What is the true definition of a spoiled child?

In my mind, spoiled does not mean a child who is given too much (materialistically or otherwise) but a child who does not accept not getting their way.

To tell your child, "You are a bad child" is very different from "You are acting like a bad child." Same with being or acting like a spoiled child.

If we got close to a tantrum, it was very helpful to get the children to understand what a spoiled child was. A spoiled child is not a child who gets everything he wants, from toys to attention, although that has it's own dangers and repercussions. My definition was, and still is, a child who gets upset or cannot handle when life doesn't go their way, when they do NOT get what they want.

Once my children were of an age to understand "This is the way it is, kiddo, take it or leave it" it honestly helped them to know that negative behaviour was embarrassing, to both parent and child, as it would show the world what a spoiled child they were, opposed to a parent being mean. Tossing in a lesson or two about winning and losing (the "Go Fish" card game helped a great deal here)  made a large difference from an early age about accepting being a 'loser'.

The earlier they learn life isn't not 'fair', the easier they handle it when the unfairness gets serious. It allows them to look at the options available, or create new options, and logically make a choice between them, even if it is, in their eyes, a choice of a lesser evil. It is what life (or their previous choices that led them to this point) offered at that moment, and it might not have been what you had hoped for, but it is what it is. How they deal with what they receive at an early age makes a difference I simply cannot word. Life isn't a bowl of cherries, but you can still make lemonaide if you receive lemons.

I almost laugh sometimes to myself, "You think this is tough? Just you wait."

Another note here: As always, if the adults in your children's lives do not have a 'cherry' attitude, they WILL learn to adopt the same in their own lives.

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