While opening Acacia Mall on June 30, President Yoweri Museveni said rich Ugandans’ children are stupid.
This sparked a debate on whether parents who are financially well off overindulge their children and in the end spoil them.
During these debates, spoiled children were described as those children who take on habits like taking drugs and alcohol, children who have no respect for anyone in a position of authority or otherwise and children who don’t want to work yet expect to live comfortably, simpy because they can.
Samuel Agaba, a father of two boys and one girl and Winnie Namusoke, a counselling psychologist with Hope in Life counselling services agree that whether a rich parent spoils their child depends on the parents.
A parent’s level of involvement in their child’s life and yearning to pass on a set of values to their children depends on their character and is greatly influenced by their childhood background. “Some parents are very rich but very disciplined,” says Agaba.
He continues, “For example, my sister-in law is very rich but she ensures her children are involved in house chores and cooking. Therefore, a parent might be very rich but have a great level of discipline.”
On the other hand, Namusoke points out that, “Most parents with a humble or highly authoritative background take the opportunity to parent their children as “payback” time.
The parent ensures their child never lacks and does not discipline them as much as they should to save them the pain or discomfort of going through what they (parents) did when they were younger,” shares Namusoke.
Presence and authority
Thirdly, a parent’s presence at home greatly determines his or her involvement in their child’s life.
Agaba and Namusoke concur that parents who barely spend time with their children usually use entertainment and luxurious accessories to cover up for their absence.
Namusoke adds, “Once the child is responsible for him or herself, there is no set of values passed on to them from their parents and they grow into adults that do what they feel like whenever they want.”
However, Namusoke cautions that there is no lesser evil between a parent being extremely permissive and a parent being too authoritative, which might have nothing to do with their bank account.
“A permissive parent who never says ‘no’ to his child and an authoritarian parent who causes their child to resent them are both spoiling their children. A resentful child will take on habits like doing drugs to intentionally fight their parents,” she explains.
They note, as most people who talked about this topic online do, that even children from humble families can get spoiled. It therefore comes down to how the parents raise their children.
I think I spoiled my son
I am Florence. I am 54 years old and a mother of three. I lost my husband when our oldest child was 12 years old and our youngest, two. He left us his business and buildings therefore we were relatively well off.