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16 signs you’re raising a spoiled teenager (& How to fix it)

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If you ask me which drains you more – toddler temper tantrums or teenage tantrums, I would choose the latter.

Teenage outbursts can leave you drained, sad, and with a lot of questions. 


Did I do a bad job of raising my son/daughter?

Is he a spoiled brat now?

Is it too late to fix?

Am I a failed parent?

If you have such running thoughts in your mind after a heated confrontation with your teenager, you are not alone!

Recognizing the characteristics of a spoiled teenager can be challenging. 

You might notice that certain behaviors stand out, such as an inability to deal with disappointment or a tendency to expect special treatment. These behaviors can stem from various factors, ranging from inconsistent parenting to a lack of discipline. 

You need to understand that while some indulgences are benign, repeatedly yielding to a teenager’s demands without appropriate boundaries can lead to a pattern of entitlement.

Typically, spoiled teenagers have difficulty handling the word “no,” and their frustration often manifests in tantrums or aggressive behavior. 

They might struggle with gratitude, showing indifference or discontent when they receive gifts or favors. As you interact with teens, being aware of these signals can help you address the root causes effectively and guide them toward developing a more respectful and appreciative demeanor toward others.

In this blog, let us see what the signs of a spoiled teenager are and what actions of parents contribute to spoiling them. And also, how to fix it. 

Characteristics of a Spoiled Teenager

1. They are entitled 

Entitlement and unrealistic expectations are core indicators of a spoiled teenager. Recognizing these traits is crucial as they can adversely affect a teen’s ability to develop into a responsible adult.

If they keep on blaming you for not providing for whatever they ask (other than necessities), it can be a sign of entitlement. 

2. Demanding attitudes

Spoiled teenagers often exhibit a demanding attitude, expecting to receive without reciprocating. 

You might notice that these teens rarely show appreciation for what they have, as they’re accustomed to having their demands met regardless of their own contributions. This demanding nature can be evident in their interactions with both parents and peers.

They get frustrated when they are expected to show kindness or serve others since they care only about their own needs, but have no qualms in accepting help or service from the same people. 

teenager girl arguing with mom - characteristics of a spoiled teenager

3. Unrealistic Expectations 

You will see an inclination towards materialism in teenagers who hold unrealistic expectations about acquiring expensive items without understanding the value of effort and money.

They tend to believe these material things should come easily and without needing them to work hard. Consequently, this can lead to frustration when desires aren’t met.

If they keep asking you to buy something for them without considering the family budget or the financial woes you might be experiencing, it can be a sign of spoiledness.  

They might consistently desire expensive items without a grasp of budgeting or the effort required to earn such possessions. This lack of financial awareness can lead to unrealistic demands and a disconnect from the true cost of their lifestyle.

4. They are ungrateful 

When faced with denial or challenge, spoiled teenagers may frequently exclaim that “life is unfair.” This reaction signifies a struggle to cope with common life setbacks, stemming from an overprotected upbringing where most obstacles were removed or they were rarely held accountable for their actions.

They might be looking at what others have better than them and comparing it to their lives. 

5. They lack patience and have low frustration tolerance

You’ll notice a spoiled teenager often struggles with waiting for their turn. They hate waiting to get the things they want. They might expect immediate responses to their demands. 

You may notice that adolescents who are spoiled often have a low frustration tolerance.

They struggle to handle delays or situations that do not meet their expectations. Your teen might express irritation or anger when asked to wait or when faced with even minor obstacles.

a frusrated teenager -characteristics of a spoiled teenager - low frustration tolerance

6. They are resistant to authority

A teenager exhibiting resistance to rules or norms set by authority figures like parents or teachers can be indicative of spoiled behavior.

Such behavior is part of the effects of an underdeveloped teen brain. But you can still teach a teen to learn to respect rules, and it must be done because not nipping the behavior in the bud can only escalate it later.

7. They lack empathy

Spoiled teenagers might display a lack of understanding or concern for others’ feelings or situations, centering their own experiences above all. They don’t understand the needs of others and have trouble understanding how others feel. 

