Read our blog to learn how to instill gratitude in your kids and avoid raising a spoiled brat.

Imagine it’s 20 years from now and your kid is a very grown, very capable adult who just so happens to believe that they are entitled to everything and anything that they desire. 

Furthermore, they believe that you (and everyone else in the world) are responsible for making that happen and should any of us (mainly you) fail to make that happen, then they are a victim who needs to be rescued.

And how will they convey that need?They will scream, yell, cry, name-call, gossip, complain and employ manipulative tactics to get whatever it is that they want. Maybe you’ve encountered someone like this before. Tell me, was that a pleasant experience? No… no it wasn’t.Now hold that thought…that memory…that feeling.

Don’t do that to us.Don’t do that to yourself.Don’t do that to your child.None of us deserve to deal with that. Help us, help you, help them to not be a spoiled brat while we all still have a chance. Read on and save us all.

1. Don’t be a spoiled brat. 

Read: check yourself. Kids pour out whatever we pour in, which means if they see you reacting like a spoiled brat when you don’t get your way, chances are likely that they will too. Think twice the next time you want to throw a temper tantrum. You’re being watched.

2. Create an adult avatar of your child in your mind. 

One day your kid is going to grow up to become an adult that the rest of us must deal with. Try to envision your child not as this miracle of a little human being, but as an adult in the making—one that will manifest in the very real, very near, potentially scary, future.

3. Nip it in the bud. 

The sooner you address and correct misbehavior, the better your life will be in the long run. Otherwise, today’s tantrum can lead to tomorrow’s tyrant.

4. Recognize a master manipulator when you see one. 

Don’t underestimate your child… ever.  They’ve likely done a better job of figuring you out than you have, and they are more than willing to use that information to their benefit. When you feel like that’s happening, call it out for what it is.

5. Give them responsibilities. 

Consider adopting a family motto of “team work makes the dream work.” By assigning them age-appropriate responsibilities, you can help your kid to develop a sense of pride in their work and their contribution to the family. Not to mention the wonders it can do for personal accountability.

6. “No” is a full sentence. 

No. See what I just did there? Try saying it a few times right now and be sure to practice all the many ways you can say it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Oh, be sure to try it with a smile and a shake of the head. That’s a good one. BTW: a kid-friendly alternative to “no” is “nah.”

7. Instill gratitude and a spirit of service. 

Give your kid the world and they’ll take it for granted. A simple daily or weekly gratitude exercise that the family can do together can help your kid to develop a sense of gratitude. 

Gratitude and service go hand-in-hand. Find ways to give back to your community through volunteerism or donations (clothing, toys, etc.) and keep your kid involved in every step of the process. The key is to get them to see life beyond their comfortable little bubble.

8. Patience is key. 

Especially if you already see signs that your child is spoiled. Remember, every good thing takes time. Your investing in your child’s personal development and that’s no simple task. The process will challenge you and possibly make you ask the universe, “what have I done to deserve this?” 

In those moments, stop, step away and breathe. This is a marathon not a sprint; keep your eye on that adult avatar I mean finish line.