If there's one thing that unites most parents, it's the fear of raising a spoiled brat.
You don't want your kids to go without, though, so you give and you give and you give.
But how do you strike a balance? How do you raise a child who has a great life but who also appreciates it? Here are a few tips to raise humble kids who are grateful for their lot in life…
1. Say no
If you always give in to your child’s whims, they’ll never learn to accept ‘no’ of any kind. That could lead to behavioural issues at school and beyond.
Plus, how will they ever appreciate delayed gratification if they always get what they want, when they want it?
2. Teach gratitude
It goes without saying that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ should be a part of a child’s everyday life.
But it’s also a good idea to teach kids about other aspects of social etiquette, such as the importance of making eye contact, smiling and showing affection for those we love. Also, get them to write thank you cards whenever they receive gifts from relatives.
3. Open their minds
If all your kids ever see is affluence, they’ll come to take it for granted that they have everything they want. That’s why it’s important to expose kids to those less fortunate.
Travel to poorer countries, watch documentaries about different parts of the world or even just highlight inequalities in your city, and highlight how lucky your family is to have so much.
4. Get donating
All the good parenting in the world will count for little if you don’t practice what you preach.
With that in mind, be sure to demonstrate altruism for your children to see. Donate clothes to charity and encourage your child to do the same. Plus, there’s bound to be plenty of toys your child has gone off that kids in need would appreciate.
5. Let them fail
As tempting as it is to shield kids from life’s disappointments, don’t. In real life, things don’t always work out and we don’t always get our way. For that reason, it’s important to teach children that failure and disappointment are a part of life.
If they never experience them as kids, they won’t know how to deal with them when they’re older. Basically, they’ll be more inclined to throw the towel in and storm off in a huff.
6. Get them to share
If you have more than one child, teach them that sharing is caring. Instead of buying them both the same Barbie, buy one and get them to take it in turns playing with the doll.
This way they’ll learn that it’s not all about me, me, me!
7. Teach them about money
Have your child manage their money through saving, giving to charity, and then spending. If they get into this habit at a young age, they’ll start to understand the value of money. Plus, don’t just hand them cash willy-nilly. They won’t appreciate it if it just falls into their laps the whole time.