(A series on different forms of child abuse, by LOVNSVG)
As parents we may not think that over indulgence can be a form of child abuse but it is, and it is the most insidious form of child abuse. What is the definition of child abuse? Child abuse is an act, or failure to act on behalf of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child, or which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm.
It is parent’s primary job to prepare their children for how the world really works. In the real world, you don’t always get what you want. You will better be able to deal with challenges as an adult if you have experienced them as a child.
If your parent/child relationship is based on material goods, your child would not have the chance to experience unconditional love.
Be a good role model because we are not the only influence in a child’s life so parents you better be the best one.
What does taking care of your children really mean? Are you providing for your child emotionally and spiritually? Material goods are not going to form a bond with your child instead of buying those gifts how about spending quality time together.
Don’t let your guilt get in the way of proper parenting. Your job as a parent is not about feeling good about giving your child everything. Don’t teach your child that they will get everything by manipulation, pouting, screaming and by guilt induction. Teaching your child to succeed in school and how life would be in the real world is proper parenting.
Make sure your children are not defining themselves by what they wear or what they drive, sit down and speak with them about what really defines their worth, their intelligence, their giving, their creative side and their work ethic.
Understand “intrinsic” versus “extrinsic” motivation
Intrinsic motivation is when people do things because they feel proud of themselves when they do it. They feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Extrinsic motivation is when someone does something because of external motivation. For example, they will receive money, a toy or privilege if they do the task. If you are always rewarding your child with material things, he/she will never learn how to motivate themselves with internal rewards like pride. They also will never learn to value things because there are so many things and nothing is special.
Help your child set goals. Teach him or her that striving to have nice things if he/she understands how much hard work it takes to afford that, then doesn’t base his or her worth on these things.
As parents you should try to bring about positive individuals that can contribute and uplift society, so let us work together for the future of our world, our children.(LOVNSVG is a nonprofit organization that is working for the benefit of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.)