Spoiled Children

To “spoil” a child does not refer to treating the child well. To spoil someone means to create a sense of entitlement where none exists. To spoil a child means to create and maintain the impression in a child that he/she is entitled to whatever he or she wants, whenever he or she needs it, right up to young adulthood and even beyond. If you treat a young person well, and this young person understands that the treatment is rationally deserved, and why — well, then, you’re not spoiling anyone. Treating someone well, by the way, ought to be done in the spirit of the attitude, “This person deserves it and I like doing it.” Anything less than that is a red flag for trouble, because it means you’re doing it out of a sense of rewarding unearned entitlement. I know that this flies in the face of conventional wisdom which posits, “Unconditional love is the only way to raise a child.” All I can say in reply is that the philosophy of unconditional love was the dominant attitude of American parents for decades after WW II, up through and including the present. And look at what happened to America.