Parenting correctly is the most important thing we will ever do. If we get it wrong, whatever else we do potentially won’t matter very much. The over-indulged child is the easiest way for parents to mess up their child.
Parents may choose to overindulge, because their parents under-indulged them, and they want their children to have what they didn’t have. But over-indulging a child isn’t just a monetary thing.
Even from the toddler stage, toddlers know how to wrap their parents around their little finger, and on the part of the parent it’s easier not to say ‘no’ when a child is throwing a tantrum.
There are other over-indulgences like telling your children how special they are, but that doesn’t work because you’re sending out a message that your children are untouchable. Telling your child something they don’t feel simply adds to their lack of self-esteem and confidence.
But as parents it’s important we ask ourselves why we’re choosing to over-indulge, because it is a choice. There has to be a balance. Although being continually over-indulged doesn’t help, in the short term where a child struggles, over-indulging may help bring about confidence. In the long-run though this type of parenting will backfire.
When children are over-indulged, they fail to learn about self-control. They will also fail to understand the needs of others, or may choose to give up at the first hurdle when a task becomes too difficult.
Children who are continually indulged may go on to develop narcissistic tendencies. Those children often have parents who are overly permissive and who will have continually put their child on a pedestal.
Even if children don’t show full narcissist character traits, indulgent parenting can cause problems when that child realises they’re not the centre of the universe anymore.