The major role in a child’s upbringing is been played by the parents especially the mother. If you are the parent of a young child, I am sure at one time or the other you have bothered about things like how to stop babying a child or how to not spoil your baby.
And if you feel your child already has bad manners you will desire to reverse the process so in this case, you will be eager to know how to unspoil your child fast. Parents of young children are not the only ones that seek answers to the aforementioned questions concerning how to unspoil a child. As a parent of a grown child who is not well behaved, you can also wonder how to unspoil your teenager.
Whatever the case is, it is possible to redeem an ill-mannered child and make the child a well-behaved one. You only have to be willing to follow the tips I will be sharing with you. So stay with me as I unravel to you how to make the process of unspoiling a child an easy one.
How To Unspoil A Child
Spoiling a child is easier than unspoiling one. For you to be able to unspoil a child, you’ve got to start from the beginning using this as your guide:
1. Be A Good Role Model
There’s no better role model for a child than his/her parents. As a parent, you have to say or act whatever you want your child to say or do. For example: If your child doesn’t say “I’m Sorry”. You could start saying it whenever you wrong your spouse is in his or her presence.
2. Point Out The Bad Habits
Often wherever my daughter does something wrong, I usually comment immediately saying “bad habit”.
She grew up with the idea that some attitudes are bad habits and some are good habits. It made her cautious of bad and good habits despite being a toddler and this helped her greatly as she grew older.
3. Make Guidelines/Rules
Some children aren’t to be blamed for their bad habits or spoilt behavior. It is usually caused by their parents because they don’t set limits or boundaries for their children. So, they (the children) automatically give themselves access to everything. Your kids don’t have to like the rules you give them but, they must obey them.
You should set rules for house chores and daily activities for kids. For a perfect guide on setting rules for kids and being firm when enforcing them, read my blog post titled Positive Parenting. It will teach you all you need to know about disciplining kids the right way and helping them to grow into well-mannered and self-confident kids.
4. Cut Off Unnecessary Privileges
There are some privileges you give to your kids that are not necessary. For you to put them back on track when you notice that they’re going astray, you have to cut off any privilege they have that is more than they are supposed to have.
For example: If they usually stay up late as long as they want to, you could take that away because it isn’t going to be helpful to the child in any way.
5. Insist On Good Manners
As a parent, you should enforce the use of good manners on your kids no matter their age. I never give my five-year-old anything without him saying please. It is not that I don’t want to give him but I don’t want him to get used to not using his manners.
Enforce manners on your kids especially if they are up to 4 years and above. Teach the little ones (toddlers) good manners like:
- Thank you
- I’m sorry
- May I? etc.
6. Teach Your Child To Earn Certain Things They Make Demand For
Teach your kids to earn some things they demand by making sure they work for them or get them as rewards. The essence of this is for the child to learn to attribute value to things. For instance, if your child wants something like a bicycle and he/she is ready to do extra house chores at home to earn it, you can go ahead and buy it for the child.
7. Never Apologize When You’re Meant To Be Firm
Whenever you apologize for making a rule against your child’s wants, you give him/her the power to disobey you. Learn to be firm despite your child’s response to your rules and you will notice that the child will eventually start obeying these rules and will be better off for it.
8. Never Give Your Child All He/She Asks For
You should only give your kids things that you feel they need or that are necessary. Avoid giving them everything they ask for all the time, so they don’t get used to getting their way always, and when the things they are used to enjoying are not available, desperation sets in for them.
9. Be Firm To Say No And Make Sure You Don’t Go Against Your Own Word
About a year ago when my daughter was just three, she asked me for some candy and I bluntly said “No” because she had taken a few before that time. My brother-in-law who was in our house back then, hearing that I said no took her out to get her some.
On their arrival back home, I called him aside to explain politely why I never wanted to give it to her. He apologized and I kept the candies for her to take later. You should never allow any bad attitude to escape without addressing it because if you do, your child will get used to it and it will eventually turn into a bigger problem.
How To Not Spoil Your Baby
There’s no better time to mold a child’s character than when he/she is a baby. The following are ways you can mold the character of your child.
1. Immediately Correct Every Wrong Behavior
Don’t wait for another incident before you correct misconduct from your baby. Always correct them immediately. Though your baby might not be talking, he or she can hear you and will with time start repeating whatever you say.
