An only child is any parent’s entire universe squeezed into one entity. This is why a lot of children and teens who are an only child tend to be a bit self centered and spoiled. Although there is nothing wrong with focusing all your love and attention on your only one child, in fact in most cases you just cant help it. The only downside of this situation is that the child develops a delusion that the world revolves around him or her. This is why it is important to strike a balance between too much and too little.
Dr. Jim Taylor, Ph.D. an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and a specialist psychology of business, sport and parenting, believes that parenting an only child needs teaching teens a few basic concepts abut life. According to him, there are a few basic principles which parents need to drill into their only child or teens in order to ensure that the kid grows up responsible, sensitive and productive in spite of the pampering. So, lets see what these basic principles are:
Most people grow up taking gratitude for granted. They grow up unaware of the importance of “thank you” and “please” and carry on in life with the same carefree attitude. They may not be ill-mannered or insensitive at all, but that is what they will come across as. So teach your teens the magic words which express gratitude. Instead of considering everything that is given to them, like it's their God given right, it is important they view them as privileges.
Discipline does not mean sending them to boot-camp, it simply means giving them a structure in life. Child experts all over the world advise parents to do so. A teen who hasn’t been given boundaries and structure in life will grow up to be a very discontent individual. Children don’t just deserve discipline in their life, they demand it, so make sure to develop a sense of discipline in them concerning their routine life, duties, and most importantly money. Most teens who are an only child spend money like it really was growing on trees.
You can’t teach a teen discipline without ingraining in them a deep sense of responsibility. So whether you have to lecture your child or make them understand the value of money by making them earn it themselves, teach them responsibility. The best way of teaching them to respect money and use it responsibly is by having them work for it.
Remember that the classic definition of a spoiled brat is a child who gets his way every time no matter what. This is ironic since parents of most spoiled brats are responsible adults who learned the invaluable lesson of responsibility as kids themselves and in spite of how well it has served them, they fail to teach their children the same vital lesson.