It's a parental instinct to want to see their own children blisfully happy. Our own desire to be liked by our children and others, materialistic pressures and the desire to give our children everything we lacked as youngsters can prompt us to spoil them.

Although it might seem that giving your children everything they desire will give them fond childhood memories, or is able to heal your own emotional wounds, you may be unconsciously interfering with your child's development. One of the most precious gifts you can give your child is their ability to live life to the fullest, learning how to earn what they get, including their own happiness. If you let them work and earn what they want, you'll have the confidence that you raised a child that can both enter and contribute to society confidently.

When children are not given the opportunities to expore self-reliance, the understanding of earning things with a price, and the fulfilling of their own needs, they develop a blind eye towards the necessity of hard work and the needs of others. We might spoil children out of pleasure or fear that they won't love us. However, children who are given acceptance, love and affection are often kinder, more charitable, and more responsible compared to those whose parents succumb to their every material demand. They develop a strong sense of self and as adults, understand that each individual is responsible for building the life they desire. If you find yourself gving in to your child's every request, ask yourself why. Perhaps you might be trying to answer for what you feel is lacking in your own life.

All these have to be moulded as they take their first steps in life, otherwise it would be too late later on in life when they cannot comprehend this understanding. Of course, it's challenging to watch your child struggle to meet a personal goal, but it is rewarding when they achieve it through their own efforts. Your choice not to spoil your children will give you the opportunities to show them understanding and compassion and to be fully present with them as they journey toward adulthood.

Source: Learned Self-Reliance [Intent]