Nobody Likes a Spoiled Child

There is nothing more lovely and more wonderful than a child. Their laugh. Their joy. The cute things they say. But like every sweet thing, it can easily turn sour. 

“There is a certain beauty in the child, the beauty of innocence and docility,” wrote the Catholic philosopher Doug McManaman. “But there is nothing beautiful about a spoiled child.” 

You’re not doing your kids any favors by giving them everything they want. You’re not helping them by removing every difficulty and preventing all adversity. You’re not making life easier by fighting all their battles. You’re not rewarding them by overindulging. 

No, you’re spoiling them. And you’re certainly not doing much of a service for the world in the process, either. Instead, you are setting them up for a very tough and unpleasant time in this life. You are, in fact, making them very weak and very unpleasant. 

It may well be, as F. Scott Fitzgerald found, that your kids will resent you for this. Or they will become dependent on you. Or you may both, as we saw in the college admissions scandal, end up in that dark place together. 

Don’t spoil them. All things in moderation, even as you love them as much as humanly possible. It’s a difficult balance to be sure, but the stakes are too high not to get it right. 

P.S. We created the Daily Dad Luctor et Emergo challenge coin for parents who want the best for their kids. One side of the coin has the latin expression Luctor et Emergo bordering a timeless symbol of strength and resilience: iron sharpening iron. The other side features the mantra, “good, not easy,” surrounded by three other reminders we parents need each day: “let them struggle,” “show them support,” “help them grow.” To learn more about the Luctor et Emergo challenge coin and to get one to carry with you everywhere, head over to the Daily Dad store!


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