Home parenting Fulfilling your child’s every wish – yes or no?

Fulfilling your child’s every wish – yes or no?

by ines.wurbs@icloud.com

Of course, as parents, we only want the best for our children. We want to read their every wish from their lips and fulfill them immediately. I’ve often found myself googling a toy just because my daughter showed interest.

However, fulfilling many wishes is not the best thing we can do for our children. A better alternative is an upbringing where children can explore their boundaries, learn empathy, and the social skills they need to become responsible and strong adults.

Is it wrong to fulfill all the demands of your child?

If it was up to our hearts, we would probably all say yes. But if we look at the question rationally, there are a few points against it:

  • In this way, our children do not learn to put off their wishes.
  • Children practice being much less patient.
  • Our children become very self-centered as a result. This makes them more inclined to believe that everything revolves around them and their desires.
  • They learn less to deal with frustration
  • Gifts are seen as every day and lose their appeal of the special
  • As a result, our children tend to attach much greater importance to material things than, for example, social interactions, i.e. playing with friends.

Can you spoil a child too much?

Yes, of course. The main thing here is that we want to fulfill every wish of our children and achieve that our children are happy. Fulfilling our children’s wishes is important and also nice for us. However, we can of course overdo it.

Children need experiences. For example, they have to learn to tolerate frustration or to postpone needs and desires. This is essential for their development. So, our children should also gain experience in how to deal with situations in which they may not feel completely comfortable, angry, or disappointed. This is part of the development and requires a lot of practice. If we spoil our children too much and fulfill every wish that we read from their lips, the development of many skills is hindered and even endangered. 

If you need additional information on what to do if your child doesn’t like presents, here are a few tips for you.

“A child should learn to control instincts. Giving it the freedom to follow all its impulses without restriction is impossible. So, education has to find its way between the Scylla of permissiveness and the Charybdis of failure.”Sigmund Freud

What causes a child to be spoiled?

To pamper someone means:

  • To accustom a person to have his every wish fulfilled by over-caring and over-indulgence in a manner detrimental to him
  • ensure that someone feels comfortable through special attention and devotion.

It is difficult to set a limit when it is too much. However, there are some symptoms, as listed below, that should make you prick up your ears and perhaps question the handling of wish fulfillment.

In general, it is also good for our children if we fulfill their wishes. It strengthens the parent-child bond, creates positive experiences, and we give our children joy and fun. Everything is essential in the life of our children. But of course, there comes a point when the same behavior has more worse than good effects on our children. These have already been described in the first point. But now let’s turn to the signs our children may show when we’ve passed this point:

What are the signs of a spoiled child?

Here I have listed possible signs for you that you can observe in yourself and your child and indicate that you may be spoiling your child too much.

  • Your child dislikes gifts
  • Your child finds it difficult to formulate wishes
  • Your child regularly gets angry or weeps when they don’t get something
  • Your child doesn’t ask if he/she can choose something, they just take it (from the age of 3 to 4 years)
  • Your child often does not see that the wish will only be fulfilled on a specific occasion and becomes angry or sad
  • You see that your child is playing with something and immediately look for ways to expand your child’s range of games
  • If your child expresses a wish, do not think long and ponder, but rather quickly start to see when and how it is possible for your child to fulfill the wish.
  • Your child is rarely satisfied with anything
  • Your child hardly helps you and others
  • Your child demands material rewards from you and others

How to deal with a spoiled child?

We have already highlighted the fact that it can have negative effects on your child. Of course, you can also actively do something about it if you have the feeling that you have spoiled your child too much. Here are my tips: 

Explain your plan to your child

Changing what is taken for granted requires a lot of patience and perseverance on both sides. Explain to your child what you intend to do and why you need to change something together. Your child will notice that something is different anyway, so it’s good to explain your motivations and thoughts to your child as well.

Set goals

Think about what exactly you want to change and how you intend to do it. Do you perhaps want to reduce gifts, or do you no longer want to take as much from your child? It doesn’t matter what, it’s important to have concrete thoughts and to think about very precise goals and paths. The more specific, the more successful you will be.

Get others on board

Of course, it is helpful if you do not implement the plan to any longer spoil your child alone, but together with your partner, grandparents, and all of your child’s important caregivers. Explain your project to them too and try to convince them of the necessity. Explain to them the negative consequences spoiling your child can have.

Make rules

It is usually very helpful if you set up rules that everyone involved should adhere to as best they can. These rules should define exactly what will be done from now on when dealing with gifts and your child’s independence. But also when it is okay to make an exception. And essential in relation to independence, what your child can do on their own and what not yet.

Make happiness tangible

I can also advise you to keep a gratitude diary with your child. It is a wonderful way to go over the day with your child in the evening and to emphasize the good things in it. It is best to do this together, no matter how old your child is. In this way, you can also exchange ideas and perhaps offer your child different perspectives or alternative solutions for difficult situations. You can make this kind of diary with children from 2-3 years, of course only with your support.

Practice important skills

Especially if you have taken a lot off your child’s shoulders and done for them up to now, your child may need to catch up on some skills and abilities. This cannot be done overnight. You should specifically practice these deficits with your child. So, for example, if your child can not yet close the jacket because you have always done it, then it is time to practice when your child is already around 4 years old.

But even if your child was used to getting almost everything, there are some skills that need to be caught up and practiced. For example, patience or frustration tolerance. I have an article of my own on the subject of patience that might interest you.

But general tips on how to strengthen your child could also be helpful for you here. 


Driven by what is best for our children and to fulfill as many of their wishes as possible, we parents often go beyond our own limits without really noticing it. Fulfilling children’s wishes is important and beautiful for us and our children. Nevertheless, it’s important to know the limits and to be aware of when it’s too much.

It can happen that we have overshot our goal, and have spoiled our children too much. Especially in cooperation with other important people in the life of our children. But it is never too late to change something and to question your own actions and correct them if necessary. As described above, if we cross the line too often, it also has strong disadvantages for the development of our children and us as parents.

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