8 Warning Signs of a Spoiled 'Brat'

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8 Signs Your Kid Is a 'Brat'

Every kid has a bad day or throws a tantrum now and then. But we've all run into kids who seem like they take the tantrums too far. They are, well, bona fide brats. So how can parents tell if their own kid is one of them? Well, consider these eight signs for starters. But don't fret; we've also got expert-approved ways to help set a kid straight. While a child might be acting like a brat now, there is still hope that he or she can turn it around in the future.

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We've all been the adult who has to deal with a bratty child. The kid who won't listen, throws a fit when things don't go his or her way, and has a serious attitude problem. But what is a mom to do if she realizes that the bratty child is hers? Just because a child is displaying an attitude now does not mean that he or she will grow up to be spoiled. Any children can be trained out of their bad habits if given the right guidance by their parents -- which sometimes means activating some tough love for their betterment. We found these expert-approved ways for dealing with a child who is being disrespectful. The key word -- be firm. Brats thrive on a parent who caves and will always continue their bad behavior. Take a look at this helpful list of ways to deal with a child who is a brat! 

Number three always makes us shudder. 

 

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  • Brats Always Whine to Get What They Want

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    While all kids whine a little bit, brats whine all. The. Time. And for good reason: "Whining works!" says Diane Stanoszek, MS, is Milestone’s Director of Children’s Community Based Services. "Whining gets on parents' nerves, so they often give in."

    Solution: The fastest way to stop the whining is to stop caving in when it happens. Tell your child, "I don't listen to whiny voices, but if you ask me in a normal tone/"big boy/girl voice, I will listen." Make it clear, of course, that doesn't mean you will give your child what he wants -- just that whining will get them nowhere fast.

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  • Brats Are Mean to Other Kids Unprovoked

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    While all kids get in tussles occasionally, brats seem to seek out drama -- pushing other kids, kicking down sand castles -- and parents often make the mistake of apologizing on behalf of their child to others. Big mistake!

    Solution: "Don't apologize to the other child for your child," says Bill Corbett at Cooperative Kids. Instead, force your child to do it -- or else face some serious consequences.

  • Brats Are Rude to Adults, Too

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    While even the best kids can be less than polite to other kids on occasion, brats take it one step further and are often rude to adults, too, says Corbett.

    Solution: Yet again, don't apologize on your child's behalf. Instead, force him to apologize, and don't budge until he does.

  • Brats Throw Huge Tantrums for Little Things

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    All kids have meltdowns when they're tired, hungry, or something else is seriously wrong… but brats throws tantrums even when little things don't go their way.

    Solution: Experts suggest ignoring your toddler's tantrums. "Trying to reason or talk through it with a child won't work," says Corbett. If you're at home, leave the room if you can, or at least turn your back. If you're in public, try to get out of there until it's blown over, since tantrums thrive on any attention, even from strangers.

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  • Brats Can't Share Anything

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    While all kids have trouble sharing, bratty kids can't share anything. "A brat thinks everything belongs to him," says Parenting Coach Monique M. C. Prince, MSW. Even if it's not his!

    Solution: Whatever you do, don't just grab the toy from your child's clutches and hand it over to his playmate. "If you do, you're role-modeling that he can do the same," says Prince. Instead, say, "Hey, in this house we don't grab things from other kids. Please give the toy back." If he resists, say empathically that you know this is hard, but stand firm. Once your child hands it over, congratulate him. From there, you can coach your child to ask, "Can I have a turn?" and hopefully the other child will agree.

  • Brats Must Have Everything Done for Them

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    Still feeding, dressing, or cleaning up after your child when you know (or suspect) he can do it himself? Then this over-pampering can be a sign you've got a brat who must be waited on hand and foot.

    Solution: Don't make the mistake of rewarding a brat for things he should be doing anyway. Instead, establish consequences if he doesn't: for instance, no playing with toys until he's dressed himself; no TV until he's cleaned his room.

  • Brats Need Your Attention All the Time

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    Sure, kids often bother you right when you're in the middle of something… but a brat will do it for no other reason than just to get your attention -- interrupting phone conversations with friends or in the middle of cooking, you name it.

    Solution: "The best thing to do is to give the child your full attention at specific times -- ideally before you need to do something -- and then remind them that you are busy and a later time when you will spend time with them," says child psychiatrist Scott Carroll, MD. That way, your kid knows you won't be tuned out forever.

  • Brats Are Never Satisfied

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    While most kids are happy when they receive a gift or go on a field trip, brats are left asking, "is there more?" "Brats may exhibit selfish traits like always wanting more, or always wanting to be first," says Taliba Foster, MD, a psychiatrist with practices in New York and Philadelphia. "They may excel at sports or extracurricular activities that do not require teamwork, or appear to be one-man machines that have an insatiable inner drive."

    Solution: You need to drive home to this child that he may often have to deal with disappointment, so if your child comes to you with a complaint like "I want more ice cream than Jimmy!", tell him, "you can't always get what you want" and dole out equal portions, or serve Jimmy's first, explaining, "he's the guest." Considering enrolling your child in a team sport, which can also do wonders for teaching kids that they aren't the center of the universe in a context where a coach, rather than you, can do the heavy lifting.

    More from The Stir: Quiz: Are You Raising a Brat?

     

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