Spoiled Brat: How Can I Avoid Raising an Overindulged Child?


In a previous post, I struggled with the decision to purchase discount season tickets to Six Flags, which includes Magic Mountain, Hurricane Harbor and parking for a family of four. Nice, but is that the making of a spoiled brat? Would I be over-indulging them? I posed this question to a gal pal.

She felt it was okay as she often takes her son to Disneyland. She reasoned, “When I was little, I played and explored outside for hours,” noting that her son is stuck inside an apartment if she stays home. Fair enough. But I feel an outing to the nearby park, riding bikes or scooters, or even taking a family stroll meets those needs.

Hmmm, perhaps I should ask my husband. He is, after all, the other main provider raising our children. He doesn’t want to raise a spoiled brat anymore than I do. His initial reply was that if we get the tickets, we don’t get other things that come up during the year. But how do we define “other things?” Concerts? Museums? Chuck E. Cheese? Not helping. I let it rest a few days and posed the question to him again (as we wives do). One brilliant word came out of his mouth, “balance.” Meaning that our boys continue to give back, and expand on those efforts.

Case in point: Each month, we visit the Downtown Women’s Shelter to donate much needed supplies. My boys gather what bags they can and carry them into the shelter. I do my best to explain that since we have enough and our needs are met, we give to others. In a few years, my boys will be cooking meals at the Downtown Women’s Shelter too. They will also be adding to their volunteer efforts by participating in this year’s annual beach cleanup. And just like last year, they will give a portion of their birthday gift money to an organization or cause of their choice. They are young and they don’t really “get it” yet. But I’m confident that one day they will.

Balance. I like my husband’s reasoning, which also suggests we start taking them to church. I’m all for that too as it will further emphasize morals and offer opportunities to participate in activities to (hopefully) keep them out of trouble.

So back to those Six Flags tickets and spoiled brat factor. I’m leaning toward purchasing them, but not committed to a “yes” or “no” just yet. I’ll let you know how it goes…


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