Parental Tips

Practical Tips to Unspoil Your Spoiled Child

Many parents want the best for their kids and try to do everything they can to make them happy and content. But sometimes, they go too far, giving kids so much that they end up becoming spoiled.

In this guide, we’ll explore the spoiled child meaning, as well as looking at how and why kids end up spoiled, the negative consequences this can bring, and what you can do to avoid it.


What Does a Spoiled Child Mean?

how to unspoil a baby


First, let’s focus on what the term “spoiled child” actually refers to, before moving to causes, effects, and challenges.

Generally speaking, a spoiled child is one who, in part due to the way that they are treated by parents or other caregivers, has notably high levels of immaturity, self-centeredness, and poor manners. They tend to feel and act as though the world revolves around them, and more than often get their way.

What Causes a Child To Be Spoiled?

There are a lot of potential causes and contributing factors that can cause a child to become spoiled and develop the various negative traits associated with this state.

One of the primary causes of spoiled children is overindulgent parents. In other words, if parents always say yes to their child, always give them what they want, and don’t set clear boundaries or even discipline their child for acting out, it’s highly likely that the child will begin to act spoiled, as they become used to getting their own way.

In general, therefore, lenient, passive, or permissive parenting styles all tend to create spoiled children. If a child has little discipline in their life, and parents show no authority or ability to push back against their child’s demands or discipline poor behavior, they can easily become spoiled, as a result.

Negative Consequences of Being Spoiled

spoiled child


It’s easy for parents to inadvertently cause their children to become slightly spoiled. Many moms and dads naturally want to make their kids happy, and like to say yes when their kids ask for something, like a day out, a new toy, or some food that they enjoy. However, if you acquiesce too often, and your child becomes spoiled, negative consequences will inevitably ensue.

One of the big negative effects of being spoiled is that it gives children an imbalanced worldview. They start to think that everything revolves around them and get angry or moody when things don’t always go their way. They may then enter other environments—like school—and expect to be treated as little VIPs, but soon find the world doesn’t work that way.

Their sense of entitlement and self-importance can therefore lead to a lot of confusion. What’s more, spoiled kids often struggle to understand the value in concepts like working and earning things, or having to sometimes accept that you don’t always get what you want in life. This attitude can make it hard for them to form relationships and adapt to difficult situations.

Being spoiled can also negatively impact other life skills in children of varying ages. They may struggle to handle rejection, disappointment, or other negative emotions, stunting their emotional growth. Similarly, they may lack emotional maturity and develop obscure, unrealistic expectations of the world, entering a spiral of disappointment when things don’t go their way.

Signs of a Spoiled Child

spoiled brat

Natalia Deriabina/

Next, let’s explore some of the common signs and symptoms associated with spoiled children:

  • Tantrums and Mood Swings: Spoiled children often lose their temper quite quickly, especially if they don’t get their own way. They might suddenly become very angry if they hear the word “No,” even screaming, yelling, or being aggressive to their families.
  • Need for Constant Attention: Since spoiled children are used to being treated like royalty, they start to crave attention more and more over time. This can make them needy, clingy, and upset whenever they’re not right in the middle of everyone’s focus.
  • Low Empathy: Spoiled children tend to be very self-centered. They’re so focused on themselves that they may struggle to show any signs of empathy or understanding of how other people might feel.
  • Inability to Follow Rules: Spoiled children often have very little discipline in their lives. So, when faced with rules to follow or instructions to obey, they may struggle to comply and instead just do whatever they feel like doing.
  • A Materialistic Outlook: Many spoiled kids also become highly materialistic, concerned entirely with how many things they can get. They may also fail to understand the value of those items and even treat them with a lack of care.
  • Difficulty Coping with Frustration: Many kids who are spoiled also find it hard to cope whenever they encounter situations of frustration or disappointment, as they haven’t learned the necessary coping mechanisms, due to a lack of experience.
  • Entitled: Spoiled kids almost always have an elevated sense of self-importance and an entitled outlook. They feel that they deserve the best, they should always get what they want, and everyone should listen and do what makes them happy.
  • No Respect of Authority: Parents of spoiled children may struggle to show any kind of authority. And if kids grow up without clear authority figures, they often end up being disrespectful towards people like teachers or elders.
  • Lack of Gratitude: Since spoiled kids get so many nice things and get their way so often, they generally struggle to notice or appreciate when someone does something nice for them or goes out of their way to be kind and generous.
  • No Desire to Work: Again, as spoiled kids get what they want more often than not just by asking or throwing a tantrum, they’re rarely interested in the concept of working or doing chores to earn rewards.

Related: Naughty Kids: How to Deal with a Naughty Child.

How Long Does Spoiled Behavior Last?

characteristics of a spoiled child


It depends on how the child is treated and whether or not the parents adapt and decide to change their ways. As long as parents continue to give in to children and let them get their way, they’ll carry on showing signs of being spoiled and acting just as entitled as always. But, if parents make a proactive choice to change and “unspoil” their kids, the behavior can cease in a matter of weeks.

