Pampered Child Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Corrective Actions

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

We all pamper our children. But, have you heard about the pampered child syndrome? It is actually sad that there is a psychological syndrome on pampering. Family counselor Maggie Mamen coined this term following her twenty years of experience in dealing with children’s psychological issues. She wrote a book of the same name, and the name has stayed.

Another similar term is ‘Affluenza’, which is a portmanteau of Affluence and Influenza. Both these apparent ‘diseases’ are clearly the outcomes of parents allowing their children anything they want. Specifically put, these are materialistic conditions where the easy availability of money spoils the child. The dictionary states that to pamper is to “treat with excessive care and attention”.

screaming boy

In This Article

What is Pampering?

Pampering is defined as ‘the act of indulging or gratifying a desire’ in an excessive way that ends up adversely affecting the character, nature, or attitude of a person. Now think of these terms with respect to a child – whose whims and fancies are catered to, with parents going out of the way to please and appease him/her.

Letting the child have their way, whether legitimate or not, sets the foundation of adults who are stubbornly snobbish, attention seekers, and selfish to some extent.

Why do Parents Pamper a Child?

Now, as parents, we end up letting our kids have their way in the name of love and inconvenience. There is also tremendous pressure on modern-day parents to be ‘perfect’. However, we cannot forget the seeds we are laying today will blossom into fruits tomorrow.

Let your child do things s/he is capable of doing, without extending undue help and concern, unless really required. Do not jump in to help your child at the slightest hint of a struggle. Let them learn and grow.

If you are always there to assist your child at the slightest sign of a struggle, you will only deprive your child of the numerous opportunities that are crucial to his development. The child will always be dependent on you.

A child learns through difficulties and experiences, and though most parents bleed to see their wards in trouble, we need to let our children develop and grow progressively, independently, and responsibly into well-matured adults.

Symptoms of Pampered Child Syndrome

unhappy girl

The responsibility is entirely on the parents. Every child is born innocent, but a wrong upbringing may spoil him or her. Connecting innocence and money spells serious corrosion of moral fabric from a very early age. The common symptoms of a pampered child are:

  • The child has the tendency to take everything for granted.
  • S/he begins to appreciate the abundance of money from an innocent age.
  • Takes no effort to learn or do anything challenging of their own.
  • Always someone else is available to do chores for them.
  • Children perceive people without money as unworthy and inferior.
  • The child has no creative tendencies.
  • S/he is a prolific liar in getting whatever he wants, at any cost.
  • The child has more of anything than their peers.
  • Significant loss of interest and short attention span of the child is another major symptom.
  • Even if they may have all of the latest video game consoles, they may not find any of them interesting after a few days.
  • The child is obstinate to the point of disrespecting elders.
  • S/he uses expletives without realizing their shock effect.

What are the Effects of Pampering a Child?

Pampering a child can have serious aftereffects on the personality and the character, hence there are definitive limits set to indulge your child. Let the ‘privileges’ not be misunderstood as ‘rights’, and you are just about right. The damage to sensitivity can grow into a severe stage if unchecked.

Even when the situation is not extreme, circumstances note that pampered children grow into egoistic and self-centered adults, insensitive to the idea of hurting others.

Parenting Techniques that Encourage Pampered Child Syndrome

Giving Money

If a child is showing one or more of the above symptoms, the parents are usually to blame for an unbalanced upbringing. Satisfying all realistic and unrealistic demands, not correcting or taking action, and treating the child as a delicate human being is not the right way to show love for your child.

Instead, this makes the kid imbibe the same attitude of being fulfilled when dealing with the world outside the periphery of their comfort zone, which spells trouble for the kid, the parents, and other people who have to deal with the kid.

  • When you do not rectify your lying child, you are culpable in the charge of corrupting an otherwise innocent mind.
  • When you provide your child with just anything he wants, you inculcate the habit of taking everything for granted.
  • This eventually becomes irreversible as the child grows into an adult.
  • When you do not make the effort to correct the expletives used by a child, you are encouraging severe moral corrosion.
  • Making matters worse, inconsiderate parents maintain no restraint in using the same words themselves in the presence of their kids.

What Should Parents Do?

Pampered child syndrome cannot be “fixed” overnight. The first step to help your child would be to admit that you have a problem, and you need to work that out. You could track your steps backward as to how and why this happened when you have been so careful.

Something to do with your parents? Did you grow up with nothing and want your child to have everything? Is it easier to just give in to your child than say no? Is it for your own comfort and peace? Analyze. The solution would be to ‘unpamper’ your child.

Now, this could be a huge challenge, and you will be required to be very, very patient and calm. It is best to begin making the changes as quickly as possible – believe us, your pampered child is not a happy child.

Parents must first correct their mentalities on raising a child. Helping a child grow into a responsible adult is not an easy task at all. Despite your bank balance, you need to make sure your child does not get whatever catches their fancy. It is not a matter of your financial ability. It is an issue of your moral responsibility as guardians.


1. What is the Lone Child Syndrome?

Lone child syndrome, often known as only child syndrome, is a speculative idea rather than a real syndrome. According to this concept, the only child is a spoiled child as they’re used to getting anything they desire from their parents, including their undivided attention.

This theory states that these kinds of children will grow into selfish individuals who only focus on themselves and their own requirements. Besides, lack of interaction with a sibling is believed to bring about loneliness and antisocial tendencies.

2. What is the Bad Child Syndrome?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is also known as a bad child syndrome. Children with ODD are disobedient, rebellious, and antagonistic to classmates, parents, teachers, and other authority figures. They cause more problems for others than they do for themselves.

3. What is the Good Kid Syndrome?

As the name implies, “good child syndrome” refers to a child who attempts to be as excellent as their parents expect. These children appear to be smart and hands-free. However, when children try too hard to fulfill others’ expectations and suppress their emotions, it can have an adverse impact on their growth and development.

Read Also: Is Your Child A Loner?

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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