8. They have a sense of superiority

Teenagers who are accustomed to having their needs consistently met and their desires fulfilled may develop a sense of superiority due to their privileged upbringing. Thus they might have the belief that they are entitled to special treatment and a lack of empathy for others.

characteristics of a spoiled teenager

9. They want everything their way

Spoiled teenagers may expect scenarios to always go as they desire, showing little tolerance for compromise or alternative outcomes.

This can stem from a lack of experience in facing and managing disappointment, as well as a limited understanding of the needs and perspectives of others as they are more self-centered and have not trained themselves to show empathy. 

10. They have frequent outbursts

Expressing extreme anger or frustration, especially when denials or setbacks are encountered, can manifest as tantrums or emotional outbursts in spoiled teens.

If they have been indulged and accustomed to getting their way, may exhibit frequent outbursts when faced with situations that challenge their expectations. This behavior can stem from a lack of coping skills and frustration when they encounter obstacles or are unable to control a situation in the real world. 

11. They don’t take responsibility

They blame others for their mistakes and never take responsibility for their actions, as they may have grown accustomed to having others solve problems for them. This can lead to a lack of accountability and an avoidance of facing the consequences of their actions. 

This could have happened if they had always had others ‘save’ them and not let the natural consequences teach them to own their mistakes. 

characteristics of a spoiled teenager

Social Relationships

Looking at the way they behave with their friends, peers, and family can be a good way to if a teen has a spoiled tendency.

12. They are self-centered and manipulative

You may notice that a spoiled teenager often lacks consideration for others, typically seeking to be the center of attention. This focus on self can disrupt group cohesion.

And there might be instances where promoting their own interests leads them to use manipulation. When their desires are not met, they can easily become aggrieved or combative.

13. They are disrespectful

An entitled teenager may show a stark disregard for parental or sibling authority. This type of entitlement can cause tension and conflict.

Basic courtesies such as saying “thank you” are often neglected. Due to this lack of gratitude, recognizing the efforts of family members tends to be rare.

14. They have poor social skills

You will often find that spoiled teenagers have difficulty resolving disputes constructively. They may either withdraw or exhibit aggressive behaviors and engage in power struggles when challenged.

They also struggle to share their belongings.

Whether it’s material possessions or time, spoiled teenagers can struggle with the concept of sharing and often equate it with personal loss. These inabilities can affect their ability to form healthy and meaningful relationships. 

characteristics of a spoiled teenager- poor social skills

Emotional Characteristics

In recognizing the emotional aspects of a spoiled teenager, you’ll see patterns of low patience, fluctuating moods, and an overwhelming desire for immediate rewards.

15. Mood Swings

Mood swings are common among many teenagers, but spoiled teens can exhibit more dramatic shifts in emotions. They might switch from being content to intensely upset in a short time frame, especially if they fail to get what they want immediately. 

16. Need for instant gratification

Spoiled teenagers generally display an intense need for instant gratification.

They may become agitated when they can’t acquire something right away, whether it’s a new smartphone/latest gadgets or permission to go out with friends, indicating a poor tolerance for delayed rewards.

17. They are impulsive

As they have a low tolerance for frustrating situations and thus poor problem-solving skills, they can resort to emotional blackmailing as a means of manipulating others to meet their desires, as sometimes, emotional tactics can help them achieve their goals quicker than settling it calmly or with an open discussion. 

They can also sometimes act impulsively without thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions.

characteristics of a spoiled teenager - they are impulsive

Consequences of Spoiled Behavior 

Now that we understand some of the signs of a spoiled teenager, here are some of the consequences they can face as a result of it. 

Understanding the repercussions of spoiling your teenager can help in rectifying behavior patterns that may become problematic.

Here are the impacts it may have on their future and daily functioning:

Impact on work ethics

When you spoil your teenager, their motivation to work hard can be significantly diminished, and have a poor work ethic.  

They may develop an attitude that rewards can be gained without effort or persistence. Consistently yielding to your teen’s demands can lead to an expectation of entitlement, undermining the value of diligence and perseverance.

Long-term life challenges

Spoiled teenagers may face difficult adjustments in adulthood, dealing with setbacks and failures.

Since they haven’t learned to cope with challenges, they often struggle with resilience and may exhibit a reduced capacity to handle rejection or criticism, potentially affecting their professional and personal relationships.

Dependency issues

One particularly concerning consequence of spoiling is the development of dependency issues.