For instance, if you say thank you to their hearing whenever you give them food, you will notice that as they grow older they’ll begin to smile whenever you say thank you and when they begin to talk, they gradually start saying thank you and more will follow as you keep teaching them.
2. Make Sharing Non-Negotiable
Often when you only have a child you’ll discover that he/she will not like to share things with people especially when they get to three years and beyond. You’ve got to teach him/her how to share his/her things with people from a tender age.
3. Allow Your Baby To Socialise
Sometimes to ensure that your baby is learning what you’ve been teaching, you need to allow that baby to mingle with other kids. Mingling with other kids will help you know some hidden habits that you’ve not realized in your kids.
Note: Character is being developed from what a child is taught and the environment he or she finds himself or herself in.
4. Don’t Respond To Everything
Every young baby needs lots of attention. But as your baby grows older (6 – 8 months only) you could reduce some privileges you give him/her. You should reduce carrying the child often. Allow him/her to play with toys more than spending time on your laps.
You could watch him/her play from a good distance. The essence of this is to start instilling in the child some level of independence.
5. Don’t Give In To Emotional Blackmail From Your Baby
Sometimes babies cry to get to you emotionally so they can get what they want. Be careful not to be too quick to respond to every scream or crying. This is not to say you should ignore your baby but that you should be observant enough to know when your baby is just crying or screaming to test you.
Kids must not get everything they want, if they do, it will turn into a habit and grow into character. You must tackle this when they’re still little to build up good healthy habits.
Some kids keep “long faces” because they want to convince you to get them something, don’t fall for it. You should get them things because you want to not because of their faces.
6. Teach Responsibilities Before Fun
Don’t give your kids the opportunity to run away from doing house chores to play. Make them finish their chores first before going out for fun. If not, they’ll develop the habit of turning down your instructions.
How To Stop Babying Your Child
1. Let Your Child Take Responsibility For His/Her Actions
There’s no better way to teach a child than to teach them how to take responsibility for their actions. If your child accidentally spoils a toy make him/her own the blame by admitting that he did it without passing blame on anyone or anything else. Through this act, he will learn to be responsible in the future.
2. Never Apologize For Correcting Him/Her
Never say sorry for scolding your kids when they do something wrong. If you do so, you’ll be giving your kids the right and power to refuse you when trying to correct them.
3. Never Give Your Child Everything
You might be so rich that you can afford almost everything, but never give your kids everything they ask for if you want them to become responsible and disciplined. Giving your kids everything will spoil them faster and easier than anything else. It won’t hurt to say “No” to some things.
4. Assign In-House Responsibilities
When you have a fast-growing child, you should try as much as possible to assign some chores to him/her. You could begin with the minor chores and gradually introduce the major chores as they grow older. You could tell your child to get you something from the fridge, pass you Laundry towels, arrange his/her bed, etc.
5. Don’t Always Reward Them With Material Things
Never reward every good deed with material things even if you can afford it. Sometimes you could simply appreciate your child by saying nice words.
6. Limit The Time For Watching Of Television
Watching television shows for kids is nice but never allow your kids to spend the whole day watching television. Let there be a timetable for their daily activities this will regulate their watching of television because if they get too used to watching television as they please, it will make them lose some grip on reading their books.
7. Limit Their Use Of Phones And Computer Gadget
Kids could become addicted to their phones, iPad, computer, etc. Reduce their use of phone and computer gadgets to avoid addictions and access to things that are unhealthy for their age.
8. Allow Others To Correct Your Child
Let others correct your kids once they do anything wrong in your presence or absence and don’t angry or sad when your child is being corrected by another. If you do, it will build up negative boldness in that child towards people and you inclusive.
How To Unspoil Your Teenager
1. Know That They’re Young Adults
As a parent, you should understand that your child at this stage is now a young adult. So try as much as possible to treat him or her as one.
2. Give Them Things They’ll Be Responsible For
“If from infancy you treat children as gods, they are liable in adulthood to act as devils” ( P.D. James). If you want to buy your teen a phone, for instance, let him/her be willing to do the following:
- He or she must maintain it.
- No other phone should be given to the child until he/she is up to a certain age or class.
