10 Subtle Signs of a Spoiled Teenager

11 minutes read

Child training is, sadly, one of the most challenging tasks on earth. As parents, oftentimes, in a bid to provide our children with whatever they need, we unknowingly, through our actions, make them grow into spoiled teenagers. A spoiled teenager refers to an adolescent who has been excessively indulged in or granted too many privileges, resulting in entitlement, a lack of empathy, and disruptive behavior.

Are you worried about your teenager’s behavior? Do you feel or think you made a mistake in the course of grooming that child, resulting in him being spoiled? Here are 10 signs of a spoiled teenager you should take note of as parents, as they allow you to address the issue early on and promote healthy development.

In this comprehensive guide, aside from discussing the 10 signs of a spoiled teenager you should watch out for in your teenager, we will also be providing insights and suggestions for parents to navigate this phase effectively.

10 Signs of a Spoiled Teenager

Read on as we explore together.

1. Obsession with the Physical Appearance

The most glaring of the 10 signs of a spoiled teenager is their excessive obsession with physical appearance. These adolescents become overly preoccupied with their looks, prioritizing their external appearance and materialistic things over more meaningful aspects of life, such as – building a good character.

Spoiled teenagers are often more interested in brand names, trendy gadgets, and the latest fashion trends than in developing meaningful relationships or pursuing personal growth. As a parent, if you notice your teenager is more preoccupied with materialistic things than building a personality that is admirable, it is mind bugging. Be sure to know that you’re faced with an obvious sign of a spoiled teenager and seek ways to address such behavior.

When you notice such signs of a spoiled teenager in your child, you should encourage your ward to focus on gaining and building great experiences rather than focusing on their outward appearance. Don’t get it twisted; looking good is good business. However, there must be a balance to success in life. Beauty and brains are a perfect combo, and that is what you should encourage your teenager to go for so as to obtain a more balanced life.

2. Entitlement Mentality

Spoiled teenagers often exhibit an entitlement mentality, expecting special treatment and privileges even when they’re not deserving of them. Worse yet, when they’re given such treatment, they don’t show gratitude because they feel they’re entitled to it. This entitlement mentality makes them ungrateful and unappreciative of the efforts of others to make them feel comfortable.

When you notice such signs of a spoiled teenager in your ward, be firm, establish clear boundaries, and set realistic expectations. Encouraging your teenager to contribute to household tasks, participate in community service, or take up part-time jobs can help them develop a sense of responsibility and stop the entitlement mentality.

3. Disrespectful Behavior


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One of the most obvious and embarrassing of the 10 signs of a spoiled teenager is the display of disrespectful behavior, especially toward parents. When your teenager finds it difficult to respect elders as should be accorded to them and interrupts you when you’re speaking to them or another person, then it’s clear that the teenager is spoiled.

One bad aspect of this very sign of a spoiled teenager is that it goes beyond the four walls of the home and extends to the school, community, and other public places. You may lead a quiet life but find yourself always being dragged along because of the ill attitude of your teen. It’s always embarrassing. Your family’s name and image are at stake in such situations.

When you notice such signs of a spoiled teenager in your teenager, tackle it immediately and do not allow it to grow beyond the confines of the home. Heart to heart talks with teenagers could help. You could employ the services of a child counselor or even a disciplinarian to curtail such behavior.

4. Constant Comparisons

One pungent sign of a spoiled teenager that often goes unnoticed is their tendency to engage in constant comparisons and make statements like, “That’s unfair! If it were Jane’s mom, she would have allowed her,” or “I know if it were my younger brother, you would have given in.” These remarks provide insights into the teenager’s mindset and reveal certain behavioral patterns that are worth addressing.

When a teenager frequently compares themselves to others and uses these comparisons to argue for preferential treatment, it demonstrates a sense of entitlement and a lack of understanding about individual circumstances. These comparisons demonstrate a lack of empathy and a self-centered approach to problem-solving. Instead of considering their own actions or responsibilities, they divert attention to others, seeking validation and attempting to shift blame.

To combat this sign of a spoiled teenager, parents shouldn’t give in to everything the teenager dictates or wants. Encourage your teenager to put themselves in the shoes of others and consider how their demands or comparisons may impact the family. Let your child know he is peculiar and shouldn’t be compared to anyone. Also, make sure you’re not partial in your judgments, as it may affect the child negatively.

5. Impulsive Spending

One great sign of a spoiled teenager is their habit of impulsive spending. When a teenager has access to financial resources, they engage in reckless spending without considering the consequences or the value of their purchases. For a teenager who is overly pampered and spoiled with money, survival in times of financial difficulty could be very difficult.