How to Unspoil a Child: Dealing with Spoiled Children

Dealing with a spoiled child can be a nightmare situation for many parents, and it may feel like there’s no way out. Luckily, there are steps you can take to unspoil your child and restore some order to your family:

  • Learn to Say No: This is arguably the most important step for parents of spoiled kids. You have to be able to say no sometimes when they ask for things, rather than always succumbing to their demands.
  • Don’t Apologize for Disappointments: Disappointment is part of life, and you don’t have to feel guilty for saying no to your child and not letting them always get their way. Stop apologizing for letting them down and help them learn that life isn’t always perfect.
  • Manage Tantrums Effectively: Tantrums will inevitably occur as you try to unspoil your child, but try to manage them smartly and calmly. Don’t give in, as that teaches your child to keep throwing tantrums if they want to get their way.
  • Establish Rules and Discipline: Set rules, limits, and discipline—this is often lacking in spoiled children’s lives. By being more authoritative, having rules, and sticking to them, you can set a better example for your young ones.
  • Reinforce Good Behavior: Reinforcing good behavior is a great way to teach spoiled kids how to behave better. Reward them when they do the right thing, like accepting disappointment or helping out around the house.
  • Harness the Power of Technology: These days, there are lots of helpful tech tools and apps that can support your parenting journey. Findmykids, for example, helps you keep track of your little ones to not only keep them safe but manage their time and activities too. This can also help in the battle against spoiled kids.

Read also: How to Discipline a Child without Shouting, Belt, or Humiliation.

How Can Parents Prevent Spoiling Their Child?

spoiled kid

New Africa/

Finally, some useful tips to prevent having a spoiled child in the first place:

  • Set clear, age-appropriate rules and boundaries for your child to follow, and enforce them as necessary.
  • Give your child a balanced and fair amount of attention, without being overindulgent or ignoring them.
  • Train your children to respond to instructions and guidance—establish yourself as a figure of authority for them to look up to.
  • Never ever give in to tantrums, as this is one of the worst mistakes that can simply make spoiled children act even worse.
  • Teach your kids to be patient, and have them wait for what they want, not always providing instant gratification.
  • Discipline your children when needed—identify and address problematic behavior, rather than letting it slide.
  • Give children chores to do, even simple things like setting the table, to teach them skills and introduce the idea of working and earning.
  • Let your children learn life lessons for themselves, don’t feel like you need to teach them everything or protect them from tough situations.
  • Be available and attentive to your child’s needs, without overdoing it—you don’t need to help them solve every single problem.
  • Avoid overpraising your child—there’s no harm in praising good behavior, but don’t overdo it, as it can lead to symptoms of entitlement.
  • Teach your child good manners and simple elements of respect, like saying “Please” and “Thank you” and being kind to others around them.
  • Try to be consistent and calm in your teaching and discipline—children can react badly when parents appear inconsistent or overly emotional.
  • Say sorry when it’s right to do so, but don’t feel obliged to apologize for things like not buying something your child wants.

Don’t forget to download the Findmykids app to keep your child safe wherever they are!

Overall, it’s never a good sign when children start showing symptoms of being spoiled. Spoiling kids can negatively affect their emotional development and future relationships, as well as take a toll on their parents’ mental health. When a toddler is overindulged, they can grow up without an appreciation for boundaries or discipline, leading to undisciplined behavior. According to the definition, a spoiled child exhibits certain characteristics that can hinder their ability to function effectively in society. Thus, it’s crucial to address these issues in raising a child to prevent them from becoming overindulged.

By understanding and avoiding the tendency to spoil your baby, you can ensure they grow up with a healthy sense of appreciation and respect. Dealing with these behaviors early on is essential to prevent them from becoming any worse and to promote a well-balanced upbringing.

Share this guide around and help other moms and dads handle their spoiled children more easily!


signs of a spoiled child


How Can You Tell if a Child Is Spoiled?

Common signs of a spoiled child include when they get angry or upset if you tell them “No” to something, as well as never seeming satisfied with what they’ve got, always demanding and expecting more, refusing to help out, even with simple tasks, and acting as though the world revolves around them.

How Do I Stop My Child From Acting Spoiled?

There are many methods to deal with a spoiled child, such as teaching them good values and being grateful for what they have. Avoid giving in to begging and set clear limits about what you will give your child and how they should behave. Don’t be afraid to say no and disappoint your child, and encourage them to do chores or other tasks to earn rewards.

Is It Possible to Unspoil a Child?

Absolutely. It may take some time, effort, and patience, but you can effectively “unspoil” a child and teach them to see the world and themselves differently. This requires commitment and a shift in how you treat your child, not giving in so easily or letting them always get what they want and have their own way.

The picture on the front page: STUDIO GRAND WEB/

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