Spoiling your kids has such a negative connotation — but is it all that bad?
I guess it depends on what you consider “spoiling”. Many times I hear parents give these examples of spoiling:
- Buying the kids toys
- Frequent trips to the park
- Giving candy, ice cream and sugary treats to the kids
- Letting the kids stay up past bedtimes
Wow, if I was a kid, I would love that list, wouldn’t you?
It’s true that you can treat and spoil a child so much that they become a complete self-centered, uncontrolled menace. As much as I love kids, I have seen some pretty horrible ones that were the direct result of lax parenting.
How many times have you seen the loud, screaming toddler point to candy, and the mom snatch it off the shelf and give it to the child — just to have a few seconds of peace and quiet.
Now, that is pretty rotten. But, that is not the type of “spoiling” I want to encourage you to do today. Nope, I have a completely different perspective on this issue.
As a mom, I want to ask you this question:
“Why should the grandparents get all the fun with spoiling kids?”
I want in on it too!
I want to be the one to grab up my kids and take them on a surprise trip to the zoo, park, toy store and then end it all with a gigantic ice cream cone.
Yes, I want to be the one who is guilty of spoiling my kids.
Six years ago a harsh, cold reality hit me.
My kids live thousands of miles away from their grandparents.
They will never know what it is like to be scooped up and taken to the toy store to pick out a few goodies.
And during the first five years of my motherhood journey, I never did that for my kids.
I always just made sure the kids’ necessary needs were taken care of — education, food, clothing, books and left the “fun” stuff to the grandparents — since they were going to do it anyway.
But when we moved across the world to a foreign country my perspective changed.
I would dare say my perspective became much more clear and I was beginning to view my children as the treasures they truly are.
My heart ached for my kids.
I wanted them to know the “I’ve been spoiled rotten today” feeling I have when my husband takes me to my fave restaurant and coffee shop. I want them to know what it is like to receive special gifts “just because.”
Making those exciting, melt-yourheart experiences a reality took planning and sacrifice.
The kids even gave me a new nickname — ha!
“Is Mee-Maw here?” my kids ask when they want a special treat.
Mee-Maw is a Southern name for Grandma.
I love hearing that name.
It reminds me that my kids know that this mom will say “yes” to special treats and surprises.
How do you feel when someone gives you a special gift just because they were thinking about you?
It makes you feel special, wanted and loved.
That is exactly how I want my kids to feel.
Sure, I can tell them all day long that I love them, but spoiling them with special treats, activities, no bedtimes, forts in the living room and treasure hunts says it even louder.
When they see mom and dad go without extras so the kids can have some special items so their kids can indulge a little, that also speaks volumes of love.
You know what?
I believe my heavenly Father spoils me too.
I have so many stories of how God gave me something that I wanted — even when no one else knew it!
On the other hand, we moms who desire to mold a happy, content child should not spoil our kids excessively.
If our kids get ice cream every single day, it is no longer a treat.
If we cancel bedtime three times a week, we lose all routine and consistency.
Even in spoiling, there should be self-control and limits. But give yourself the freedom to be the one to spoil and treat your child —planned treats or spur-of-the moment surprises.
Honestly, how many times have we convinced ourselves that our kids don’t need this or that and missed an opportunity to show them our love?
Sure, our kids don’t NEED bicycle rides with mom and dad or homemade cookies at 9 pm, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever give them those things.
I don’t need flowers, but my husband gives them to me.
I definitely don’t need Diet Cokes or Hazelnut lattes, but my husband buys them for me.
We don’t need iPads, iPhones, new purses, down comforters and other popular mom-trends, but isn’t it super-nice when someone decides to give you one anyway?
When is the last time you spoiled your kids?
Cancel bedtime tonight, build a fort and roast marshmallows in the kitchen.
Tell the kids to get in the car and drive them to the dollar store to pick out some fun toys or games.
Purchase some new board games and stay up tonight playing a game, popping popcorn and just giggling — even though it is only Tuesday.
I promise you won’t regret it!
Your kids need to not just hear your love, but they need to experience and see it too!
Go ahead and spoil your kids today — I DARE YOU!