats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8g8wbgKKcs