Dangers Of Overindulging Children
Some parents enjoy overindulging their kids to the extent that if possible, they could give them the moon if they so desire.
In reality, there ought to be precautions in granting every wish a child makes lest the parents regret such actions in the future.
Speaking on the matter, President, Royal Queens of Niger Delta, and Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom, Bayelsa State, Josephine Diete-spiff, said overindulging children could impact negatively on their personalities.
She said such children would exhibit some dangerous character and behavioral traits like taking things for granted; growing up to lack initiative and reliance on others.
Diete-Spiff said overindulgent children lacked creativity, wouldn’t appreciate the value of money, find life’s challenges unbearable, lack interest in learning and without respect for people.
She added, “Over-pampered children think money is everything and treat others without money poorly. They are not able to make informed decisions and take charge in situations requiring attention. They like to have everything and take advantage of others. They are often very rude and never remorseful. They are self-centred and egotistic.”
She urged parents to guard against indulging their children in order to bring up kids who would be able to cater for them at old age and protect the family legacy.
A lecturer, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Dr. Ekiyor Welson, identified discipline as the bedrock of a successful upbringing of children, adding that it involved compelling children to do things right.
He said overindulging a child could mean allowing such child to have his way whether rightly or wrongly.
Welson stated, “It can mean allowing a child to skip his duties and to lack discipline. As a young boy, my mother used to say that the way to pamper a child is to meet the child’s basic needs. Pampering a child should not include turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to the wrong actions of a child.
“Overindulging a child makes the child to derail and miss his goals in life. It can mislead a child into believing that life is easy and when he discovers the truth about life, he turns to crime.”
A parent, Kayode Otitoju, said indulging children could be dangerous and counter-productive for the children and their parents.
Otitoju, who is the Chairman of Lekki Residents Association, Lagos, said the over-pampered child would not be allowed to follow his/her natural pathways to destiny.
He stated, “Socialisation of my children is a typical example as we, ‘my wife and I’, have encouraged them to evolve and develop into stardom in their chosen callings and excelling according to their peculiarities and cognitive-personality traits.
“Invariably, unguided independence at the formative stage of a child can be dangerous at various stages of one’s life. One needs to be guided and mentored. One needs to provide for needs, not for greed. At adulthood, one tends to appreciate and cherish the quality of one’s upbringing which one eventually inculcates in one’s offspring.”
Also, a mother and lawyer, Dise Ogbise, said every child from inception was born innocent, but wrong upbringing would spoil him or her.
Ogbise, who is the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Sagbama Branch, Bayelsa State, stated that the primary responsibility of training a child was with the parents even though the government and society would also play a pivotal role.
She said the abundance of money ought to be separated from the upbringing of a child, noting that like two separate streams they ran differently and should rarely meet, except in exceptional cases.
Ogbise added, “Much care should be exercised by parents in merging unrestricted wealth with the upbringing of a child. Connecting the upbringing of a child and wealth spells a serious corrosion of moral fabric from an early age.
“On the other hand, the failure of parents and society to condemn several deviant conducts exhibited by a child is also a fundamental factor to be considered.”
Ogbise explained that overindulgence of a child might lead to depression if the resources were no longer available.
In her contribution, a mother of three, Gift Temisan, said if a child grew up in indulgence and remained unexposed to the cruel reality of the world, the child might not be able to face the world.
Temisan stated, “If parents of an indulgent child take things for granted in the name of overindulgence; for instance, don’t teach the child how to clean his room, pick up his toys after he plays with them, washes his dishes after every meal, then, the child will grow not adapting to these things.”
On her part, another mother, Bidemi Effiong, said there was great danger in overindulging kids because the children would turn out to be delinquents.
She also stressed that overindulgent children would not be able to meet up with the standards of life in society because they would not be able to distinguish between right and wrong.
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Effiong said there was a need for the parents to maintain a balance in proving everything required by their child.
She stated, “Loving or spoiling on its own is not a bad thing. It even helps to create a better understanding between children and their parents. But if the child becomes spoilt, he tends to ignore whatever his parents have to say.
“In the end, if a child is spoilt, he will only become harder to deal with as he grows older. He may not even enjoy being independent. He will be dependent on his parents to ‘serve’ him for the rest of his life.”
On his part, a psychologist, Mr Tochukwu Orjiakor, identified authoritarian, permissive and authoritative dimensions as the three ways through which psychologists examine parenting.
Orjiakor said, “While some parents prefer an authoritarian approach (you must do it my way, you must do it the way I want it or this is the way we do it), it is different from parents who are permissive – they allow the child everything he wants. May be that is what people call pampering.
“We have the one we think is right, what we think is ideal and what we want parents to be doing. It is called authoritative parenting.”
Speaking on the dangers of overindulging kids, the psychologist added that there was the need to study the cause of overindulging a child.
He added that if parents allowed a child to always insist on ‘I must have my ways any time I want it; I do not have to consider others; I do not want to delay, any time I want it, I must have it’, it was most likely such child would not turn out good for society.
Orjiakor added, “What I will urge parents to do in parenting is to choose the model they want their child to be. But most importantly, when you are trying to direct your child, direct him or her to learn what is right. Also, let him know not only what you ask him to do is the right thing to do, but the reason why it is the right thing to do it.
“If you are denying your child anything he or she wants, you have to give a reason. For instance, ‘my son or daughter, what you want is fine. I will like to buy you a bicycle, but I can’t afford a bicycle now because we don’t have the money’.”