6 Ways You're Turning Your Kid Into a Greedy, Ungrateful Monster

little girls with presentsAs hard as you may be trying to raise a well-mannered, polite, and charitable child, you might be sabotaging your own work. Want to teach your children to be generous and kind? Stop giving them gifts, says a brand new study on materialism and greedy kids.

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So you splurge on birthday gifts or reward them if they've done an especially great job in school. Is it bad? Oh, yeah. It's worse than you think.

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A new study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research and shows parents exactly what they're doing wrong. Face it, you're about to have a spoiled, greedy, ungrateful kid. And here's why:

  1. You reward them with gifts whenever they get a good grade. Turns out, every time kids get one of these tokens, they associate it with happiness and success. In their minds, possessions equals success.
  2. You're full of this so-called "parental warmth" (yes, it's a good thing), but sometimes you'll just give your kids a present to show how much you love them. Well, don't. Their love of all things materialistic will only grow.
  3. They judge themselves, and other people, based on the possessions they own. "Oh, your parents didn't give you a new phone? Wow, mine must love me more."
  4. They begin to consider learning new things as just a means to an end, instead of a way to simply better themselves and enhance their skills. "You mean I master the violin and I get a life-sized Elsa doll?! Worth it!"
  5. It works both ways too. They did poorly in school or disobeyed you? Take away their toys. Well, do so only if you want them to grow up into insecure adults who only think of worldly things as a proven emblem of wealth.
  6. And skip that Disneyland trip too. The study shows that even giving them seemingly intangible rewards like a family vacation will give them ideas of happiness, which will once again lead to the possessions/happiness struggle.

Think there's no way to win this one? While you might be scratching your heads at how the heck do you discipline them, there are a couple things you can do. First, do it all in moderation. Don't define each success with a gift and each failure as an item taken away, and teach them to be grateful for any new items and experiences.

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But the best gift you can really give them? Your attention. Nothing will ever top extra time with the parents.

How do you reward and discipline the kids?

 

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