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How to Deal With A Spoiled Child?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 29, 2018

Question

My son is 4 years old. He doesn’t go to a nursery. He wants whatever someone else has, no matter what it is, and refuses to share anything with anyone. He cries and screams for anything he wants and never share toys with other kids. He is my only baby. His father and me have tried to break him from this, but nothing seems to work. How to deal with this spoiled boy?

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•Enroll him in nursery school, at least part-time.  As he has no siblings this experience could be beneficial and provide him with structure, social skills as well as the opportunity to make new friends.

•At home, please do set up tighter boundaries for his behaviors and try to have his time structured with activities.

As far as his crying and screaming when he can’t get his own way, explain to him this is not accepted and remove him from the situation until he can act appropriately.


As salamu alaykum,

I’m sorry to hear what you are going through with your son.  As an only child, it sounds like he has not been socialized enough at this point to learn skills like sharing, asking for things in an appropriate manner as well as his inappropriate reactions such as crying and screaming when he can’t get what he wants. This is evident by his behavior with other children. While some if this is typical for his developmental age, part of it lies upon you and your husband!

As he is an only child, I am sure he is well loved and possibly catered to. This is most common with first children and only children.  As parents, we want to ensure our child is happy and well adjusted. However, often times in trying to secure this in our child we overlook the obvious-we have spoiled our child and we are letting the child run us!

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you and your husband sit down and talk.  Agree among yourselves how your parenting will now change insha’Allah to be more conducive for not only his developmental age but for his future development as well. I would kindly suggest that you do enroll him in nursery school, at least part-time. As he has no siblings this experience could be beneficial insha’Allah and provide him with structure, social skills as well as the opportunity to make new friends.  It may be difficult for a while as he may be resistant, however, after time he should adjust.


Check out this counseling answer:


At home, please do set up tighter boundaries for his behaviors and try to have his time structured with activities.  Meal time, playtime,  family time as well as bedtime should occur around the same time everyday insha’Allah. By providing a structured day you are teaching him what is expected from him and when. You are also instilling a sense of responsibility and feelings of security. When a child knows what is expected of him/her and around what time, they tend to function better at handling any stressors that come with day to day living.

As far as his crying and screaming when he can’t get his own way, explain to him this is not accepted and remove him from the situation until he can act appropriately. Do not give in to him as this only reinforces his negative behaviors.  If he has hurt someone or grabbed a toy, tell him to apologize. You may have to monitor his interaction with other children and intervene with modeling behaviors to show him the proper way to share, ask for things as well as how to treat others.

Sister, it may take a while to change these behaviors but with consistency,  patience and you and your husband taking control (rather than him taking control) it can be done.  Many parents who have successfully gone through this with their young children and utilized patience, persistence as well as a more structured environment with teachable moments.

We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.

***

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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