Every time I turn around someone is telling me not to spoil my child. What spoil means to you, may not be what it means to me. After plenty of contemplation over how my child will turn out if he is spoiled, I decided screw it, I will spoil him if I want to! I do not mean spoil in the material sense of the word. I mean spoil in the support and development sense of the word, though sometimes that may include financial contributions as well to a point.
Offer your child as many new and exciting experiences as possible. Spoil them with all kinds of new experiences. Let them try everything they want to try. Let them learn about the world around them in their own way, and not just through a book or word of mouth. Memories are made through trying new things, whether they fail or not. Take them new places. Meet new people. Each new perspective is a learning experience. The more experiences a child has when they are young, the less they will feel the need to chase new (and possibly negative) experiences later.
No one likes feeling trapped in a box, especially curious small children. Let them explore their world in their own way. For some that may mean talking to everyone they meet from day one, and for others it may mean watching how the world interacts before jumping in. Facilitate experiences and let them decide how to take it in.
Your child needs to know that not everyone in the world does things the same way as it is done in their house. They need to know that it is perfectly acceptable to have differences. That other people eat, sleep, interact in a different way. It is important to expose your child to different cultures so they can be more understanding and accepting of others. Exposing your child to another culture does not have to discount your own. It just makes your child a more rounded individual in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. It makes them more open to new ideas from people who are different than them in some ways. That is important. The world needs more people like that.
For starters, language is fascinating. It is crazy to think of how many languages have been developed out of small sounds and grunts. How language is constantly growing and evolving. It is important to use a vast vocabulary within your own language with your child. Teach them new words and how to use them. Read to them. Sing to them. Anything to expand their knowledge of language. Most people never even progress above average in their first language. If you can help your child accomplish that, you have done them a big favor. Now if you can assist them in being bi- or tri-lingual then you really have gone above and beyond in spoiling them!
This should be common knowledge, but sadly, I see some people still struggling with it. Math and science do not have to be the sole focus of education. An education could be in the arts if that is where your child excels. Whatever education applies to your child’s abilities, make it a major priority. With all the access to knowledge that is now available, it is unacceptable that any child is two and three levels behind where they could/should be. With the exception of learning disorders and difficulties, the only reason for this is that education was not made a priority.
Remember, if a child is taught at an early age that their education takes precedent over play, then that will likely stick with them. This starts young. Have your six or seven-year-old sit down and read to you each night. Make learning fun and important. Never say no to an educational opportunity. Spoil your child with as much knowledge as they can absorb.
Unwavering Love, Support, and Attention
Most of all, you should spoil your child with love and support and attention. Your child having that from you provides them with the confidence they need to tackle the world. Knowing that you will be there for them even when things are bad provides a sense of security kids need while they develop other parts of their personality. If you develop a strong, positive bond with your child it will set the tone for the other relationships in their lives. Do not make them “earn” your love. They should never feel like they are not good enough to get support from their parents. No child should ever have to think that.
Therefore, do not just assume they know you love them and are going to be there for them through the up and downs. Tell them. Remind them regularly. Spoil them with your attention. Everything is a big deal to a child. Understand that from their level and give them the attention they are seeking even if you are super busy. Do not be too busy for a child. They are only young for a short time.
Just Do Your Best to Spoil for Good
I would argue many parents struggle to just meet the needs (let alone spoil their kids) on many of these things. Providing kids with all the things they need all the time is hard! It may not be feasible for everyone to spoil their children in each aspect. I do not live in an urban area so exposure to many different cultures is difficult to do all the time.
This is not a check list. Rather some examples of things that will not ruin your child if they are spoiled by them. Spoil the kids in the areas you can. It will only be to their benefit! And yours as well! Is there anything more fulfilling as a parent than helping your children achieve the best future they can?
What other things do you think are good to spoil children with? Let me know!