Sutton says that a key reason parents overindulge is because of their desire to make up for time lost with their children during the year. She notes that this is particularly true for parents working to maintain a financial equilibrium who have heightened difficulty finding the time.
Sutton says, "When the holidays finally arrive, many parents fall into the trap of trying to make up for all of those missed football practices or class plays by overindulging their children. Therefore, overindulgence is about parents meeting their own needs, not meeting the needs of their children."
Another reason why parents may overindulge is because they were overindulged and are following the lessons taught by their own parents."Overindulgence is often intergenerational," says Sutton. "Parents would be well served to explore their own childhood to recall how they were parented, and reflect upon the strategies that served them best."
Once parents fall into a pattern of overindulgence, their children learn to expect and demand things. When their desires are not immediately met, tantrums ensue. This results in parents becoming distressed and turn to the easy fix, which is to give the child what he or she wants. Sutton says, "Indulging a child is an easy strategy to use, especially because it is quite effective (for short periods of time)." However, putting a temporary bandage over a lingering issue is not going to solve the problem.
How can overindulgent behavior be changed? >>