All parents spoil their child now and then, but when does innocent indulging evolve into full-fledge spoiling? We’ve all seen exasperated parents controlled by their mini tyrants. The downside? Spoiled children often grow into ill-adjusted adults unable to find personal contentment and fulfillment.
Dr. Richard Bromfield, Ph.D., a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and a children’s therapist for over 30 years, says it’s not too late for parents to help their children. In his book, How to Unspoil Your Child Fast, he provides quick, easy to ready chapters offering actionable steps for busy parents.
The book does not lecture, but rather guides parents. Whereas traditional parenting books often contain lengthy chapters about problems and theories, each short chapter of Bromfield’s book focuses on a single action parents can take to reverse the indulging immediately.
Bromfield developed the idea to write the book after regularly seeing parents struggle to set limits and make expectations clear. The parents overindulged even as they expressed their frustration and disappointment in doing so. Bromfield notes that parents often do not realize that spoiling steals opportunities from children to learn life skills that can help them grow into responsible adults.
Some people believe that only the wealthy spoil their children. Though it is easier for the affluent to buy things, Bromfield states that the working class and low income parents have the same loving desire to make their children happy. Children, regardless of household income, see the same advertisements and commercials, beg for the same expensive toys, and desire the same gadgets, clothing, and sports gear.
“We must not forget, spoiling is not just giving too much materially,” Bromfield points out. He continues, “Children can be spoiled by parents who do too much for them, who rescue them from the valuable lessons of natural consequences, and who unintentionally short-circuit their innate drives to be self-sufficient and capable.”
How do parents know if they are overindulging? According to Bromfield, signs include:
- Your child whines and demands frequently
- You spend a lot of time making idle threats, yelling, and battling
- Your frustration is growing unbearable
- You have to fight, negotiate and bribe for every ounce of cooperation
- You can’t bring your children out in public
- You often don’t like your children or forget why you wanted to be a parent.
Bromfield says that in 7 days, parents can see a difference in their children’s behavior after using his techniques. His book includes proven ways to:
- Take back parental control
- Get and keep a child’s attention
- Exercise discipline consistently
- Stop explaining yourself
- Hold your ground
- Refuse to make deals and bargains
- Develop healthy and functional children and adults
In addition to writing How to Unspoil Your Child Fast, Bromfield recently completed a book for parents and teachers tentatively titled Connect: Nurturing the Self of the Child with Asperger Syndrome. He plans to soon write another on helping parents to promote their child’s success in school.
“I aspired to write books that are practical and doable,” concludes Bromfield, “[books that are] truly helpful for parents and their family life.”
For more info: How to Unspoil Your Child Fast, published by Sourcebooks, Inc., retails for $14.99.