I have a one-and-a-half year old toddler and we joke that she is queen of the castle. My husband and I say our fair share of the word “No” to her, as parents of toddlers often do. When it comes to our other kids, though, it’s a different story. Maybe the spoiled child -ness started here.
Having a Spoiled Child
When Erinn wants a toy they have, they give it to her. When Erinn wants a piece of food they are eating, they give it to her. When Erinn shakes her empty sippy cup, they fill it — or come find my husband or I to fill it. They all rush to greet Erinn with hugs when they get home from school, and she rushes to get into all of their belongings the moment they leave again the next morning. If a prized toy is broken because of Erinn, shoulders are shrugged. If the same toy, or an equally important one, is broken by any of the older three — it’s throw-down time.
Last week Erinn started to walk towards a large, full glass of ice water I had absentmindedly put within her reach. From across the room, I yelled “ERINN! NO!!!” She stopped, stunned, and turned away from the glass. I walked towards it but was blockaded by my stepson, arms crossed.
“That’s not nice to yell at Erinn like that,” he said, trying to muscle me a little bit, I think.
“Oh… I wasn’t actually yelling AT her — I just didn’t want her to…” I started to trail off, a little defensive that I was explaining my parenting to a six-year-old.
“Well, you should say sorry to her,” he said.
“I didn’t yell on purpose,” I said.
“You always make us say ‘sorry’ when we don’t do things on purpose.”
Dang. Got me there. Erinn, by the way, was off stealing a toy from her sisters and did not care at all that I had “yelled at her.” I turned toward her, more for my stepson’s benefit than hers.
“I’m sorry Erinn that I yelled. I just don’t want you to get hurt,” I said. “There? Good?”
He let me pass.
It’s an interesting dynamic. When Erinn was a baby, I appreciated the fact that there were other people to dote on her and that there were extra (attentive, non-sleep-deprived) eyes on our littlest. As she became more mobile, the others were always quick to let me know if Erinn put a stray non-baby toy anywhere NEAR her mouth or if one of their markers somehow wound up in the baby’s hands.
Now that Erinn is a little bit older and learning the ways of things, she definitely uses the extra attention to her advantage. I wouldn’t call it manipulative, exactly. She’s one year old, for goodness sake. But it does concern me to the extent that Erinn will be in for a rude awakening when she finally realizes that every other older child on the planet is not going to wait on her.
Enjoy being the spoiled child now, little one. The world can be a harsh place — but if your siblings have any say in it, you will have plenty of cushion(s) when you land.
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Tags: four kids