Are kids spoiled rotten? Could they be losing their sense of gratitude? Is the fact that they’re spoiled affecting their happiness?
My mother gave so much to me but I didn’t feel deserving. She’d buy me clothes, toys, and junk food but somehow I didn’t enjoy it the way I should have. Moody, unappreciative, and downright judgmental of her, I’d still get what I wanted. It just didn’t make sense.
I resented my mother. How could she continue to give to me when I treated her so badly?
This resentment festered, and I started to rot.
I was spoiled rotten!
Now, as an adult, and with my mother gone, I am coming to terms with and carefully removing the ‘rot’.
In the ancient Jewish mysticism Kabbalah, they have a term for what I felt: Bread of Shame. Bread of shame is when you take something that you were undeserving of (like taking charity when you did absolutely nothing to earn it). This makes the receiver resentful of the giver. Without my mother realizing it, she was causing resentment by giving into my selfish desires.
Kids today need to feel like they are deserving and there are ways to help them feel this way – make them contribute to the household! If they have weekly chores, and only receive allowance or treats when they’ve contributed, then they understand cause and effect. They learn, through experience, that pitching in leads to rewards (and eventually – good pay and promotions).
So, if you don’t want spoiled rotten kids then stop giving them whatever they want without their having deserved it.