Talk to anyone who is a generation or two older, and they would most likely comment that children are more spoiled these days.
No one wants to have or be around demanding, selfish and spoiled children, those who get bad-tempered or silently brood when they're not given everything they want immediately.
Paradoxically, the parents of such children encourage this demanding behavior in the mistaken belief that by giving their children everything they can, their children will be happy.
In the short term, perhaps they are right.
But in the longer term, such children end up lonely, dependent, chronically dissatisfied and resentful of the parents who try so hard to please them.
Undoubtedly, parents want to raise happy children who are confident, capable and likable, rather than spoiled and miserable.
One factor hindering this is that parents can't or don't spend enough quality time with their kids and substitute this deficit with toys, games, gadgets and the like.
Rather than getting material things, children need parents' devoted attention.
The quantity of time spent together is less important than the content of that time.
Instead of instantly satisfying their wishes, parents should help them work out a plan to earn things they'd like to have.
This teaches them to value the effort as well as what it achieves.
Allow them to enjoy anticipation.
Numerous psychological studies have demonstrated that children who learn to wait for things they desire are more likely to succeed in a number of ways later in life.
One famous experiment in the 1960s involved 3- to 6-year-old children.
They were given a choice between receiving a small reward, such as a cookie immediately, or if they waited 15 minutes, they could have two.
Follow-up studies have found that those who chose to delay satisfaction are now more academically successful, have greater self-worth, and even tend to be healthier.
If they fail, children should be encouraged to keep trying, rather than to give up, if they really want the desired result.
This teaches them how to handle and recover from disappointment, which is associated with greater success and satisfaction academically, financially, and in personal relationships.
And lastly, parents should encourage their children to look at life from other points of view as well as their own.
This teaches them to be understanding of and sympathetic towards others--qualities sure to take them a long way in life.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Q19: What will happen to children if they always get immediate satisfaction?
Q20: What may prevent parents from raising confident and capable children?
Q21: Why should children be encouraged to keep trying when they fail?