Secret To Not Spoiling Your Kids? Deprive Them, Says Columnist

Spoiling kids may seem like a fun idea when they’re little and cuddly and can’t move around without your help.

But eventually, your youngsters are going to grow into independent children and then adults, and if they’re still spoiled at that point, then congratulations — you’ve just ruined society.

That’s at least what research shows.

Well, actually it “shows” this by demonstrating the positive effects of not spoiling your kids. The research was highlighted in a recent article on the Wall Street Journal website.

Findings showed that kids who understood gratitude had better grades and were less likely to be depressed.

Taking that research to heart, a columnist for the Atlantic expanded those thoughts into a full-blown, fully effective parenting technique: deprivation.

By withholding things from your children or giving them less, you will ensure that they understand the power of gratitude, notes Jenn Choi.

While this is hardly full-fledged deprivation to parents who already “get it,” it’s likely to seem like cruel and unusual punishment to most American parents. Nevertheless, Choi states, it works. Choi said she “turned to the best tools I have to make my kids understand: toys.”

Choi, who runs a toy review website, admitted it wasn’t easy but felt it was important.

“Kids do not know how big or little your paycheck is. Kids do not understand what income tax or health insurance deductibles are either. However, they do know how much a Nintendo DS game cartridge costs. They know how much a Wii costs. Or a slice of pizza or a bottle of Gatorade. This is their vocabulary — their understanding of values in our material world. We can work with that. And to get our kids to understand the meaning of gratitude, we must.”

Aside from play, she also wanted to exercise this concept in the things that her children ate. To do so, she interviewed pediatric occupational therapist and author of My Kid Eats Everything, Susan Roberts.

Roberts essentially stated that if kids are involved in the food-making process, they are less likely to eat unhealthy diets.

“It is such a passive process now,” Roberts said, adding that children once “joined families in the kitchen, helping to prepare food, setting the table, clearing the table, and washing the dishes.”

“People eat out much more often,” Roberts said, noting they eat what they want rather than what is available.

Roberts recommends that parents order food for their children whenever they do go out to eat.

“We have to put the parents back in charge of food. Right now, it’s the children who are in charge so of course, they’re going to eat gummy bears and goldfish crackers.”

What do you think, readers? Is Choi on to something? What do you think it takes to keep from spoiling your kids?

[Image via ShutterStock]