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Is it possible to UNspoil a child?
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:21 am
and have you done this successfully with children ages 9+?
Desperate for hope and guidance!
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crossroad




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:23 am
What does spoiled mean to you? How is the child(ren) spoiled?
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:39 am
crossroad wrote:
What does spoiled mean to you? How is the child(ren) spoiled?


acts entitled
expects everyone to serve them
shouts and barks orders
unwilling to make an effort to get what they want
demands treats, prizes, gifts on a constant basis
extremely disrespectful
only happy when everything is going their way
cannot handle any disappointment
cannot accept a "no"
etc. etc.

Please don't tell me that my child needs an evaluation.
I know that I made mistakes that created this, and I want to make changes before it's too late.
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English3




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:41 am
Yes you probably can but you need guidance not your child.perhaps a parenting expert.
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giftedmom




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:42 am
Seeing as becoming spoiled happens when you substitute material things for demonstrating love and spending quality time, I would assume the way to undo it would be to show lots of love and spend time together at the same time as you set boundaries on what you give in to. It’ll be a hard adjustment for both of you but I believe it can be done.
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amother




Starflower
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:45 am
English3 wrote:
Yes you probably can but you need guidance not your child.perhaps a parenting expert.


I was going to say this exactly. I know a family who did this with the whole family it's amazing to see the change. The older kids were in their late teens. It's definitely not too late.
Rabbi Brezak is excellent. Definitely worth paying for an initial consultation and you can see if he's a good match for your family.
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English3




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 9:48 am
Just to let you know, your child hasn't had enough boundaries for nine years so don't expect changes in two days. This will be a ride and will take time with plenty of setbacks. However it's never to late and your child will thank you one day.
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amother




Tiffanyblue
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 10:19 am
giftedmom wrote:
Seeing as becoming spoiled happens when you substitute material things for demonstrating love and spending quality time, I would assume the way to undo it would be to show lots of love and spend time together at the same time as you set boundaries on what you give in to. It’ll be a hard adjustment for both of you but I believe it can be done.


This this this this!!!!
My oldest is 9. She also has PANS.
So discipline and boundaries were not even on the radar for many years.
My second has severe aggressive impulsive type ADHD Plus ptsd from living in a house with 9 you. My 3rd is likely adhd too impulsive hyperactive type. (In runs in my and dhs family. I suspect dh has it too and me to a slight degree.) The youngest is too young to know but I'm seeing patterns.....

So its loud and crazy. And kids are never happy, fighting a lot, not willing to lift a finger unless they decided it's fun. (Like bringing me up something from downstairs, packing up their toys, entertaining the baby for 3-5 minutes..... my 2nd kid will yell and scream and tantrum I should dress her cus she's tired. Or in the morning she's "still" tired.
They won't bathe on their own. Refused to brush their hair, who's talking about brushing their teeth?
Bh they do put their laundry away, sometimes......


Lately I keep telling dh to stop buying little stuff. Or big stuff. No more.
You want to give, take them apple picking, on a nature walk, the park, flying kites, playing games, random drive to sit in the car and sing together. Whatever.
Its been 2 months. I've seen a huge difference.
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amother




Feverfew
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 10:33 am
amother [ Starflower ] wrote:
I was going to say this exactly. I know a family who did this with the whole family it's amazing to see the change. The older kids were in their late teens. It's definitely not too late.
Rabbi Brezak is excellent. Definitely worth paying for an initial consultation and you can see if he's a good match for your family.
Wow can you elaborate on what you’ve seen them do? Sounds encouraging.
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jd1212




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 10:40 am
Try rephrasing when your children demand. “Mommy, get me a drink!”

You say back, “Mommy, could you please get me a drink?” And wait for a rephrasing from them.
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amother




Heather
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 10:50 am
jd1212 wrote:
Try rephrasing when your children demand. “Mommy, get me a drink!”

You say back, “Mommy, could you please get me a drink?” And wait for a rephrasing from them.

Forget it. You'll never get a rephrasing from a PANS kid.
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Not_in_my_town




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 11:22 am
Kids are one piece of yetzor hara. Bad behavior is EXPECTED. But it shouldn't remain that way.
Our job is to bring out our childrens' potentials.

Aside from modeling good behavior, you need to SPEAK to them.
Tell them what good behavior is and why it is important. Not in a preaching way, but in a parenting, explanatory way. Tell them how important they are to Hashem's plan and how much potential they have inside.

I've had some really explosive kids who I really thought would just be monster-ish for their whole lives... but with the investment of time and love and effective communication about their own capabilities, I've seen massive turn arounds. And yes, boundaries. They need to know they can't get everything they want. And that's okay. It's okay to be disappointed sometimes.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 5:17 pm
Thanks for the hope ladies.
I'm so overwhelmed by what I created, but I must do what it takes to make it right.
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 5:28 pm
Not_in_my_town wrote:
Kids are one piece of yetzor hara. Bad behavior is EXPECTED. But it shouldn't remain that way.
Our job is to bring out our childrens' potentials.

