We live in a society, in the United States, with a marked overindulgence of many of our children, perhaps even the majority. Parents do not often say, “no,” and if they do, they don’t enforce it in real practice. Such children learn they can do what they want without considering other’s feelings, needs or personal space. They crave constant attention. By letting children do and say whatever they want, parents create selfish, tantrum-throwing, hyperactive, insensitive offspring. Such children will grow up to be worse in adulthood – breaking rules and laws, interpersonally aggressive and violent and having low academic achievement and substance abuse.

What we need more of is reasonable parenting. Parents need to impose guidance, discipline and limits on their children’s behaviors. This would include parents helping the child to desist from constant selfish behaviors. Parents should mean, “no,” when they say it and enforce it with time out. They should tell their child it is unacceptable behavior. Once time out is done they can talk with their child about a better way to behave in the future. This needs to be repeated every time the child acts selfishly or is out of control with his behaviors and is attention-seeking in unreasonable ways.

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