Accept the responsibility of protecting your children from pampering. Pampering causes anger, frustration and stubbornness in your child. What is pampering? Pampering has three characteristics: fulfilling every wish, over-facilitation and undue favour. If you are administering any of these, it means you are pampering your child. The child who is pampered, tends to throw tantrums.
The first point is accepting every wish of the child, fulfilling his every single demand. Whatever the child puts forth, you are ready to conform to, straight away. Rather, when the father says that he will not be buying the child some stuff, the mother intervenes by questioning, “Why are you not buying it? What’s the problem? It only costs Rs.200, let’s just get it”. Or on the contrary, sometimes the mother says, “Don’t buy it”, but the father contradicts by saying, “But no, I am earning only for my children”. He earns for the sake of his child only. Is that the only purpose of his life? Has he no other worthwhile cause to live for?
It is not mandatory to accept each and every wish your child puts forth. If you do so, you will absolutely be spoiling your child for the worst. And when this child grows up to become someone’s husband, there will be problems. Likewise if she becomes someone’s wife, there will be problems. It will become very difficult for the spouse (and family), just because the parents who fulfilled all his wishes in his childhood. If every single demand of child has been fulfilled by parents, then it will be very troublesome for child in future. Only those desires of child that are worthwhile should be fulfilled. Regarding the others, it should be explained why they are not important.
There is another problem associated with this, the child’s demand is assessed on only one thing: “whether I can afford it or not? If I can afford it, then I will fulfill it.” People are stuck on this point, this is so problematic! This perspective is incorrect, that the only reasoning used to accept or decline a demand depends on whether you can afford it or not? And then you end up fulfilling the demand. This is so wrong! This is not right, and should not be done. Fulfilling or not fulfilling a child’s demand on the basis of affordability is incorrect. The criterion behind fulfilling or dismissing a demand should be the moral standing of that demand. The approach to be taken is to assess whether I should be doing this? Is it beneficial? If beneficial, then I should go ahead with it. If this is a need, a genuine need, then I should fulfill it.
The second point that indicates you are indulging in pampering is Over-Facilitation. Providing a luxurious life! Creating excessive ease, to an extent, that the child is not even allowed to perform a task that he is capable of. Instead, the mother poetically intervenes by saying “May the mother be sacrificed” (A phrase expressing height of love of the mother). You must have heard this phrase. The child says, “I can warm my own dinner”. But the mother says, “No, I will” (out of love). Just imagine, a child is 14 years old and if he/she has never even washed his/her own clothes, then you have deprived him of a very important learning experience.
Whenever I visit O level students, I usually ask them, “When was the last time you washed dishes? Or whether they have ever washed dishes?” I find very less students who have done so. The students of these elite schools have never even considered doing such an act. In fact they look at me in surprise, as to how, as a teacher, and guest speaker I could ask such a demeaning question? But I still ask. And so they answer, that they have never washed dishes. Then I ask my second question, “My child, has it ever occurred that your maid took the day off, has that never happened? Do you mean to say that the maids never go on vacation? They have never gone to their own hometowns? Do they come every day?” So they respond, “Of course they go on leave.” Subsequently, I ask, “Has it ever occurred that the maid was off and your mother was not feeling well, has that ever happened?” They reply that it has happened many times, that the maid was off and our mother was unwell.
I then say, “Were you not ashamed! Why did you not wash the dishes? You are 14 years old now“. If your mothers say “No, no, don’t do it. I’ll do it. No matter how I feel, I will do it myself, you need not do it. I will manage it however I can, you just complete your homework.” Just think about it! this child, rather than realizing his own mother’s greatness, is memorizing an essay about how great mothers are, while the mother washes the dishes despite her illness.
What nonsense is this? This is sheer ignorance! Leaving values behind and reading essay on great mother!
That day, In fact, when the mother of a child is unwell, and her child comes to school…the school should send the child back home, and say, ”Oh child! Why did you come to school when your mother is so unwell? You should have been home. You should be looking after her, helping her, you would have learnt so much! What can we teach you in comparison to that?” But we do the opposite! The complete opposite! Such nonsense, right?
So now this child who has never washed dishes! Has never washed clothes! Never cleaned up! Never polished his shoes! Has never filled a large container of water! Has never watered a plant, has never done any of these house chores! Has never washed a car, has never done these normal routine house chores! Has never brushed the floor clean! You have never let him do these chores, and he is now 14 years old. You have literally robbed him of such valuable learning experiences. Instead, you said, “Let mother be sacrificed.” (An expression of the love of the mother).
Assist your child in adapting to this environment filled with problems and challenges. Don’t let him to avoid hardship and challenges,. For safeguarding yourself from both these factors, you need wisdom and knowledge. If you lack knowledge, you will keep repeating this (mistake). You will think that you are NOT fulfilling a wish but in reality you will be. Or you will be declining a wish that you should not be. Or you are putting your child at too much ease, yet you think that you are not…you are actually lacking knowledge. To avoid Over-Facilitation, you need knowledge.
The third point is undue favouring i.e. favouring the child when it is not appropriate to do so. Many parents, whatever the problem may be, say, “I will take my own child’s side”. This should not be done. There will be occasions where the child will be at fault, there will be times when the other child will be at fault, but you have to take side with what is correct. But while doing so child’s self-respect must not be hurt. So save yourself from pampering your child. The consequence of pampering will never result in a meaningful relationship. It will result in harming the relationship.