What are the effects of spoiling children

Pampered Children - Pampering and the Consequences

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Pampered children | ©: kids.4pictures - Fotolia

Pampering children has a significant influence on their development; too much help and support can easily cause our offspring to lose their courage to take action. They then deal with those around them in a very questionable way. You are starting to ask a lot from the people around you and are not ready to give very much in return. There is a strong lack of willingness to do something and to take responsibility for one's own actions.

In large part, this is because these boys and girls' confidence never really developed. Too much was taken from them by their parents and too seldom challenged. In most cases this results from the instinct to want to protect one's own children, but in many cases it goes far too far.

We want to make life as easy as possible for our children, they shouldn't have it as difficult as we might once have had. We just want them to have a nice and easy life. Many parents would agree with this or a similar thought and in principle it is of course an honorable thought to wish your child a wonderful and easy life. If it is about basic things like not having to endure wars and violence or not suffering from a lack of basic needs, this statement will of course continue to be endorsed by psychologists. However, these strategies often go far too far in trying to prepare the offspring for a good life. Because if we read the wishes of the children and adolescents from the lips and carry the things after them, then it only seems to be good for them at first glance. Appearances are very deceptive, because this behavior often results in overprotection and can have serious consequences for a young person. Many of those affected carry the consequences of growing up in an overprotective home with them for their entire life.

The biggest problem is then the step into independence, because at some point they have to cope on their own and they are not at all prepared for that. If a spoiled child has to cope on their own later in life, it will fail in many ways. It starts with simple challenges, like keeping the household clean, and goes on to serious problems with your own finances. This then quickly ends, for example, in a dangerous debt. Most of the time, the young adults cannot even do anything about it, because they have never learned to deal independently with sudden problems and the general demands of life. This burden was relieved of them in childhood and so they hardly had a chance to learn it. It was of course meant well, but still very harmful to her. Of course, this knowledge has a very frightening effect on a parent and it is often unrecognizable for parents where care ends and pampering begins.

Children must be allowed to fall

But it's not that complicated at all, because if you know a little about the learning processes in life, then this connection is quite easy to see through. Unfortunately, this knowledge is not taught to us by our parents, nor is it taught in school. Therefore, we have no other choice and must either develop this knowledge ourselves or inform ourselves accordingly. There is a very clear and also logical line that we have to draw. As soon as our child gets into a serious dangerous situation, the parents' duty to intervene is clear. Otherwise it is only ever an opportunity for a child to learn something new. Those who make it too easy for their offspring at an early age make it more and more difficult for their child in the future. A simple example: If a child tries to climb a ladder in the garden, then it shouldn't be the motto to keep them from doing so. But much more to let it climb and catch it when it falls down. Only through this process can the child learn at an early stage that climbing a ladder can also mean falling down. This is only a small example, but according to this principle, children should be allowed to learn in principle. Because on this one experience many insights can be built later. Every learning process, especially in childhood, has countless effects on the whole of life. This is why it is so important to let children make mistakes and not stop them. People can only lead a successful life if they have had many opportunities to learn something. The human being learns mainly through its own mistakes. Good advice and tips are only of limited help, in most cases we simply have to experience it ourselves. For this reason, it is important to give children as much freedom as possible and only stop them when it becomes really dangerous. Otherwise, they are allowed to fall once, even if this can be difficult for the parents.

Recognize pampering quickly and easily

First and foremost, parents can only recognize the pampering of their child at a young age less in the child than in their own behavior. Do you solve your children's problems or do you let the kids face their own challenges? Do you save them work or do you let the children do things themselves? What do you do for your children that you could have done yourself? With these questions you can quickly find out how much your own children are being spoiled. But also in the behavior of the children you can easily read a spoiled personality with increasing age.

There are some clear and unambiguous signs that suggest spoiled behavior and so it is quite easy to find out, even without a psychologist, whether a child has been or is being spoiled too much. It starts with very simple things, such as the fact that the children do not think along with the simplest processes, but expect answers from others. Of course, this does not imply a spoiled personality, there must always be several indicators. If children then also show a constant low willingness to perform, always give up quickly on new or somewhat more difficult tasks, demand a lot of attention and recognition, then these are dangerous signs of a spoiled personality. However, this behavior must first be recognizable over a period of time, because after all, every child can have a difficult phase. But even in such a phase, children should not be relieved of every task, because no one will do this later. Overall, spoiled people are characterized above all by the fact that they take a lot, but are only willing to give a little. The demands are so high that others are no longer willing to meet them.

