Unspoil Your Child Fast

Oh, well, you say, my child is not spoiled.  I don’t buy a lot of toys or let him eat too much candy or watch too much TV.  If you’re like me, you don’t want to think of your child as spoiled.  It’s a loaded term and comes with connotations of dreadfulness.  We would never spoil our kids,right?


  • Do you ever make excuses for your child?  He didn’t sleep well last night.  He didn’t get enough protein at breakfast. 
  • Do you find yourself nagging or explaining yourself over and over again?  Did you hear me?  I have asked you a hundred times to pick up your shoes!  
  • Do you ever make idle threats?  If y’all don’t stop fighting we are not going to the play date.  If you don’t stop whining we will not ever have dessert ever again!


Perhaps this is just me.  I don’t think I always had these problems, but as my kids get older, I find them harder to keep up with, and while we don’t deal with some of the more common definitions of spoiling, there are others we have in spades.

Whether you have a serious spoiling issue on your hands or just need some pointers on how to keep nascent spoilage under control, I think most parents would find How to Unspoil Your Child Fast: A Speedy, Complete Guide to Contented Children and Happy Parents a useful resource.

I found some helpful reminders in the book about being consistent, thinking before I speak, and preventing whining, but a section I thought was especially illuminating was the discussion of how to help children have strong self-esteem by helping them to become competent rather than by lavishing random praise.  I was really challenged to think through the times when I just do something myself because it’s faster or easier, rather than taking the time to instruct a child on how to clean up a particular mess or do a particular task.  It’s not always practical to do that, but as my children get older I can increasingly delegate tasks to them and help to build up their skills in a way that will have a positive impact on them and give them tools that will help them navigate other difficult situations.

Hopefully you don’t have seriously spoiled kids, but I  would venture to guess that they aren’t perfect.  If you’re a parent, I’d bet you’d get something out of How to Unspoil Your Child Fast–I find it so helpful to read a variety of parenting books, and usually find I get enough out of them to make them worthwhile, even if I can’t always apply the whole system.

How do you define “spoiled” when it comes to kids?  This book really widened my definition of the term, which isn’t a big deal in terms of vocabulary but was helpful in giving me a different perspective on tools to deal with other problems.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

One thought on “Unspoil Your Child Fast

  1. Thank you so much for reviewing this book, it is the exact topic I’ve been looking for. I used to think our kids were not spoiled, but recently came to realize they are by having the same question and answer time with myself that you mentioned above. They still have things to do on their own – make beds, get dressed, take dishes to the kitchen after a meal, put clothes away, etc. – but they also are starting to see some privileges as rights – dessert, movie after supper, “new” or previously lost toys from the basement, trying to have a debate/compromise or asking ‘why’ when told to do something, etc.

    I actually stopped and thought before I spoke these words recently, right from the beginning of a tantrum, “If you don’t stay in your bed for a nap, then we aren’t going to soccer tonight. It doesn’t even matter that it is picture night. Cranky, disobedient kids don’t get to go to soccer.” It was a big threat and one the child thankfully headed or else I would have felt like a horrible mom for them missing their first ever team picture. But like I said, obedience was more important than a picture. I wish I would stop and think more often before speaking instruction or ‘threats’ to the kids.

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