Aside from modeling good behavior, you need to SPEAK to them.
Tell them what good behavior is and why it is important. Not in a preaching way, but in a parenting, explanatory way. Tell them how important they are to Hashem's plan and how much potential they have inside.

I've had some really explosive kids who I really thought would just be monster-ish for their whole lives... but with the investment of time and love and effective communication about their own capabilities, I've seen massive turn arounds. And yes, boundaries. They need to know they can't get everything they want. And that's okay. It's okay to be disappointed sometimes.


Wow, this is such a sad first sentence. Yes, I'm aware of what chazal say regarding yetzer hara and yetzer hatov. But please see your children as more than this. They aren't only walking yetzer haras with potential. They have innate goodness that is apparent from the moment they are born.
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Not_in_my_town




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 5:35 pm
amother [ Honeydew ] wrote:
Wow, this is such a sad first sentence. Yes, I'm aware of what chazal say regarding yetzer hara and yetzer hatov. But please see your children as more than this. They aren't only walking yetzer haras with potential. They have innate goodness that is apparent from the moment they are born.


Clearly you don't understand what I mean. It's not sad at all. It's just reality.

Yes, children are naturally drawn toward thinking only of themselves and their needs. That is normal and to be expected.

And guess what? They can stay in that state their entire lives if they don't learn that we are here to go beyond ourselves. I know far too many people who stay babies their entire lives, concerned only with their own pleasures and needs.

Yes, children are governed by their nefesh habahemis, which often kicks in, causing them to do things that aren't acceptable. But each human is so ripe with potential -- and yes, goodness, as you said -- from even before birth. Our job is to draw out that potential, to lovingly stretch our children to become more than they would be without proper chinuch.
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amother




Honeydew
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 5:39 pm
Well, I disagree. My kids are not "one piece of yetzer hara." They are incredible people who are constantly evolving, as we all are. I don't need to draw out their potential or their goodness, it's clearly there for all to see. I need to make sure I don't squash it. And yes, correct them when they need correction. But that's not the main part of my job.
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Not_in_my_town




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Aug 14 2022, 5:48 pm
Alright, Honeydew, I'll let you have the last word. Wink
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MyUsername




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 15 2022, 7:03 am
It can be done!

Important keys are clear rules and boundaries, consequences (good and bad), communication, and above all else consistency. Also, if you have multiple children, even well behaved ones, you should apply whatever you do to all of them - household rules are for everyone and avoid bad feelings about one person being singled out for better or for worse. So here is a really long post with some specific guidance that helped me.

First, sit down (with your husband if are married - a united front is critical) and decide what boundaries are needed. They should clear, simple, and specific, For example:
- all requests need to include a please and be in a polite tone of voice (more specific than 'ask nicely', but model tones of voice so it is clear what polite means)
- no shouting or namecalling (more specific than 'don't be disrespectful', which means different things to different people)
- If I say no to something, you may not ask for that something more than 3 times that day.
Etc. Until you have made a concrete list of good/bad behavior rules for your home

Then sit down with your children (all of them if you have mkre than one kid) and tell them there is going to be a change in the house for everyone's behavior. Tell them the new rules - they should be clear and simple. For each rule, state the consequences. E.g., the rule is to say please and use a polite voice when making a request, the consequence if you don't do this is that you will not get what you asked for until you correct your request. Or you must not shout or speak meanly to others with insults, the consequence for shouting/insults is that you will not be allowed to be with others for x minutes and can go to your room to calm down until you can spesk nicely. Or if you ask me something and I say no and you continue to ask more than 3 times then the consequence is that you will not be allowed to be with me for x minutes and can go to a different room from me until you are teady to talk about other things or I will go to my room for x minutes. Consequences should be relevant to the 'crime' - they aren't punishments but a result - if you can't be nice to someone, you shouldn't be with them until.you can be nice; if you can't ask nicely or do things for yourself, you dont get what you want. Make everything very clear and simple and even print it out if it helps them or you (a rule shouldn't be more than a line or it is probably too complicated). Then you need to follow through - every single time. Parenting is just as much training ourselves as our kids. Any time you don't follow through, the child will behave worse the next time since they think there is room to believe they can get away with not following the rules since. So don't be afraid to say no and follow through. You (and your husband if you have) need to (both) carry things out consistently.

