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Don't Spoil That Child

Giving kids too much is unhealthy for children and parents

(HealthDay) -- Is your kid spoiled?

If your answer to that questions is "yes," you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. However, you might want to do something about it sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you're setting yourself, and your child, up for some major battles down the road, according to an article from USA TODAY.

How do you know if your child is spoiled? Part of the answer lies in an examination of your own behavior. Do you give your kids too much? Cater to their every whim? Demand too little of them in return? All of these things undermine character development. Kids who are subjected to this kind of misguided love are likely to come up short when it comes to their own generosity, compassion, honesty, self-control and empathy.

A recent Harvard University study, of 654 teens and 1,078 parents whose incomes averaged between $50,000 and $200,000, showed that at least 58 percent of the parents knew their kids were spoiled. But there also was some good news. Parents are often emotionally closer to their children than ever before. They have more fun with them. And more and more parents are making their kids the center of their lives. However, sometimes what seems like enough is too much.

Health experts say parents shouldn't fall into the trap of always protecting their children. Children need to experience the consequences of their actions. If they misbehave at school, they need to pay the price. They should be required to do chores for their allowance.

The Harvard study found that children who did chores for their allowance also had a good relationship with their fathers. The kids with the fewest problems had intact families, regularly ate dinner together with their parents, and had parents who made them keep clean rooms. They didn't have telephones in their rooms, and they regularly participated in community service.

Are you having problems with a kid who has a smart mouth? To find out how to manage a sassy child, you can read this article from For other parenting tips, you can read this article from

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