Too much attention and too little responsibility

Such a behavior occurs, as already mentioned above, especially when the children and adolescents were always spared and did not have to solve their problems independently. Many parents are too impatient with their children, especially at a young age, and help them far too much. They help them get dressed, brush their teeth, clean up and later with their homework for school. This is often well-intentioned assistance, but if a child is always relieved of his or her tasks, it also learns something from it. It learns if I can't or don't want to do something, then others do it for me. The children are really under-challenged and lose their independence even before they have even learned it properly. Children have to learn these very simple things themselves and should not be taken over by their parents. Often it is only meant well, but there is often a little impatience involved. But children simply have to be allowed to have this time to learn. The children must be given more and more responsibility for their lives.

You have to fix the mistakes you make yourself. This should not be done by the parents and they should only get very limited support, only if there is no other way. Anyone who spends their pocket money in the first week of the month has to learn that there will be new money only in the next month. Even if you miss the bus, you shouldn't be taken to school or your buddy by car. Instead, go on foot, take the next bus or deal with the problem on your own in some other way. The children and adolescents must always be made clear that this is the logical consequence of their action and not a punishment. Children have to take on as much responsibility as possible as early as possible. That doesn't mean you can't take your child to school once or twice a year if they miss the bus. Rather, it is just that this behavior must not become a regularity. If this should happen, then you can no longer take responsibility, but the child has to solve his problem himself.

The greatest risk of overprotection is especially with only children and families where one parent is always at home. This is where the children get the most attention and know how to use it. Parents must not allow that, even if children naturally need a certain amount of care, it must not be too much. You also have to take care of yourself, because things are often done for children out of apparent self-interest. The apartment should be tidy and the chaos in the children's room will be tidied up or at least helped with it. But that's exactly the wrong way to go. When parents take on responsibility in this way, it is usually the case that the children hardly have to take on any household chores. This way they learn again, the others do things for me. Children should do simple tasks such as taking out the trash or doing the washing up. Ideally, the number of tasks increases with age. Caring is all well and good, but children shouldn't get too much attention. Otherwise, they will expect the same from their friends, colleagues and superiors later on. In most cases, however, they will not experience this level of personal importance. It is logical that you get more attention at home than elsewhere, but the difference between home and real life must not become too great.

Pampering: The Consequences Later in Life

It often happens that the young adults do not even want to move out and prefer to stay at the hotel mama. That is understandable, because in the world they would have to do everything themselves. After all, everything is done for her at home, the apartment is clean, the laundry is done and the refrigerator is full. This is simply a very secure environment and to leave there would be to give up security. Since spoiled children have never learned to be really brave, safety is the primary value for them in life and so they continue to comfortably put their feet up. This then leads to the fact that these young people continue to depend on the care of their parents and do not become independent. In doing so, they not only waste their potential, but also hardly ever have a chance to be really happy. Therefore, the top priority for parents should be to raise their children to be independent and responsible personalities.

If, fortunately, they do move out, a very difficult time begins for the young adult. Because now he jumps or is pushed off the metaphorical cliff and has to learn to fly without preparation. Suddenly all the tasks, problems and worries in life are squeezing into him and now, at the latest, everything that has been missed must be made up for. So the exemption has brought nothing. But now it is a thousand times as difficult as if you had learned it from the beginning. Now you are responsible for your own life and have to take matters into your own hands. This is incredibly difficult for someone who has never learned to think for themselves and act responsibly. For quite a few young people, life becomes an ongoing struggle and they can only get out of this battle if they catch up on what they have missed. It would have been much better if it didn't come to that in the first place.

Tips to prevent pampering

To prevent things from going that far, children should not be spared too much. They should be prepared for real life and not just enjoy their childhood. Enjoying life is a beautiful thing, but it shouldn't only happen in childhood. But if childhood is now declared a single play paradise, then at the same time the rest of life is declared a marathon in overcoming childhood problems. It is important to raise children to be confident and strong personalities. This does not work with pampering, but only with an appropriate level of care and this also involves a lot of efforts on the part of the kids.

