How parents spoil children

Excessive pampering and protection are harmful to children

If you read your children's every wish from the nose, princes and princesses will be brought up, and a lot has been done to have raised unfit for life and undisciplined, unrealistic beings. Life will teach them better. And that will definitely be the case.

Example: Later they will not get the job they want, because they think they are entitled to it and as a result they do not even make an effort. As soon as a friend does not give them what they imagine (strong attention, for example), they are offended. They expect to get and maintain everything in life. What if life has something else in store for you?

What is the point of buying so many toys for a child that they can no longer keep track of them? A lot of toys means a lot of tidying up, which shouldn't necessarily be a favorite pastime. One can often observe the phenomenon that a child feels completely overwhelmed by the crowd and, with the best will in the world, does not know which doll to take to play with, for example. Psychologists say that too much turns out to be ballast for the soul.

The mistake should not be made, out of a guilty conscience (because you have too little time, not enough attention to the child or only a small financial cushion), to buy the child anything and everything that they want. It can be observed that in this case the demands of the child increase continuously.

If the parents then actually say “No”, the child is initially surprised (he has almost never heard this word) and then offended. "It can't be that I don't get this or that!" It has no experience of disappointment. Because of this, it will continue to grumble, get angry, and not let up. The understanding that not everything can be fulfilled is completely lacking. An adequate tolerance for frustration has not been established. Frustration never emerged that would have forced you to come to terms with it. Sometimes you see a totally depressed child.

A spoiled offspring is used to always being the center of attention. Everything revolves around this child. A preoccupation takes place only with oneself. There is no longer any room for other people and their needs. As long as everything falls into a child's lap, they don't have to make an effort. It has never learned to use its own efforts to meet its needs. Furthermore, the ability to postpone wishes was not practiced.

It has been found that every third fast food restaurant visit can be traced back to a child's request. Thirty-one percent of clothing purchases are also made by a child. One study showed that only thirty-two percent of parents did not respond to the pushing of children and these were financially well-endowed mothers and fathers! Two thirds of all parents therefore tend to compensate for other undersupplied basic needs of their daughters and sons in a material way. Unfortunately, young people consider the brand to be much more important than the quality of the goods. Therefore, they tend to sacrifice a lot of money for such things. This shows that your own value largely depends on wearing the right brand. External values ​​are overrated and at the same time internal values ​​are criminally neglected. The fact that appearances count more than being can also be seen in the increased focus on status symbols such as cell phones, weapons, piercing, tattooing, etc.

Overprotection of children

Child overprotection is very common these days. Here, the parents constantly take care of the children and want to protect them above all else. Motto: The child could fall, cut, etc.

Something unrealistic about this approach cannot be denied. After all, parents are not permanently present and it is a part of life to hurt yourself, to get hurt and to slip into a faux pas. If parents intervene prematurely in precarious situations, children do not learn to deal with dangers. It is beneficial when children resolve conflicts among themselves. As long as not with sharp objects such as knives, stones, etc. If you have to deal with it, you should leave the children to their own devices for the time being.

If you forbid them too much, they will not learn certain skills, e.g. arguing or asserting themselves. If too much is forbidden (“you are not yet allowed to drive without training wheels; you cannot make tea yet, you are not allowed to clean windows, you cannot use the computer yet”, etc.), then their development may be unnecessarily hindered. It remains to be weighed up what should be dared and what not. Of course, you cannot allow children to do something that is obviously overwhelming. The tendency to overprotect lies precisely in the fact that things are forbidden that the child could actually do.

If you ask children how they like their comrades who do everything they want (practically setting no limits), they will answer this: He's boring; you can't argue with him; I am more powerful than him (not an equal partner); one does not know what he really likes or dislikes; one does not learn to assess it correctly; I can't take him seriously because he would put up with it if I hit him and the like; I always have to be the boss and say what we want to play, which is exhausting in the long run; he acts so defenseless - I have to be careful not to take advantage of it (accidentally hurt him because he doesn't make this clear to me).


You are doing your children a disservice by clearing all the obstacles out of their way. Limits should be drawn right from the start, i.e. not every wish can and must not be met. Children find their way around life much better when they have learned that the needs of others also play a role. It is worthwhile to show your offspring that less (e.g. toys) is more. Children should be trusted to solve small difficulties and quarrels on their own. The old motto: you learn from mistakes, has not yet become obsolete. For this reason, it should be pointed out again that children are allowed to make mistakes (and there is also a sense behind it, namely, among other things, to learn to endure frustrations).


  • Prof. Dr. Peter Struck: Education for Life, Südwest Verlag, Munich 2001
  • Knaur's great educational guide, Weltbild, Augsburg, 2002
  • Cornelia Nitsch, Cornelia von Schelling: Setting boundaries for children, Mosaik-Verlag, 2001
  • Margot Käßmann: Upbringing as a Challenge, Herder Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau, 2001
  • Annemarie Pfeifer: Raising with love and consistency, Oncken Verlag, Wuppertal and Kassel, 2000
  • Andrea Ernst, Vera Herbst: Children's course book, Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Cologne 1993
  • Steve Biddulph: The Secret of Happy Children, Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Bertelsmann Club 1994
  • Beate Weymann-Reichardt: Setting clear boundaries for children, Südwest-Verlag, Munich 2003

More articles by the author here in our family handbook


Beate Weymann, qualified social pedagogue
Employee of the state of Lower Saxony
Schulstrasse 2
D - 37586 Dassel

Created on March 11, 2003, last changed on March 15, 2010