For the past hour, you have been trying to calm down the screaming child who has been having a meltdown in the store over a toy you cannot afford to purchase. No amount of cajoling or coercing has worked, and people have begun to look at you sideways, as you have clearly lost control over the situation. Congratulations, you may be the parent of a brat.
If you are unsure how bad or dire your plight may be and if you need to take interventive measures, peruse the list below to see if your child is simply being a child with the occasional bad day or if you have crossed over into ‘spoiltdom’ and may need some assistance getting them back on course. Note, bad behaviour is never cute or precocious, and what many laugh about at age two is embarrassing at age 12 when they disregard your instructions, talk back to you and generally do whatever they please.
1. They like to hit, kick, punch or even spit. This is not acceptable. This is bigger than time out kind of discipline. This is probably spank that butt level of consequences.
2. They throw tantrums for everything. They get loud, cry and throw themselves on the ground and kick up a ‘rumpus’. If they are toddlers, you can attribute it to the terrible twos. But if they are six or older, you rightfully blame that on poor parenting skills.
3. They are openly defiant when they cannot get their own way. This involves storming off when you are talking to them or, worse, telling you that they are not going to heed your instructions. The gall!
4. They talk back and may even mock or jeer you.
5. They constantly whine to manipulate you into giving them what they want.
6. They are mean or cruel to children younger than them. They may wait until no one is looking and push them down, pinch them or bully them.
Lack of structure
These are all telling signs that all is not well. While some may suffer from poor impulse control, most of the time it is just a lack of structure and misbehaviours that have just not been corrected at all from they were old enough to know what they are doing. Parents nowadays seem to feel guilty for disciplining their children, and often out of guilt for their lack of attention and adequate supervision, compensate by giving them everything they desire.
Therefore, these children never understand the value of the word ‘no’ and grow up with a sense of entitlement and inflated egos the size of the one Kanye totes around. If parents do not check the small stuff when they are young, they should be prepared to come visit them behind plexiglass in a juvenile detention institution when they get older. It is that simple.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of BUZZ or its employees.