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Health & Parenting

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Parents’ Potluck: Tips on Raising Healthy Kids

Top parenting tips from WebMD members.

2. Without being too severe, how can you prevent your kids from getting spoiled?

  • We limit gift-giving and insist that our daughter is gentle with her toys. We teach her that it's important to "do nice" with her books and toys so that she values them and cares for them, as opposed to feeling like they are disposable and replaceable.
    -- Manda0814
  • On the whole, I'm trying to teach my son to ask nicely, to say “please” and “thank you.” But he also needs to understand and learn that [even if] he says “please” and asks nicely, he can't always have what he asks for.
    -- kats8P
  • I don't think [my kids are spoiled.] I'm not sure it's possible to spoil twins -- you don't have the time.
    -- FunnyCoolLady
  • I don't believe in withholding things or attention from children to try to avoid "spoiling" them. In my experience, that practice can lead to adults who place too much value on material things, because they felt short-changed as children.
    -- mariesalias
  • Basically, to prevent spoiling, we set limitations and don't give in. I will let my daughter throw a huge public tantrum before giving into her demands for a toy, or candy, or whatever else it may be.
    -- sophiasmom0629
  • In my book spoiling ... isn't loving. It is an easy answer, a palliative, that avoids tougher issues and lessons. My son needs to know that in the world, as an adult,he isn't going to get everything and anything he wants just because. We are teaching him to be patient, giving, and loving. How will it turn out? Ask me in about 40 years.
    -- Iocasta

3. How do you discipline your kids?

  • Time outs. I don't like spanking. I was spanked and I resented the heck out of my parents for doing it.
    -- sahmommyof1
  • [Using humor] can break those difficult moments that could degenerate. If you can laugh, you can avoid getting angry.
  • We keep a fairly steady schedule so that our son knows what to expect. We have strong personal self-control and act as role models to teach him self-control and its value. He knows that if we say something, we follow through on it.
    -- Iocasta
  • Sometimes we just let the consequences of what our daughter is doing do the disciplining -- like if she puts her paper doll in the toilet she obviously doesn't get to play with the paper doll anymore. She's learning that every action she takes has a consequence, be it good or bad.
    -- mias_mommy1
  • We do "spank" with a swat on the thighs, but not in anger. Our son gets a warning, then is told again, and [then] we ask if he wants a spanking and count to three. We rarely get past two before he complies.
    -- sarahdear

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