What Really Spoils Children

When you give to your children abundantly, from a place of pure love, they learn generosity, love and kindness. When you give to your children from a place of guilt, shame or fear, children learn to buy “love”. This is why people think that giving to children will “spoil” them. When a parent doesn’t know how to give love freely, they use “things” outside of themselves to replace loving, authentic connection. All beings “spoil” without giving and receiving real love, from the heart.

Somehow, in the evolution of humanity, we lost our way. We were told only bad will come if we give our children an abundant life. Those who were used as the example of this idea seemed to have “bad results” from giving “things” to their children. However, the examples were set for us from those who didn’t give true, compassionate, connection-based, LOVE to their children. Instead, they replaced *presence* with presents… They bought their kids things when they couldn’t be there, through replacing themselves with “things” in their child’s need for connection. When a parent buys their child’s love, it isn’t really love their are buying. It is space and time apart from their child, and that is the opposite of love. The child is confused with this dynamic and begins to learn that love isn’t an emotional feeling, it is a material experience. The warping of the human condition and the cycle of dysfunction begins when a parent does this and the idea of *giving* to our children is observed and judged through this common, dysfunctional example. Parents become fearful of giving their children an abundant life and therefor the children lose out on both connection, presence and tools for their passions and joy. Life becomes very bleak and empty and the child suffers, on many levels.

Giving in itself isn’t what “spoils” children. It isn’t through receiving toys or trips or new clothes that a child learns to expect that, selfishly. Buying your children those things as tools for their growth and passions is healthy and natural and models compassion, love and generosity. The important difference between the two examples is the INTENT in the giving. One replaces real love and one enhances it. One “spoils” (which means it hurts the child) and one enhances and expands the relationship and the individual.  It is extremely important to understand the difference on the Radical Unschooling path. Through love and connection there is no way to ever harm or create negativity in a child who has all of their needs met authentically through true love by their parent.

Has anyone ever told you that because you give abundantly to your children, you would “spoil” them? Were you gifted things to replace love, as a child? I’d love to hear your experience, so please share in the comments section below. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Peace & Love, Dayna


  1. Forest Eastwood says:

    I had both love and “things”.
    My mother was there, cooked delicious food, did not criticize me.
    She cleaned my room.
    We had little money, but an aunt did and she bought me toys and clothing and took me to restaurants.
    I learned as an adult, that my cousins thought me spoiled.
    I am not certain why, as I liked them all.
    I reared my 3 biological children with no limits on food choices, bought them what I could afford, and cleaned their rooms. Now, my unschooling teen (adopted from Cambodia when she was three) enjoys the same.
    I owe my deep connection to all of them, as well as my grandchildren, to my mother’s love.

  2. Family members and friends have questioned why I spend so much time and energy doing things that they see having little or no value. These things include cooking nutritious meals, being very health conscious in other aspects, breastfeeding, researching many aspects of health and parenting, including my kids in conversations and decisions. There is little that I can say to make them understand and so I hold onto what Gandhi has said,” all I can do is show them a better way”. And so as I go about my daily actions, humbly aware that others can simply learn from the proof that what I do works, I am comfortable and confident in myself and my kids. Those who have eyes to see will see. There is nothing that can ever replace the true love we have to give our kids. When you think it, believe it and do it…you shine 🙂 What I find interesting about one such encounter with my aunt’s and cousins is that they seem to believe it’s OK to let a baby cry it out and not hold them too much but yet when the child gets older- they buy them all kinds of material things. It seems the focus comes down to values and specifically the value of time. I’ve heard many people say ” I don’t have time” in reference to aspects of raising kids. I say, all we have is time…as time is a proven illusion existing only in our collective mind so that we may heal our separation and return to our source.

  3. @Jessie I love your comment.Especially your view on time.This is so true.

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