Children must be allowed to fall and make as many mistakes as possible. Because this is the only thing that really brings us humans forward, we have to make mistakes. Good advice is fine, but most likely one of the mistakes will happen anyway. This behavior is in our nature. We only believe something that we really understand ourselves and for this it is necessary in many cases to experience the mistakes ourselves. The best strategy to prevent pampering is to let children do things on their own as soon as their age allows. Of course, you can help a little and your questions should definitely be answered. However, this must not be exceeded. Children must have the chance to try everything anew every day. The example of getting dressed is very appropriate. Of course the little one will need help at the beginning, but he will only develop his ability to create things on his own if he is given the opportunity to do it on his own every day.

How should youth leaders deal with spoiled children?


Learning commitment to the group, for example while cooking on group trips.
On these trips, the participants always took over the cooking - nothing
great, but everyone helped.
©: www.praxis-jugendarbeit.de

Of course, youth leaders have a hard time when an already spoiled child comes to them. But then it is important to promote independence in as small steps as possible and bring it back to light. Because everyone can learn to shake off their spoiled past. This is by no means an easy process, but youth leaders in particular have the chance to continuously promote this in very small steps. Some ways are, for example, transferring small responsibilities in the youth group to the child, demanding punctuality and letting the children take turns to make decisions about certain things. At that moment, the children are given the opportunity to determine something themselves at longer intervals. Not only are they allowed to, they actually have to.

Another way is to talk to the child. Those who manage to build up a level of trust may also have the opportunity to influence the child's crucial questions and to respond with a motivating answer. However, it is always very important not to press the children with excessive measures. Because then they feel attacked very quickly and start to justify themselves. Therefore it is better to try to move the children in small and continuous steps in a better direction than to overload them with too great demands.


Learning to be independent: at hiking camps, everyone carries their own luggage and packs themselves
and stay somewhere. What doesn't work at home works fine here.
Because who wants to show the nakedness of not being able to pack their luggage themselves?
©: www.praxis-jugendarbeit.de

Pampered children are usually noticed very quickly at a youth camp. You try to avoid kitchen service or other small aids, or you get answers like “do I have to do this?” Or “I can't do that”. As already mentioned, spoiled children are quick to want something, but giving something and helping in the community that is not possible with these children. I've already seen demands being made about what to do, but when, on the other hand, you ask these children to help prepare food, you get excuses, a lot of grumbling, shining through suppression, or simple refusal.

If the child has been “ordered to do kitchen duty”, it turns out that this child has never peeled a potato, cucumber or carrot with a paring knife.

Or picking up your ID card when you are 16.He could lie in the office for weeks because the child hoped an adult would pick it up at some point. And it wasn't about small children, but about young people.

The pampering at home must have been so immense that everything was taken away from the child. And this is the problem. The child, the adolescent, is not at all to blame. Basically, it can't help it. It has become what it has become, how it was allowed to learn.

If the child was not allowed to learn to make their own experiences, including negative experiences and mistakes, and instead everything was taken away from them, how can they trust themselves to do something? And what did it even learn? It has only learned one thing: others resolve matters for me.

It will not be possible to “wean” spoiled children on a free time in such a short time. On the one hand, these children are exhausting because “taking is more blessed than giving” represents their learned behavior and because, on the other hand, these children often do not trust themselves.

Therefore I can only give these tips:

  • Everybody is equal

    Demand tasks and requirements, no special treatment. Special treatment would not be accepted by the other leisure participants either.

  • Demand means support

    This gives the child self-confidence and perhaps for the first time in their life they learn that there is someone who trusts the child with a task.

  • Give encouragement

    Even if something doesn't work right away, that's not bad and shouldn't lead to criticism, but rather to encouragement to stay tuned and try again. In this way the child learns independence in small things.

  • Be consistent and set limits

    By pointing out consequences and limits, as well as their consistent implementation, these children learn that every (non) action also has consequences

It can happen:

  • The child does not experience the full attention and will either try to adapt (because friends are with me at leisure), or ...

  • Homesickness can occur: the child can give up and look back at hotel mom. Again, I wouldn't give up anytime soon.

More from the collection of themes, games and ideas


  • Pampering: neglecting the child

    Pampering - the worst form of neglect of the child. The effects of pampering will be felt in later years as a teenager, as an adult.


  • Social phobia

    Social phobia is one of the classic anxiety disorders and thus classifies pronounced fears of being the center of attention in social situations.


  • Learned resignation

    The American social psychologist Martin Seeligmann examined the background and the characteristics of resignation in the 1970s in detail. In this context he also coined the term powerlessness syndrome, which he subsequently referred to as “learned helplessness”.


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