Diagnosis

First ask yourself these questions:

Why. Why does your kid have a greedy attitude? There could be a number of causes. For instance, is there an emphasis on materialism in your home? Have his whims and desires been too easily granted? Are you bribing him with stuff every time you want him to do something or behave right? Are you bombarding him with things he doesn't need because you see your friends doing the same thing with their kids? Does she feel that the way to gain peer acceptance is by having the latest fashions or gadgets? Might it be to affirm his relationship with you? For instance, if he is jealous of a sibling or a relationship you have, when you feel guilty and give in to his wants, it "affirms" your love. Has a grandparent or other member of the family overindulged her? Why? By whom? More important, is there one thing you might do to stop it from spi-raling further?

What. Are there particular things she is usually more greedy about? Does she want toys, entertainment, clothes, sports paraphernalia, computer gadgets, CDs, or cash?

Who. Does he display the same greedy attitude to everyone? Are there some individuals he does not use his greedy ways on? If so, who? Why not?

When. Is there a particular time he is greedier than others— for instance, on a particular holiday, before school starts, or his birthday? Is there a reason? Do you alleviate your guilt about being away from home, spending too much time on other people or projects, or just plain feeling bad about not being the perfect parent by buying your kid stuff, stuff, and more stuff?

Where. Are there certain places he is more likely to be greedy (at school or day care, home, the store, Grandma's)? Why? For instance, is Grandma an easy target for buying special treats she knows no one else will buy him?

Now review your answers.Are you seeing any predictable patterns? Do you have any better understanding of your kid's greedy attitude and where it's coming from?

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