Most people agree that a spoiled child is self-centred and demanding, inconsiderate of others and unpleasant to be around. The classic spoiled child sees himself and his needs as more important than anything else and does everything he can to get what he wants.
Parenting a young child is a challenging task for new parents. From the time the baby arrives, parents want to do the right things. One big worry parents often have is whether they are spoiling their child. It's common for parents to ask, "If I let him have what he wants, am I spoiling him?" Relatives and friends have been known to say, "You're going to spoil that child if you always pick her up when she cries!".
Parents sometimes do things for their children what they can do for themselves. For example, most preschool-age children can dress themselves, brush their hair and put their own toys away. To do these things regularly for children teaches them to feel they deserve such service all the time. Few children learn to show appreciation for these efforts. Instead, they often become impossible to satisfy, thinking there is no limit to what they can demand. Parents who feel exhausted and unappreciated may find that they have made their children dependent on them.
Some parents who may be very good at allowing their children to be independent may not be good at setting clear and firm limits for behaviour. Children easily discover rules that can be broken if their protest is long and loud enough. Parents allow this to happen for different reasons. Some parents just want to avoid the hassle of a conflict with their children. It's easier for them to let the rules slide than to deal with the fuss. For other parents, it is hard to refuse their children anything, because they don't want them to be unhappy. These parents think "unhappy children" equals "bad parents." Still others are afraid their angry children will not love them.