In parallel, you should tell them positive rules of the house and have reward charts for good behavior. Tell all your children not only what bad behavior is unacceptable, but what good behavior you love to see, and there will be positive consequences for that as well. Be clear as to what the behavior is and what the reward will be - start small. E.g., if for the whole morning before school you don't fight with anyone, then you can get a star on the chart or some sort of small reward. After a few days of success for just one day, make it a week before a reward, or that if they get a 10 stars they can get a reward. And before you say older kids think prize charts are dumb, we use them with my kid 9+, and my parents used them with me as a teenager - so even if they say they are dumb, do them anyway - you want to show positive consequnces and not just negative ones, and your kids will enjoy the positive consequences anyway. As for the rewards themselves, if you child is spoiled, rewards should not be food treats or toys etc. Rewards should be quality time and explain why - since you behaved nicely to others, the reward is extra nice time with another person. For a small reward (e.g., if your kid does soemthing for a day or two), you can do something short like a 15 minute tea time together, a nice walk around the block, 10 minures of cuddling on the couch under a cozy blanket, etc. For a big reward (e.g., after a week or month or 15 stars of good behavior) you can do a longer 1-2 hour outing - this doesn't need to cost money, it could be a hike in nature, a free museum, etc. Again, you (and your husband if you have) need to (both) carry things out consistently

However, sounds like there is a secondary challenge here, which is your child's ability to handle disappointment or not having their needs met in the way they want. Some kids will master this on their own once you put in clear boundaries (with some time and patience), and some kids need extra help learning how to handle their feelings. I recommend, when things are calm, talking with your kids (even all together if you have more than one kid, as maybe they can give each other ideas) - asking what feelings they have a hard time with and how they think they can help themselves. I always like to ask them first, soemtimes they have better ideas for themselves or are more likely to try their own suggestions than mine. Then, I suggest some things to help deal with feeling: we have bottles of glitter water which you can watch to help yourself calm down (surprisingly helpful), explain when they are sent to another room as a consequence it isn't a punishment but an opportunity to calm themselves and they can read or play or listen to music or draw a picture to move themselves to a calmer feeling. I teach them deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques (fot these, you can get a kid friendly book such as Sitting Still Like a Frog and practice when they aren't upset). I show them what creative outlets they can use when upset - write in a journal, play music or just bang on an instrument if you have, draw or paint, sing a song they like, etc. All of these can take a while to sink in enough for them to be willing to do these things when upset, but just be patient and keep practicing and reminding when they aren't upset and eventually they will turn to some coping mechanism they learned when actually upset. But this part is hard for us as parents because it is ridiculously hard to watch our children feel bad, so remember to reassure yourself that you can handle when your child feels bad and it won't last forever (the above tactics may work for you too when your kid is screaming their head off).

I recommend you use parenting books to guide you on how to do all the above dscipline, consequences, kids' feelings, effectively (let the professionals help you to not only some random mom on imamother). Books that have hekped me in no particular order:
- Parent effectiveness training PET (really great book to help train yourself as a better parent and teach your kids to help solve their own problems better),
- How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk (excellent book about effective communication to and with your kids and getting them to do what they're asked),
- 1-2-3 Magic (short book with a simple structured but not harsh discipline system for ages 2-12),
- 5 Love Languages of Children (will help you understand what makes your child feel the most loved and will help you design appropriate rewards for them as well as general ways to be affectionate how they need),
-The Miriam Adahan Handbook: Living With Kids Parents at Their Best (short book written by a frum woman professional with amazing strategies in discipline and helping children with their feelings),
- Raising your spirited child (for dealing with kids who are intense emotionally).
I'm sure there are others, these are my favorites that have helped me the most, but you don't have to read all of them or like the ones I do.

I also like the Ted Talk How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children by Lael Stone, on youtube. This can just help in general for you (and teach your children) to relate to their emotions in a healthy way.

Lastly know up front that it may seem to be getting worse before it gets better. But don't let it discourage you if you start imposing boundaries and things get worse - it is a normal part of the process, as the child doesn't usually want to agree to new boundaries and will push back and things may seem worse than before. But it is temporary and that doesn't mean it isn't working (sometimes it means it is really working!). And things will get better and your children will improve and your house will be calmer. Just give it time and patientce and pat yourself on the back every time you manage to do well.

You can do it, good luck!
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amother




Latte
 

Post Mon, Aug 15 2022, 9:24 am
Not_in_my_town wrote:
Clearly you don't understand what I mean. It's not sad at all. It's just reality.

Yes, children are naturally drawn toward thinking only of themselves and their needs. That is normal and to be expected.

And guess what? They can stay in that state their entire lives if they don't learn that we are here to go beyond ourselves. I know far too many people who stay babies their entire lives, concerned only with their own pleasures and needs.

Yes, children are governed by their nefesh habahemis, which often kicks in, causing them to do things that aren't acceptable. But each human is so ripe with potential -- and yes, goodness, as you said -- from even before birth. Our job is to draw out that potential, to lovingly stretch our children to become more than they would be without proper chinuch.
You mean that they are naturally egocentric, and that’s because it’s necessary for their survival.

Calling it yetzer horah is derogatory even if you mean something else.
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amother




Latte
 

Post Mon, Aug 15 2022, 9:27 am
OP I think it’s theoretically possible to start enforcing boundaries and adjust expectations at any age but you need to make sure they are developmentally ready for it, and that has less to do with their actual age as much as with where their brain is at. So if you couldn’t enforce these things because they couldn’t handle it, just make sure it’s reasonable to expect it of them now. If your children have any kind of brain disability, diagnosed or otherwise, this behavior wouldn’t necessarily be considered spoiled, and would need a brain centered approach for it to work.
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