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Secrets to Success: Loving without Spoiling
All children develop in the context of a relationship, what we as parents do, teach and expect are critical in what are children learn. Given kids learn through imitation, observation, guidance, coaching and contingent reactions – what we say AND what we do are both instrumental in what are kids become with regard to their character and moral development. All children need/want to be loved, accepted and understood. How do we help our kids become respectful, responsible, compassionate citizens?
Parents need to provide love but love alone is not enough! We also need to nurture and to set limits! Setting limits is a way of guiding our children in terms of what is appropriate behavior and what is not and following through with consequences when are kids act inappropriately – not the 5th time but the first time. A myth perpetuated by many is that loving our kids too much is what spoils them. Kids can’t be loved too much! But what can and does happen is kids not being taught the necessary skills that help them develop responsibility, respect and regard for self and one another. It is not loving our kids that spoils them but rather not knowing what to do when our kids need guidance and structure for what is expected, socially appropriate behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior – not the 5th time it happens but the first time.