Oprah TV Show – Are you spoiling your Children?

Oprah TV Show – Are you spoiling your Children?

Shalom in the Home - Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Yesterday Oprah discussed how Americans are spoiling their kids, and that it has a negative impact on them when they become an adult.

Oprah invited guest Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is on TLC channel’s “Shalom in the Home.” Rabbi Shmuley acts as a counselor to families that are not at peace, and works with the family to teach them how to work out their problems. Rabbi Shmuley is the author of many books including a book called, "Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Your Children." He is also the author of "Parenting With Fire: Lighting Up the Family with Passion and Inspiration" and "Shalom in the Home: Smart Advice for a Peaceful Life." He has also written a number of other books.

Oprah showed a family that Rabbi Shmuley worked with that had a young daughter named Hannah who was 9 years old at the time, and was throwing temper tantrums and demanding everything from her parents. Her mom would give into her daughter’s demands and tantrums, because it was easier than saying no. The father of Hannah was angry that his daughter was acting like this, and would often yell at her. Hannah began becoming demanding around the age of 3. The mother admits that she wanted to be Hannah’s best friend and not disciplinarian.

Rabbi Shmuley took Hannah and her parents out to the woods for a camping trip. He sat back in the distance with a walkie-talkie to coach the parents along. He also had the family cross a rope bridge that Hannah was fearful of crossing. This was to demonstrate to Hannah and her parents that she still needs mom and dad. Shmuley had the family sit down for family dinners. Family meals can improve your communication to other family members. Hannah and her family are happier since working with Rabbi Shmuley and the mother has changed her idea of being a parent to her child and not a friend.

Rabbi Shmuley says that there is a need to be stern and set limits. You would stop her from running into a street so she wouldn’t get hit by a car even when the child thinks they know better. You as the parent need to make the rules and your child will need to learn respect. By learning to respect others your child will grow up having an easier time dealing with people from their spouses to their bosses.

There are three major reasons that parents spoil their children.

1. The parents are experiencing sheer physical exhaustion. They are so tire from working all day it is difficult to get into the job of parent after hours. They want a break so they try to pacify the kids by giving them things.
2. The parent feels guilty. Sometimes it is because they are working and they don’t feel like they are spending enough time with their kids. They don’t want to feel like their kids are neglected and don’t want them to feel deprived.
3. Our society is full of divorce and is not a loving society. We have technology surrounding us and it distracts us from our family. In addition when divorced and fighting parents are involved they often seek the love and friendship of their children which can often lead to spoiling them.

Rabbi Shmuley warns that every child will demand of you if you allow it. He recommends that you learn to say no, and when you do stick to it. If you say no and later say yes to the same demand, you lost the child’s respect and you just told them it was ok to demand of you. He also said that Americans are raising an angry generation by spoiling and neglecting your parenting obligations.

He also says that spoiling your child causes them to grow up to be narcissistic individuals. They will grow up thinking only of themselves and not of other people’s feelings. Oprah called these type of people the “jerks” we know as adults. In addition these grown up spoiled children will not find true happiness. They often look for others to take care of them, and don’t learn how to do things for themselves.

Dr. Robin Smith visited with Oprah and discussed spoiling with another family. Smith is the author of the book, “Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages.”

Rebecca is a single mom with 2 children. She works full time and feels guilty for not being there for her children as often as she would like to, so she admits to spoiling them. She also feels pressure to buy stuff for her kids those things that the other kids at school have. She admits that the spoiling of her kids has gotten to a point where it is out of control.

Rebecca’s children seemed like good kids with good grades. The mom admits to giving her daughter clothing, jewelry and jackets for good grades.

Dr. Smith said that even rich kids are getting hurt by being spoiled. The spoiling with things usually boils down to what the parents beliefs. She says that you should stop spoiling a child because they need to learn that they are good enough if they would lose everything. Things will never truly satisfy. A parent is more important to a child and you can’t just buy things to cover up not being there. Overindulging your child damages them. They will be lacking the internal security.

Smith strongly recommended that all children learn to earn things. Have a child do age appropriate chores around the house. A young child could pick up toys, take out the trash, and have them make their own bed.

Spoiling a child teaches them to value things more than people. They become more interested in how many gadgets they own.

The last family was a mom with three adult children. The 23 year old was spoiled all her life and has grown to expect mom to help cover her bills whenever she is short. The mom admits that she worries that she won’t be loved if she tells her daughters no.

Rabbi Shmuley said that parents need to address the issues of being afraid of inadequacy as a parent. By having these feelings you are given a hidden message to your kids that is telling them that they are not good enough. Spoiled kids are dependent kids and won’t learn to say ‘I did that.’

Kids need to learn how to do things on their own so that they develop a sense of self-worth. Learn to say no to your kids and stick to it. No means no. You need to have your children learn to respect you as a parent. A child needs to be taught boundaries and limits. By teaching your child how to become self-sufficient you avoid them becoming a victim. A victim in this case, is a spoiled child that never learned the value of doing it himself and always leaning on someone else to help them out.

By Best Syndication Staff

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