The difference between spoiling a child and making them incompetent

The difference between spoiling a child and making them incompetent

Last update: 14 March, 2018

Raising a child has become a complex issue and we still do not understand why. There are many parents who go out of their way to keep their offspring happy. In the pursuit of this desire, they often find themselves face to face with a paradox – the more they try, the less they achieve. The most spoiled children are also often the ones who suffer the most over what they do not have.

They say that the new generations “were born tired”. Many of today’s kids do not seem to have any idea what an alarm clock means. The alarm can ring a thousand times and they are still in bed, as if nothing happened. Parents have to call them several times to get up and go to school.

 “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave”.

-Benjamin Franklin-

Many parents know that this is not right. Even so, they continue to allow it to happen, trapped in the very dynamics that they have created. Maybe they do not want to face their child, because they do not feel they have the authority to do so. Or they carry some weight on their shoulders and try to make themselves feel better by being more permissive and therefore ending up with spoiled children.

The truth is that many kids today have become extremely lazy. They do not make their bed and they have no idea what needs to be done to make clothes look clean and ironed. Sometimes they are not so little anymore. Sometimes they reach quite advanced ages behaving in the same way. What’s going on?

I do not want my child to go through what I went through…

Some parents believe children don´t have to do certain jobs. It seems to them that effort and hard situations give shape to the worst demon that their children can face, so it´s easier not to ask them to do things. These parents idealize life and put it in “Eden-like” terms. That’s what they want for their children, a colorful paradise, where they can grow up without any problems.

mother and baby


They build a kind of “all-inclusive resort” in their home. Full room and board, without the children even having to take care  of “their things”, let alone those of others. Hot food is delivered and the bed is soft and always made. This makes for spoiled children.

It does not end there. These parents also teach the child to conjugate the verb “to ask” whenever they want something. That’s what a child knows best – ask. It’s the only thing they have to do to get what they want. “How can we not give them the best phone if it’ll help with their self-esteem?” “Why would we not buy them the best clothes? I don’t want people to say they look homeless.”

The “I do not want my child to go through what I went through” is a thought that has led many times – and will continue to lead – to disaster. Perhaps it represents a way of trying to make up for our own problems without solving them, or our own limitations. It is not right to educate our children only with love. Children need to learn fulfillment and how not to be lazy.

Who is in charge of who?

Many parents are afraid of their spoiled children. Their fear is justified, especially if we take into account that physical aggression against parents has grown in all the countries in the West. In some more, in others less, but in general the percentages already reach two digits. A large group of children are physically punishing their parents. Others punish them emotionally. It seems that a big part of society is being tyrannized by “brats”.


child hugging mother

Many parents are also not able to make decisions without first consulting with their child. We have to ask the question – do they consult them or … do they ask for their permission? The parents may want to go on vacation to visit their parent’s house, but their child doesn’t want to. So they ask their child first, to avoid problems. There is fear of the child’s reaction and the damage they may cause.

Creating spoiled children

The result of these forms of upbringing is basically a useless person. But not only that. These spoiled children also become indolent, falsely presumptuous, intolerant and selfish. Exactly the kind of people that a father or mother does not want near their child. Exactly the kind of human beings who live without profit, not even for themselves.

Our grandparents and great-grandparents used the “belt”. But it is not necessary to turn be military to educate responsible adults, in fact it is an even more reprehensible path than excess permissiveness because it endangers the child’s integrity.

However, one thing is certain – it is the father or mother who make the decisions. They should also involve children in domestic tasks and delegate responsibilities with no ifs or buts. An abusive parent gives rise to a diminished child. A permissive and obedient parent educates useless children. A parent who knows how to establish and maintain boundaries with affection, raises strong children. And a weak parent has to contend with spoiled children.


child with duckling

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.