Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child?! #DadChat Post Script by @Faryna

Category: #DadChat

Are parents spoiling their kids? Are you? Am I?

That’s what Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan on Twitter) is asking. He asks himself in last week’s weekly column, Entitled. Last Thursday, Bruce and co-hosts Charlie (@HowToBeADad) AND Andy (@betadad) asked the big questions at #Dadchat.

Do you spoil your kid(s)?

Why do you spoil your kid(s)?

How do you teach kid(s) otherwise?


Every parent has strong and mixed feelings about these questions. Does every parent have good answers? Hand in hand with the feelings, there are concerns, fears and doubts. Perhaps, the problem is that we all have different pieces to the same puzzle.

All at #DadChat seem to agree that there should be no limit to the affection, empathy, and love that we give to our children. No one underestimates the importance of love. But love is not just a feeling, it is also a responsibility. As parents we have a responsibility to protect them, feed them, keep them warm, and interact with the world.

We must also prepare our children to survive, thrive, and love in the world as it is. And, perhaps, also as it should be.

But we may sometimes get our priorities backwards – it happens to the best of us. We get focused on our children’s immediate affections for us and their immediate approval of us (or lack thereof). We all know, however, getting stuck in that rut is a lose-lose situation.

Our children need heroes, leaders, teachers and -yes – they need parents that can be all of it.

The transcript of this #dadchat is here:

Snips and Bites from the Dadchat

The tweets listed below only represent a fraction of the chat and participants. See the transcript for the complete record of this epic chat.

Do you spoil your kid(s)?

Ted Coine (@tedcoine):

Have we spoiled our kids?

Sharon Greenthal (@sharongreenthal):

…do you think my son is spoiled if I did 12 loads of his laundry after he got home from college on Monday?

Scott Hanley (@scotthanley):

A lot of mistakes made by parents ascertaining real need from real want for their children w/o mutual conversation.

Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan):

NO one is the Best Parent – but everyone can try their best!

Ashlee (@ashleebenest):

I spoil both of boys with lots of kisses and hugs.

Charlie (@HowToBeADad):

First off, let me say that I don’t believe affection can spoil kids. Period.

Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan):

The right way to parent is to admit you know nothing!

Charlie (@HowToBeADad):

There seems to be a difference between affection and propitiation.

Vincent Daly (@CuteMonsterDad):

It’s not difficult to spoil a child. In fact, it comes quite naturrally.

Kim Tracy Prince (@kimtracyprince):

When I hear the chores my grandfather did during the depression, I DO think my kids are spoiled!

Phil & John (@dadvsspawn):

Isn’t it more a case of who hasn’t spoiled their kids?

Why do you spoil your kid(s)?

Andy (@betadad):

I think the topic is “Attachment Parenting+The Obama Welfare State=Worthless, Entitled Children.”

Chris (@CanadianDadBlog):

I’m pretty good at saying no, but it’s so easy to say Yes! You have to choose your battles with kids.

Curtis Silver (@cebsilver):

I find myself not saying yes, but saying fuck it.

Jack (@MunkayJacked):

Can’t say I really have or at least try not to.

Sharon Greenthal (@sharongreenthal):

I’m still learning and mine are 20&22

Nakia (@nakiasideas):

Mothers Day is coming up! Seems unfair to make us Moms feel bad! ;(

Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan):

Who relaxes consequences when they make you feel bad for them?

Sonya (@Sonya_LeanOnUs):

Hmm I try not to but it does happen.

Lisa (@LisaFromMT):

I am definitely the one that gives a little room on the rules.

Angie Mozilo (@azmomofmanyhats):

Ug… entitlement…

R. Wiebe (@eduk8u):

I want to know what spoiled entails!? What is diff between better life and silver spoon spoiled?

Chris (@CanadianDadBlog):

Kids have that face they use to convince you that you should cave in to them. It’s my Kryptonite!

Joe Brazier (@ManvDadhood)

Definition of spoiled: no concept of consequences because they’ve only been rewarded and had excuses made for them.

How do you teach kid(s) otherwise?

Charlie (@HowToBeADad):

I think we can define spoiled a few ways. 1st, let’s take it in terms of exchange. & the principles of being a contributing member.

Mimi Baker (@MimiBakerMN):

My kids are part of the family and should help out for that very reason. This is their home, too!

Brandie McCallum (@lttlewys):

My parents still say “Spare the Rod, Spoil the child.”

Jack (@MunkayJacked):

My kid is only 2. I try teach her the fundementals. Putting away toys etc. I am lucky I really do have a great kid.

Meg Rosker (@meganrosker):

… our 5 and 7 y.o. have chores. If they don’t do them, they don’t get their allowance.

Leilan McNally (@LeilanMcNally):

Trial and Error. That’s the only way to fly. I’m not perfect. I try.

Charlie (@HowToBeADad):

learning someone needs to contribute as much or more than the group gives to them and they find more self esteem, no?

DadCentric (@DadCentric)

Every June, Ted Nugent leaves his kids in the Alaskan wilderness for a week, armed only with their wits and a knife.

Greg Ortbach (@GregOrtbach)

In this corner we have the enforcer, and in this corner weighing in at 40 lbs, the negotiator… DING!

Jack (@MunkayJacked):

Every year I sit with my daughter and we pack up unusued toys and donate at Christmas time to needy kids.

Meg Rosker (@meganrosker):

STUFF is a huge part of the problem.I think most families could cut the toys in half

Abbie (@allthatmakesyou):

I think as long as we are doing the best that we can in the moment and under the circumstances then that is what counts

Scott Hanley (@scotthanley):

Contribution, especially meaningful from our children, indicates that they are connected & thinking, not spoiled.

Michael Voogd (@VoogDesigns):

Right now my daugher is emptying the dishwasher…

Charlie (@HowToBeADad):

Children love to help or be a part of things. We have to let them contribute or get their help, then reward it.

Related Blog Posts

Discipline & Behavior by Dr. Sears

A Dad’s Letter to His 18-Year-Old Son (Better Men Blog)

Entitled by Bruce Sallan

The Benefits of Risk in Children’s Play by Meg Rosker

An Ironic Father-Son Story by Bruce Sallan

Childproofing Level: Epic by Charlie

Changing Your Grip by Scott Hanley

Related Books

The Dad Connection by Scott Hanley

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Greenberg and Hayden

Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child by Robert Mac Kenzie

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber and Mazlish

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall


Stan Faryna

An American living in Bucharest, Romania, Stan Faryna searches for better questions about who we are, what we’re doing, and how we shall better know ourselves and love others. He hopes for answers that fill the heart, lift it up, and substantiate the dignity of the human person.

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