Spoiling Your Child Can Cause Behavioral Problems

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Dr. Mark Bertin, a developmental behavioral pediatrician, sees a wide range of children with behavioral problems that derive from family style (i.e. spoiling a child).

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Have you ever used the words “spoiled brat” to describe a kid? When someone uses those words to describe a child, it is usually used in a negative context to describe a behavior that is a direct reflection of a person being acclimated to getting whatever they want, when they want it. If you ask a group of 10 adults if they like “spoiled brats,” at least eight of them will say no.

So, why do you decide to raise your children to be the very thing you despise? Did you know that your child can learn some valuable character-building skills by experiencing limitations and frustration?

Dr. Mark Bertin, a developmental behavioral pediatrician in Pleasantville, N.Y., affiliated with New York Medical College, sees a wide range of children with behavioral problems, which are a product of neurological makeup, temperament, and family style. Dr. Bertin references this study that suggests that children benefit from strategies that build self-esteem and emotional resilience. “We’re talking about kids who aren’t brought up with limits,” Dr. Bertin to New York Times. “We all want our kids to be happy moment to moment, but there are some skills you learn from growing up with limits and the opportunity to experience frustration.”

By setting limits, we’re teaching them what our values are and the way we think they can lead a happier, productive life,” Dr. Pamela High, a professor of pediatrics at Brown University and medical director of the Fussy Baby Clinic at the Brown Center for the Study of Children, told New York Times.

The next time your kid asks you if they can eat a sugary snack at 8PM, play a video game at 9PM, and sleep in the bed with you at 10PM, don’t feel guilty for telling them no.




  1. Eric Anders

    January 15, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Time and again when we come across kids with behavioral problems, the issue is directly related with bad parents or association with elders with bad temperament.

  2. black jones

    January 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I agree 100%…….that’s the thing now “GIVE EM WHAT THEY WANT” but as a group of confused people we sometimes learn….much too late……at that point we begin to dispise their behavior, but cannot see we’re mostly to blame…… until then…. … we’ll keep having to deal with spoiled brats.

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