Typically, when someone uses that phrase, they're referring to a child who makes many demands and gets everything they want. That child is usually not happy or fulfilled, but rather greedy and self-centered.
I recently read Connie's post on 10 Signs Your Child Is Spoiled and What to Do About It. It caused me to examine how my own children act to see if they show signs of being spoiled.
I think one of the greatest indicators of whether our children are spoiled or not is this: How does our child handle it when the answer to a request is "no"?
Sometimes we tell our children "no" to protect them from danger. There are other times when their requests may be unreasonable. But perhaps there are times when we could say "yes," but in order to keep from overindulging them, we say "no." I understand that we all want good things for our children - and those aren't always material things, but sometimes experiences or privileges. However, I think sometimes it's okay not to provide every advantage even if we can.
Surely one of the best ways to prevent spoiling our children is to teach them gratefulness. I think it would be very hard for gratefulness and selfishness to live together. That lesson, I'm afraid, begins with me as the parent learning to be thankful for what I have and living in contentment.
So, I'm putting myself on notice that the next time I answer my child's request with "no," I will monitor their response and make sure that we work to eliminate any whining or complaining.
What other signs do you think mark a spoiled child?