- Any damage or loss of the phone will be on him/her.
3. Set Boundaries
As parents, give your kids access to you at any time even at night. But once they begin to grow to a certain age, set boundaries and limits to some privileges. You can use the following rules as a guide.
- Don’t let your teen walk into your room without knocking.
- Do not dress up in the presence of your teen.
- Do not allow your teen to talk back at you.
4. Make Rules
When there’s no rule, there’s no law. Set rules in your home that your teen must obey. Make sure that there are consequences if such rules are not obeyed. Your teen should never be too big to punish whenever they do wrong.
5. Get Into His/Her World
Sometimes, the cause of change (negativity) in your teen’s life and behavior might be due to peer pressure or bad association. Take time to talk to your teen child. Listen more to what they have to say, so it will help you guide them and know how to get into their life to help them.
6. Kick Against Late-Nights
What you allow will soon be turned into the norm in your home and it will be hard to stop later. Never allow your teen to keep late nights under any circumstance. Set the time to go out and time to come in.
7. Be The Parent
In as much as you want your teen to feel free in the home. You should do the following:
- Ensure you don’t let them dictate for you.
- Ensure he/she doesn’t make choices against your will that aren’t proper or decent.
- Ensure they talk to you first before taking any action.
8. Focus On The Person Behind The Action
Sometimes the reason behind the misbehavior of your teenager may be as a result of an emotional need or the feeling that his or her voice is not being heard. I have counseled several teens and in my few years as a counselor, I realized that when kids grow into teenagers, their emotions begin to develop and they begin to wish/desire to have someone to make them feel special.
As a parent why not be the person your kids desire? For you to be able to be this person, you have to:
- Get them on your side.
- Make them feel free to open up to you.
- Never judge them no Matter their mistakes.
- Compliment their good deeds and positive reasoning.
- Never condemn their thoughts or opinions, only add to them to make them decide if theirs was needful or not necessary.
- Make them trust you completely.
- Ask for their help when necessary because you may be the parent but don’t know it all.
How To Unspoil Your Child Fast
1. Create A Good Communication
For you to achieve a positive change in your kids, you’ve got to build good and healthy communication with them. Always talk about what you don’t like them doing. Talking can never be enough. You have to constantly talk to them until there’s a noticeable change.
2. Don’t Be Too Quick To Give Appraisals
Sometimes, the reason behind some kid’s refusal to change their spoilt behavior is as a result of the continuous appraisals they are granted. It’s normal for you to always want to appreciate your child and make him/her feel like the best. But if you keep doing that, your child will grow up with the mentality that he/she is “perfect”. And will not want to see any reason to change or improve.
3. Get Them Videos That Teaches About Good Manners
In my years as a teacher and a parent, I discovered that children tend to act and live with what they see and watch frequently. As a parent make available learning aids that will help your children learn what you want them to learn in your presence or absence. If they’re still little, they’ll begin to develop the habit of demonstrating such as they have watched or seen.
4. Encourage Your Kids To Always Show Gratitude
Try as much as possible to encourage your kids to say thank you to anyone who gives them something whether little or big. They’ll gradually get used to showing gratitude to you and the people around you.
5. Be The First
As a parent, you need to be the first to do what you want your kids to emulate. Some time ago, I was walking down the street with my kids and we ran into my neighbor. We chatted for some seconds and went our separate ways. Little did I know that my three-year-old daughter noticed that I didn’t greet her good afternoon.
Some days later we saw that same neighbor at an eatery and I asked my daughter why she didn’t say good morning? To my greatest surprise, she replied “But mummy you did not say good afternoon the other day to her either”. I was speechless for some seconds and I replied “But I’m older than she is”.
My little girl had registered a negative impression because I thought I was acting older. By our third encounter, I was the first to greet our neighbor “good evening Mrs. Ben” And my daughter said “good girl mummy, good girl”. We both laughed but I decided to be the example to my girl, after discovering the effect of my greeting on her.
According to Oprah Winfrey – “surround yourself with only people who are joining to lift you higher”. Never allow your children to be surrounded by wrong friends. Teach them the power of friendship and its consequences. Peggy O’mara said that – “the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice”. So never get tired of talking and correcting your kids until there’s a positive change.