5 Effective Ways to Handle a Greedy Child


Children have a natural desire to want things, and sometimes these are things they can’t or should not have. However, there are some children that want more and may resort to whatever it takes to get their desires met.

Dictionary.com defines greed as an excessive desire for wealth or possessions. If you find your child has excessive desires for things, you might be dealing with a greedy child. So, how do you handle that greedy child? Try these five tips to squash the greedy bug as soon as possible.

1. Take a look at what the causes might be

This might take some serious soul searching, but be honest. What do you think might be the root cause of your child’s greed? There are many factors that can be feeding the greed; factors you can eliminate.

Could it be television? Maybe it is a grandparent, or maybe it is you. Are you catering to their every whim? Are you giving them everything or most everything they ask for? Be honest.

2. Set boundaries

Boundaries are not going to harm your child. Telling them no is not going to kill them. Boundaries are healthy for your child to distinguish between wants and needs. Setting boundaries teaches your child to understand that there are consequences for their actions, boundaries keep them safe, and helps them to be self-controlled. Include boundaries for whining and begging. Otherwise, you will only reinforce the greediness.

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3. Stick to your guns

Once you have established boundaries, you need to stick to your guns and be consistent. If you allow your child to break the rules and overstep the boundaries, you are teaching them that they can behave however they want and get whatever they want.

This does not teach them to be self-controlled or responsible. It is actually more harmful to let your child break the boundaries than it is to enforce them and provide consequences for overstepping. Do not back down from your convictions.

4. Discipline if needed

If the rules have been broken, you will need to discipline accordingly. Discipline is teaching, not punishing. So, be creative with your “teaching.” Some ideas for greedy behavior might be taking away a privilege, “charging” for whining, complaining, or arguing, donate a toy that’s being mistreated to a charity.

Look for positive behaviors to encourage. For example, you compliment your child for letting a friend play with their favorite toy rather than selfishly hoarding it to themselves. Teach the behavior you want your child to imitate through your modeling and examples.

5. Teach the opposite of greed – charity

Show your greedy child the other world, the world of charity. Show them how other children have very little and are thankful for what they have even if it is not much. Discuss why this might be the case. Help them to understand that charity helps others and makes the giver feel good for making others happy rather than themselves.

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Greedy children are unattractive, self-centered, spoiled, and uncaring. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach their child that greediness is undesirable, and charity is honorable. Eliminate the causes for the greediness and set boundaries.

Do not back down, discipline if needed, and teach how to be charitable. When you stay consistent with your parenting, you will have squashed that greedy bug for good.