Spoiled, But Not Rotten

Here’s a wonderful tidbit from a recent parent workshop I conducted.  I was talking with a group of working parents about the guilt they were feeling.  The conversation progressed to purchasing items for children and whether or not that assuages some of the guilt.  The truth of the matter is that whether they are working or not, most parents feel guilt from time to time.  Whether connected to the guilt or not, many are inclined to give their children the things they didn’t have when they were children themselves.  One of the mothers in the group chimed in with an important message.  “Of course my child is spoiled,” she explained, “but she’s not rotten.”  This is a powerful distinction.  We often hear about teaching children an “attitude of gratitude.”   I encourage all parents to help their children learn to be appreciative and evaluate the difference between what they need and what they want (even if they receive their “wants” from time to time).  Because in the end, it’s not so bad to have a child who is spoiled, but rotten is a whole other story!