On Spoiled Children

To spoil means, non-colloquially, “to strip, plunder, pillage.” That’s why they’re called the “spoils of war”. Colloquially, as it concerns children, it is claimed that if you let a child do whatever he wants, if you overindulge him, then he will become spoiled. But to anyone who understands the needs of children – psychological, emotional, and intellectual, at least – knows that children should be allowed to do whatever they want so long as they don’t unintentionally hurt themselves or hurt others or their property. Liberty and responsibility, in other words, are precursors to meeting the needs of children. And so, doing the opposite – controlling, manipulating, punishing, rewarding, regimenting, et cetera – is to truly spoil the child – stripping, plundering, and pillaging away a healthy present, and a healthy future. And that’s today’s two cents.


Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.