Pamper your Children the Right Way
When your children do their chores on time, perform well on school tests, or help neighbors rake up leaves off of their yards, it can pay dividends to provide a reward for a job well done. You don’t want to go overboard to the point where your children come to expect rewards for good behavior. But that doesn’t mean that rewards, acknowledgement, or pampering can’t be worthwhile.
Pampering the right way can demonstrate to children in a way that mere words cannot that they are valuable and well loved. The key thing is to pamper your children the right way so that you don’t end up raising children who come down with something called...and, yes, it is a real condition...pampered child syndrome. If you go overboard with your pampering, you will run the risk of your children taking things for granted, being untruthful to get what they want, and even valuing other people based on what they can get from them.
So that you can steer clear of the pitfalls that come with over-pampering, read on for some tips on how you can pamper your children the right way.
1. Mealtime is Family Time
Preparing your children’s favorite meal is the type of pampering that can be positively rewarding. For instance, you can involve them in the preparation of the meal so that everyone plays a role. One child can help with the cooking, another can help set the table, and everyone can later enjoy the culinary delicacies. When the meal is a joint effort, your children are unlikely to feel entitled.
2. Satisfy Sweet Tooth...Occasionally
While you don't want to get your children hooked on the idea that good behavior will entitle them to a mouthful of sweets, you should entitle them to the occasional sweet treat. The key is to do it occasionally so that they don't come to expect it -- doing this will also make it all the more special when they do get a handful of jelly beans, licorice, and gummy bears.
3. Playing Together
Getting out and doing things as a family is a great way to pamper your children the right way. For instance, you can all put on your helmets and get on your bikes for an afternoon ride. They’ll get fresh air, exercise, and social interaction -- and it’s hard to be pampered to an excess when you’re working up a good sweat in the great outdoors!
4. Watch a Movie
With the cost of movie tickets these days, you can be forgiven for only going to the theater every now and then. Perhaps you might wait for one of the blockbuster movies that your children really want to see so that you can all go together as a family. You can let them know a few weeks in advance so that they can take the initiative to save some of their allowance money to buy whatever popcorn and soda they want during the movie. This will discourage the feeling of entitlement since your children will play their part in making family movie night a success.
You can and definitely should pamper your children because positive reinforcement is a good thing -- but don’t take things to excess to the point where they feel entitled. If you see signs of pampered child syndrome, be sure to take corrective measures right away. You are, after all the parent, and it’s in your and your children’s best interests to pamper the right way.