Home Family Early Childhood Are You Giving Your Kids Too Much? How to Find the Right Balance in Parenting

Are You Giving Your Kids Too Much? How to Find the Right Balance in Parenting


We have all been there. Your child throws a tantrum in the supermarket, and you’re tempted to give in to their demands just to keep the peace. But according to child psychologists like Lauren Silvers, this could set a dangerous precedent. So how do you know if you’re overindulging your child? And what can you do to foster their independence without compromising on love and care?

Types of Overindulgence

Material Goods

The most apparent form of overindulgence is material—buying whatever your child wants whenever they ask for it. While this might bring temporary peace, it often results in children who have a skewed understanding of value and entitlement.

Relational and Structural Overindulgence

Then there’s what Silvers calls “relational overindulgence,” where you’re doing too much for your child—think doing their laundry because they won’t do it as well. This type also includes “structural overindulgence,” where parents find it hard to enforce rules or say no. Both of these contribute to the child’s lack of development in important life skills.

The Test of Four – Questions Every Parent Should Ask Themselves

If you’re in doubt, Silvers suggests asking yourself these four questions:

  1. Are you doing things for your child that they should be learning to do themselves?
  2. Are you giving too much to one child and not sharing enough with everyone else in the family?
  3. Are you making decisions just to make your own life easier, not to help your child grow?
  4. Is your child’s behavior causing harm to people or nature?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time to reevaluate your parenting strategy.

The Millionaire’s Perspective: Not All About Money

Even self-made millionaires like Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban stress the importance of not spoiling their kids. According to them, teaching kids the value of hard work is more beneficial than an expensive education. Cuban makes it clear to his kids that they can’t simply buy whatever they want, emphasizing the importance of earning their keep.

Practical Tips: How to Strike a Balance

  1. Assign Age-Appropriate Chores: Simple tasks around the house can teach responsibility and the value of hard work.
  2. Set Boundaries: Consistency is key. Once you set a rule, stick to it.
  3. Involve Them in Your Life: Take your kids to work or involve them in grocery shopping. This not only educates them but also makes them appreciate what you do.
  4. Review and Adjust: Periodically check whether you’re overindulging your child and adjust your approach accordingly.

The Payoff – How Overindulgence Shapes Future Adults

Pulling back on overindulgence may meet with resistance initially, warns Silvers. But in the long run, this approach will aid your child in becoming a responsible, independent adult.

The Power of Balanced Parenting

Parenting is never a one-size-fits-all endeavor, but keeping an eye out for signs of overindulgence and making conscious efforts to encourage independence can set your child on the path to becoming a well-rounded individual. Remember, the goal is to prepare your child for the road, not the road for your child.

Written by
Nina LeBeau

Nina is a certified mediator with a background in psychology. She covers a wide range of topics from emotional well-being to stress management for the entire family.