Entitled is a term that we hear a lot these days, but what does it exactly mean? An entitled person is one who believes that he inherently deserves certain privileges or special treatment. It’s that feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want just because of who you are, and not because you have worked hard for it.
You might have seen such behavior in kids, teens, and even co-workers in recent years. These are those people who expect to get the best of life without any hard work and for whom, gratitude is also an alien concept. And while we might blame the trend on factors such as social media and TV, the truth is, upbringing and parents play a big role if our kids grow up into entitled adults.
So what can we do to avoid raising entitled kids and individuals? Here are a few tips:
Stop it with the lavishness
Sometimes us parents want to shower and provide our kids with everything they could ever need and even more. But the truth is, excess can lead to unrealistic expectations. And if we hand them everything on a silver platter, they will never know the value of hard work. So let’s try to rein in our indulgent tendencies and go simpler, because the truth is, kids do not need much to have fun.
Let them experience hardships
It is natural for us parents to shield or rescue our kids any difficulties, but again, doing so will not help in their character development. Instead, we can hold them accountable and let them learn their lessons.
Do not reward bad behavior
Kids can be persistent and sometimes, we couldn’t help but give in to them just to make them stop. But if we do, this could become their default and will give them the impression that they can get what they want every time. For older kids, you can avoid this power struggle by giving them your final answer and walking away.
Limit the fun and games
In as much as we want to let our kids enjoy their childhood, we should also limit their access to pleasure and let them handle age-appropriate chores. This way, they’ll know that everyone has responsibilities in the real world and while enjoyment and fun are ok, it should also be balanced. We can set rules such as video games only during the weekends and after homework, or TV time only after all the chores are done.
Be strict with allowance
Teaching our kids to have a realistic appreciation for money at a young age can also set up their diligence with it as they grow up. We can set an agreement with them over their allowance – including percentages of what will be set aside for short-term savings (for small toys or wants), long-term savings (for bigger items or wants), and serious savings (which will be put into a real savings account). This will teach them the value of money and they won’t grow up expecting that money just magically grows on trees.
Emphasize hard work
The allowance itself shouldn’t come easy as well. We can also teach them how money is earned by letting them work for their allowance – either via house chores or school tasks/performance. This way, they’ll also gain a better appreciation for their purchases and possessions since they will know the value behind each item.
Teach them to be thankful and grateful
And the best way to do this is by being their role models – by always saying thank you and please when the need arises or by helping them write and send out thank you notes to friends after their birthday. We can also do this by letting them give out their used toys and clothes to other kids.
Ultimately, it is our responsibility to ensure that we raise good and kind individuals who can contribute to society. Good luck, mamas!
*Originally published in MomCenter