If Daddy takes delight in hearing others describe your daughter as a “daddy’s little girl,” he might be spoiling her. There are all sorts of reasons why a dad might spoil his daughter. Perhaps, he's feeling neglected -- and is seeking attention from his little girl. Or, he might simply want to give his daughter all the things he didn’t have as a child. Then, there's always the chance that he feels guilty for working too much and wants to buy gifts as a substitute for his time. Whatever the reason, spoiling your daughter can cause her grow into a rude, bossy, demanding brat, which surely isn't anyone’s intent.
1 Get Dad on the same page as you. Both of you need to commit to stop the spoiling. You don't want your daughter to think that if you say “no,” she can turn to her daddy -- who will likely say “yes.”
2 Warn Dad about caving during tantrums. Toddlers and preschoolers can quickly learn that if they don’t get what they want, all they need to do is pitch a fit to get it. Daddy needs to stick with what he says. If your daughter tells him that she wants candy she spies at the store and he tells her “no,” he needs to stick to his guns and not buy the candy -- even if she starts screaming at the top of her lungs, causing a scene. Dad should simply ignore the outburst and once she calms down, address the inappropriate behavior.
3 Encourage Dad to spend more time with his daughter. Instead of trying to create a bond by spoiling and gift giving, have Dad create a bond by doing more activities with his daughter -- or just talking to her more.
4 Encourage your daughter to do things for herself, like getting dressed -- and tell her dad to do the same. The sense of accomplishment she feels will motivate her to do more on her own. You -- and her dad -- shouldn't reward her for learning to be more independent. Explain to your honey that pride is her reward -- and that she won't learn to value her possessions if he continually showers her with gifts.
- Let your honey know that it’s OK if his daughter is unhappy with him for denying her something. She’ll get over that more quickly than she will the effects of being spoiled.
- Some dads spoil their daughters because it makes them feel good and gives them pleasure to do so. This can lead to a sense of entitlement that transfers to the preschool classroom and to play dates. Other children tend to reject spoiled kids who act bossy and demanding.
- Spoiled children who become spoiled teenagers are more prone to anxiety and depression, notes Dan Kindlon, author of “Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age” in a WebMD article.
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