No child is born spoiled or a brat—it's only indulgent parenting can make them that way, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Naturally, children are innocent and have a cuteness which makes people's hearts warm to them and helps bring out our best qualities," he says. "When we raise kids who are spoiled, we snuff out the child's natural attractiveness." If you are guilty of spoiling your children, Rabbi Shmuley says chances are, you have brats on your hands.
Signs Your Children Are Brats:
They resort to crying or yelling when they want something.
They throw themselves on floor and won't get up.
They constantly throw tantrums or even hit you when you punish them.
They ignore you when you ask a question.
They are rude to other adults and even to other children.
They refuse to share toys or treats with other children.
They are show-offs and are constantly trying to one-up their peers to be the center of attention.
They always want whatever everyone else has. Once they have it, they want something new.
They keep a messy room and never help out around the house despite your pleas for them to do so.
They refuse to go to bed.
What to Do if Your Children Are Brats:
Reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.
If your children yell when they want something, don't give it to them and take away something they like.
If they won't get off the floor during a tantrum, pick them up and put them in their room until they calm down and apologize.
If they ignore you when you tell them to do something, punish them immediately. Put them in a corner and don't let them out until they apologize.
If they won't share, take away the toy or treat.
Don't buy them whatever they want. Make them earn things.
If they keep a messy room, don't let them out until it's clean.
Enforce bedtimes. Continually put them back into their beds. After a while, they'll stop getting out. You must show there is no other option.
Compliment your children profusely and give them rewards when they do the right thing.
"Indulging your child to the point where they become a brat is a crime against an innocent victim. By doing this, you are robbing them of the natural cuteness and innocence which endears them not just to their parents but to the rest of the world."
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013