You have to remind yourself not to spoil the children especially when they sweet talk you. I think you have to be strict but at times you might need to be flexible as well. It depends on the circumstances. Of course, nowadays kids expect to buy something whenever they go to the shopping mall. So, you have to talk to them before you take them out and warn them otherwise they'll be upset. You have to talk to them. It's okay to buy a book or toy now and then but you can't allow them to have it every day. So talk to them before you take them out. Even though I only have one child I can't spoil him. It's quite challenging because when he goes to school, some of his friends have a lot of expensive items because their parents can afford it. Sometimes I might allow him to buy something new but not all the time. - Bor Yit Ling, mother of one boy, aged 9
I am a disciplinarian. I believe that you can love your child and instill discipline. If they're done playing with their toys, they have to pick them up and put them back. After my daughter is done with her lunch she knows she has to put her plate in the sink. It's just training. I train them so they're not spoilt and they don't expect me or someone else to pick up after them. Whenever I take my kids out I do buy them things. I give my daughter an option when we go out – either go to a toy shop or a bookshop. You have a choice. You can't have both. She has to decide which she wants. She usually chooses the bookshop. If she picks up a book that is too expensive, I'll tell her it's too expensive and ask her to choose something that is more reasonably priced. I had the benefit of having a stay-at-home mom – she didn't spoil us, we had home-cooked meals, she was with us all the time. She had a way of disciplining us. I try to do the same with my own children. - Selvi Gopal, mother of a girl and a boy aged six and two
I think I have not spoilt my elder son but I have spoilt the younger one. Being the youngest I've been giving him everything he wants. But recently since having a bit of financial constraints, I explained to my younger son that mummy is not able to get you a game every week because papa does not have a full-time job, he has a part-time job at the moment and I can only give you one game a month. I explained to him that mummy has to work hard to bring home money to pay for all the bills. He seemed to be able to understand that and he said, “Fine mom, I will just decide on one game that I like best and I'll get one a month. Will that be all right?” And I said yes. Because I have kept to my promise for the past few months, he understands we are restricting our finances. I also told him that when I have more money I will get him two games every month. So far for the past three months he has not been nagging me about it. But my elder son is different. He has always been selfless and tells me I don't need to buy him expensive things. He has told me before that sometimes he eavesdrops on mummy and papa's conversations and he knows that we are having difficulties sometimes and he is more mature. I think I'm lucky that my boys are so understanding. - Marie Cho, mother of two boys aged 8 and 12
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