After living in Papua New Guinea, one of my fears is that my kids are going to grow up to be spoiled rotten. I have three kids ages 3, 5, and 7.
I love my kids deeply, but I don’t want them to have everything they want. I want them to know what it’s like to earn something. I want them to know what it’s like to go without something they want. I want them to be bored. I want them to realize how blessed they are.
The other day, my oldest daughter was asking why she doesn’t get her own room. I reminded her that the room she shares with her sister is the same size as her former nanny’s whole house where she lived with her two daughters. She realized that made sense, but I was reminded that my kids will soon forget that life.
So, I decided that rather than trying to fight materialism or battle against our natural tendency towards greed, instead I should simply encourage it. As a result, I put together this unorthodox and sarcastic list of things I think all parents should be doing to raise a spoiled rotten kid.
How to Raise a Spoiled Rotten Kid
1. Keep telling yourself that saying “yes” is the only loving parental response.
What kind of a monster of a parent would say ‘no’ to her beloved offspring? We live in an age of wealth and comfort, so why shouldn’t our kids bask in it with all their being?
“Ok, honey. We can buy that.”
If you want it, desire it, ask for it, or wish for it, then my job is to get it for you.
This is important because I want you to know that, as my child, you are the center of the universe. I want you to know that everything you want in life you’ll get. I want you to grow up to understand that God is your personal butler who will give you whatever you want.
2. Allow your kids to say “I want … I want …” and reward that behavior.
Remember Pavlov’s dogs? We must reward our kids’ behaviors. The best way to do this is to reinforce the fact that when they say, “I want”, then as a parent we say, “I will”. To help reinforce this precious parenting truth, sometimes it’s best to make your kids work for it. At first say no, but then after a few minutes of whining, fussing, begging, and cajoling, give it to them. This way they’ll know that an initial “no” is simply a barrier to overcome with a little persistence.
3. Buy every toy that his or her friends have.
The key to a happy life is always feel dissatisfied when others have more. We must teach our kids that they are not good enough unless they have an equal amount or more than their friends. If a friend gets something, we should race out to buy that item as well. If we don’t, our kids will be psychologically damaged for life because they aren’t rich enough to make friends with all the most popular kids in school.
4. Make birthdays a showcase of pure greed.
Why settle for a single present when you can give your kids an entire showcase of gifts? The only point of celebrating a birthday is gifts. Remember, it is not a celebration of the life God has given. It is not a celebration of friendship and family. It is a gift giving landslide. Nothing more.
5. Refuse to allow your kids any down time.
During the five minute drive to the grocery store, the DVD player must be on. While your kids are sitting in the basement, they should always have immediate access to a TV, tablet, iPod, iPad, iPhone, or some other device to entertain themselves.
When they say, “I’m bored”, you must act immediately. Creativity leads to some of the greatest tragedies of life.
6. Avoid the following phrase at all costs: “That’s just not something we’re going to spend money on.”
Please don’t allow your children to get the impression that some things are more important than others. This is especially true in light of eternity. I’d hate for your kids to start to believe some things on this earth are not worth the investment in light of the future glory. Faith and finances should never mix.
With this guide, you ought to be properly equipped to raise a spoiled rotten child. May you go forth with haste.
What items did I miss? How do you suggest we raise spoiled rotten kids?