Parents should teach financial literacy skills, including budgeting, saving, and distinguishing between needs and wants. Involving the teenager in financial decision-making processes could help save the day. Also, encouraging them to learn a skill and earn money through part-time jobs or entrepreneurial ventures can help develop responsible spending habits.

6. Give Up in the Face of Challenges


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One key sign of a spoiled teenager is the tendency to give up easily when faced with difficulties or challenges. Rather than demonstrating grit and perseverance, a spoiled teenager will easily get tired of the situation and give up in the face of sore challenges. It could be a tough math assignment, tech coding, or even simple house chores.

This behavior could stem from the belief that these things could be effortlessly provided for them without them stressing themselves. It could also be attributed to low self-esteem and a fear of making mistakes. For some teenagers, it may also be the fear of failure. In fact, no one wants to face failure, so for them, it’s better to avoid trying at all than bagging a heartbreaking failure.

To curb this sign of a spoiled teenager, encourage your child towards positivity. Emphasize that mistakes and setbacks are natural parts of the learning process, provide opportunities for growth and improvement, and shouldn’t be a sign of cowardice. Admonish them to work harder. Remind them that success is not guaranteed without consistent hard work and determination.

7. Avoid Sharing Family Time

Spoiled teenagers often exhibit a lack of interest in spending quality time with their families. While it is natural for teenagers to seek more independence and develop friendships outside, spoiled teenagers take it to another level, showing little to no engagement with their families.

Participating in family time will let you, as a parent, read their reflexive actions and predict if something is wrong in time. It could also provide them with the bonding they should have with their parents and other siblings.  It also provides the opportunity for a heart to heart talk/confession time within the family.

Leaving a teenager to be self isolated and miss out on family times could make them more exposed to social vices. They may end up getting involved in crimes without your knowledge. If your teenager prioritizes screen time and digital distractions over meaningful family bonding experiences, then it is an obvious sign of a spoiled teenager. Find a means to end it immediately.

To resolve this, first make strict rules regarding screen time and set alarms for tech-free periods for the entire family, ensuring everyone adheres to them. Also, plan engaging activities and create opportunities for enjoyable and interactive activities that cater to your teenager’s interests. Find a balance between technology and offline experiences to capture their attention and foster family togetherness.

8. Difficulty Handling Criticism

The difficulty expressed in handling criticism is one of the 10 signs of a spoiled teenager. A spoiled teenager may become defensive, dismissive, or resistant when faced with any form of constructive criticism. They are often unwilling to acknowledge their weaknesses or seek for improvement in areas where they are deficient. This may not entirely be referring to a spoilt teenager. Such behavior may result from low self esteem and an excessive craving for validation.

To help such teenagers develop a healthier response to criticism, parents should create a safe and supportive environment where free communication is practiced. Encouraging constructive feedback, teaching effective communication skills, and modeling acceptance of criticism can assist these teens in developing a growth mindset and embracing personal growth.

9. They Avoid Taking Responsibility

Among the 10 signs of a spoiled teenager is a lack of accountability and the inability to take responsibility for one’s actions. A spoiled teenager will conveniently avoid tasks like housework, schoolwork, and extracurricular activities, giving a hundred and ten reasons why it shouldn’t be them doing it and pushing it off to someone else.

Spoiled teenagers often display a lack of accountability for their actions. They often seem disconnected and don’t realize the importance of contributing to a well-functioning home or doing their best in school. They don’t care how their activities affect others.

Parents should teach teens to accept responsibility for their actions and the consequences. They may learn responsibility by being moderately disciplined and guided toward problem-solving and decision-making.

10. Get Rich Quick Syndrome


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The 10th sign of a spoiled teenager is an infection with the get rich quick syndrome. When a teenager seeks instant rewards or gratification without considering long-term consequences, it is a clear sign of a spoiled teenager. Little wonder we see a lot of them today engaging in cybercrimes in a bid to become rich overnight.

You can hardly see teenagers working in factories as laborers. It’s being tagged as a dirty job while they get involved in various online crimes, duping people, and making huge amounts of money through fraudulent means. They struggle to master a skill, establish objectives, plan ahead, or sacrifice now for future gains. They want the shortcut path to success.

Address this challenge by helping your teenager develop patience and the ability to delay gratification. Encourage goal-setting, provide support and guidance, and teach the value of perseverance to your teenagers. Make them understand that there’s no quick pathway to success and that patience and hard work are the only true pathways to long-term success and fulfilment.

Wrapping Up on 10 Signs of a Spoiled Teenager

When a child displays spoiled behavior, it often reflects their parents’ actions and is not solely their fault. Rather than hastily labeling the child as a brat or spoiled, recognize that you have a role to play in shaping your child’s behavior. Seize the day, save the future, and help these teenagers overcome the 10 signs of a spoiled teenager.

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