The Major Signs (by Age!) That Your Kid Is Becoming a Brat

Not only can Elaine Rose Glickman spot a bratty kid, but she also knows how to stop the bad behavior every step of the way. In her new book, Your Kid’s a Brat and It’s All Your Fault, the mother-turned-author breaks down the warning signs, by age, that parents should be aware of if they want to prevent their little ones from turning into full-blown brats. Whether you’re concerned that you might be dealing with a budding brat or are pretty positive that you officially have a spoiled tween, check out Glickman’s checklist and add her book to your reading list ASAP for insightful help with what to do — before it’s too late.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

According to Glickman, as wonderful as very young children are, you can still have a sense of whether they’re turning into a brat. If your child is developing a few less-than-desirable habits and you find yourself thinking, “Well, that’s what toddlers do; it’s a phase and it will pass,” then they could already be turning into a budding brat.

• Your kid bosses other children around
• Your kid whines
• Your kid bites
• Your kid screams
• Your kid demands crap at the checkout line
• Your kid is mean to the dog
• Your kid beats you up
• Your kid clings
• Your kid refuses to wear anything except for her nightgown
• Your kid is a lousy sleeper
• Your kid annoys strangers
• Your kid won’t share
• Your kid is taking over the house

Ages 5-10

As parents try to foster their children’s “unique spark” and nurture their authentic selves, some are actually prohibiting their kids from growing up. Parents who don’t let their kids assume greater responsibility, self-reliance, and self-possession as they get older are stunting their child’s maturity. “We see a lot of behaviors that you might associate with younger children, but they’re still present in these older children,” said Glickman.

• Your kid interrupts
• Your kid doesn’t listen the first time
• Your kid needs to buck up
• Your kid ruins meals
• Your kid doesn’t say please
• Your kid never says thank you
• Your kid is totally rude to grown-ups
• Your kid lies
• Your kid has an obnoxious best friend
• Your kid won’t do his homework
• Your kid is wasteful
• Your kid is demanding a gigantic birthday party
• Your kid is a terrible traveler
• Your kid won’t take no for an answer

Ages 9-12

The only thing harder than raising a bratty tween is dealing with an ungrateful teen. Lay the groundwork for peaceful teenage years by teaching them not only how to share their opinions but, just as importantly, how to do it respectfully. It’s essential to recognize the difference between disagreement and defiance. “Respectful disagreement invites conversation and it recognizes that the parent is still the final authority,” explained Glickman.

• Your kid sasses you
• Your kid won’t pitch in
• Your kid is addicted to devices
• Your kid is bankrupting you
• Your kid never does anything nice for you
• Your kid doesn’t care about his relatives
• Your kid doesn’t care about others
• Your kid won’t pick up after herself
• Your kid is bored
• Your kid talks like a sailor
• Your kid dresses like a prostitute
• Your kid does really stupid stuff
• Your kid rules over you