Today: How Are We Spoiling Our Children?
A new study has found that 88 percent of parents believe their own children are spoiled. That’s why Willie Geist talked to childcare consultant Deborah Tillman and Ana Connery, content director for Parenting magazine. Willie Geist said that if that many parents think their children are spoiled, why don’t they stop spoiling their children? Ana Connery said that a lot of parents let their children indulge because the parents are in a hurry and they just want to keep their children entertained. She said that children don’t have a sense of urgency and parents are a lot busier today than they used to be, so parents often just do it themselves.
Deborah Tillman said she thought that parents feel really guilty because they spend 10-14 hours a day away from their children. She said that parents often overindulge their children, giving them what they want, versus what they need.
Ana Connery said that her son is seven and she often sees him walking around with a Starbucks frappuccino.
“And I think, what am I doing?”
What is she doing? No seven-year-old in the world needs a frappuccino. If even our childcare experts are indulging children and giving them Starbucks, is there any hope for us regular folks?
Parents Have No Energy
Deborah Tillman said that a lot of parents are exhausted by the time they see their children and this often contributes to spoiling, because they want to give their kids things to make them happy.
Choosing Friendship Over Parenting
Ana Connery said she thought a lot of parents choose friendship over parenting in an effort to connect with their children. Connery said this is a bad idea, because once you try to be a parent, they don’t respect you and it’s harder for them to see you in that role. Deborah Tillman said that parents often don’t want to be seen as the “mean” parent. “It’s not about being mean, it’s about being responsible,” Tillman said. I think if this was a contest on who the better childcare expert is, Deborah Tillman is winning.
How Do We Unspoil Our Children?
According to a survey done on today.com, 71 percent of people believed that children can be unspoiled. Ana Connery said that a big way to unspoil children is to examine what you value as a person. If you value material objects (like frappuccinos) and are constantly looking for the latest gadget or handbag, your kids will value that. But if you give your children tasks and encourage them to value hard work and taking pride in their accomplishments, then you’ll go a long way toward unspoiling them.
Deborah Tillman’s advice was to turn off the technology and tune in to your children. She said that it’s important to establish relationships with your children and really know who your children are. Anyone familiar with Judd Apatow movies knows that this is exactly what Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters in This Is 40 did with their children. And while it didn’t seem to be working very well at first, or even for much of the movie, it did ultimately result in better relationships between everyone.
Ana Connery said that you should never let your children look outside the home for role models. They should look up to you as role models. Is this how her son started drinking frappuccinos? Maybe Connery is a big frappuccino drinker.