What do you refuse to spoil yourself

Thinking: Satisfying needs promptly? I don't want a tyrant!

Two words seem like a red rag for parents these days "spoil" and "tyrant". There is a great fear of spoiling their children too much and, as a result, of having a tyrant at home. Parents often no longer follow their own Intuitions, but let yourself be too much of thoughts and External perspectives conduct. The more you are in public, the sooner.

You may sense that your 4 year old wants to be fed right now because it is desire for closeness and care. But they refuse to feed it because you don't want to spoil it, not that it then NEVER would eat more himself and then the child thinks EVERYTHING to be able to do with them or they refuse to be afraid of what other people would think of them.

Children want to become independent

It is often forgotten that children are becoming independent want, and more likely if you have one secure base to have. Again and again a child finds himself in a situation in which he wants to check again whether this basis is still there Duration (e.g. if the child starts kindergarten or school or if a sibling is born). In addition, in such cases a moment is often taken to find out Derivations for an unknown future to make and then this to put absolutely: If I feed the child ONCE, it will NEVER eat alone.

Self-esteem and self-esteem

Promptly satisfying a baby's needs means making the child feel precious to be. With this self-esteem as a basis, the child gains confidence in himself and his abilities and will tackle the next development steps, it will set itself tasks, look for solutions, have successes and failures, in short: discover the world for yourself. And, what is most important: it will do all of this with the good feeling of knowing that there is someone who unconditionally loves, supports and takes care of it if something should not work out. You can go through life with confidence.

needs and wishes

Babies and children have certain basic needsthat they express and want their parents to satisfy: closeness, love, care, care, trust in them, etc. In addition to needs, they also have Wishesthat they send to the parents: an ice cream, a new sweater, permission to go to a party, etc.

Wishes can also be an expression of a need - and this is where it starts to get interesting. For example, if a child wants a new sweater, the need for approval from his friends may be the reason. The desire to sleep in the parents' bed can be an expression of the need to be close, etc. If, for whatever reason, you cannot fulfill a wish, then try to satisfy the underlying need anyway. You don't want the child to sleep in your bed? For example, offer to sleep with the child or to cuddle extensively when they fall asleep. If you don't want to buy a new sweater again, talk to your child about whether they will only really be recognized if they constantly wear new clothes.

It's not about not being able to fulfill your children's wishes - but a child can experience that Desires also remain unfulfilled. You can then guide your child to deal with this experience and the associated feelings.

At this point a suitable quote from a book by Alfie Kohn: "Fear of incompetence leads some parents to indulge their children's demands, which of course is very different from meeting their needs and working with them to solve problems."(Alfie Kohn 2013, p. 129)

The problem is not the prompt satisfaction of needs, but the constant fulfillment of wishes without noticing the needs of the child. Fulfilling wishes without satisfying their needs does not lead to “relief” of the child, but only to even more pressing expressions of “wishes” - or rather, needs that are expressed through wishes.

However, the needs of a child always have to be satisfied (although with increasing age children are quite willing to wait a little) - this deepens the relationship with the child and has nothing to do with pampering. It causes children to become feel accepted and loved and not because they want to control and manipulate the parents.


Kohn, Alfie: Love and Independence. The art of unconditional parenting, beyond reward and punishment. Arbor Publishing 2013.

Photo: emma freeman portraits CC BY 2.0

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