Your teenager may become reliant on you or others to provide for them, lacking the initiative to become self-sufficient.

This over-reliance can carry on into adulthood, making it challenging for them to live independently and manage life responsibilities. This will also affect their future relationships as they might fail to take care of and protect their spouses. 


characteristics of a spoiled teenager - they are dependent on others

What are the factors that cause a teenager to be spoiled?

External factors significantly shape your teenager’s behavior and attitudes. Understanding these can provide insights into their actions.

Parenting styles

The way you raise your child has a profound impact on their development.

A lack of boundaries and consistent discipline can contribute to a sense of entitlement.

For instance, when you regularly give in to your teenager’s demands without consequence, they may not learn the importance of gratitude and responsibility.

Media impact

Your teenager’s consumption of media plays a significant role in their expectations and sense of self. 

Exposure to materialistic and fame-oriented content can skew their perception of reality, leading them to believe they deserve the same luxuries and attention.

Peer pressure

The influence of peers is powerful during adolescence. If your teenager is surrounded by peers who display entitled behaviors, they may adopt similar attitudes to fit in.

Parents not saying “No”

Permissive parenting is another factor that plays a huge role in raising spoiled children. Being overly permissive can result in a teenager who struggles to handle rejection and failure. You must set and enforce limits to help them understand that they can’t always get what they want.

This establishes a healthy understanding of boundaries and consequences. Make sure you avoid empty threats and stick to the consequences you have set no matter what. 

Possible Interventions

When addressing the behaviors of a spoiled teenager, interventions should be strategic and consistent. The goal is to promote maturity, a better sense of responsibility, and healthy development. 

Set clear boundaries and consequences for their actions

Establish clear house rules and consequences to help your teenager understand the importance of limits. For example, if they miss curfew, they might lose the privilege to go out with friends the next weekend.

characteristics of a spoiled teenager

Build responsibility and teach life skills

Encourage your teenager to take on household chores and responsibilities at home. Assign tasks like laundry or managing their own schedule to foster independence.

Use better communication techniques

Use active listening and open dialogue to ensure your teenager feels heard. This can involve paraphrasing their concerns and avoiding interrupting when they speak.

Children learn more from what we do than what we say to them. So, express empathy with them without jumping to provide solutions. And offer lots of support in fixing the behaviors they feel they can’t control.

Do not give everything easily and freely

Avoid immediately providing your teenager with everything they want. This teaches the value of hard work and earning privileges. This will also teach them important life lessons that will serve them well in the future. 

Allow them to make mistakes

It’s imperative that your teenager learns from mistakes. Protecting them from all consequences doesn’t prepare them for real life.

And it’s also important to teach them to own their mistakes and be apologetic for them. This will make sure that they learn responsible behavior.

Teach them good values, hard work, and social skills

Incorporate lessons that emphasize the importance of empathy, teamwork, and persistence. These are foundational for successful social interactions and work ethic.

Spend quality time with them

Quality time can strengthen the parent-child relationship and provide natural opportunities to model and discuss positive behaviors and decision-making.

Teach gratitude

Encourage your teenager to practice and express gratitude. This could be as simple as writing thank-you notes or volunteering, helping them appreciate what they have and fostering generosity towards others.

Related: 125 simple random acts of kindness acts for kids to make someone’s day

Grow and heal with them

You might have had a role in shaping their current personality. It’s also your chance to learn, amend, and grow with them.

If you have been a too busy parent who gave everything they have asked for to avoid uncomfortable consequences, this is the time to reflect on your mistakes and ask for forgiveness from them.

There is nothing wrong with showing your vulnerable side and asking for their understanding. After all, parenting pushes you to limits you have never imagined and provides opportunities to grow as a person.

You know it – “Better late than never”!

Sit and make plans with them on how you want to heal your relationship with them and provide them with the love and care they might have wanted from you in their younger years.

a mom hugging a teenage girl - characteristics of a spoiled teenager


If you think you have a spoiled teenager at home, it’s not too late!  

While it may be challenging – consistent effort, patience, and understanding can help a spoiled teenager learn and adopt more responsible and considerate attitudes.

You will have to put in a lot more dedication and understanding, and yes, lots of patience – regardless of the teenager’s current behavior.


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