Of course, we want to avoid raising kids who are plagued with entitlement. And the most obvious answer is a great, big “Don’t”. We all realize that we don’t want to give kids everything they want. It’s such an obvious don’t. The first and best way to ruin a child is to give in and give that child everything -everything asked for or demanded.
But, let’s talk about some Do’s. What are the things we can do to ensure we aren’t raising entitled kids?
- Expect them to solve problems. Wise adults ask lots of questions like “What do you think you’re going to do?” and “What’s your plan?”. They also make statement like “I’m interested to see how you solve this.
As kids experience problems, these adults CONVEY EXPECTATIONS that kids will solve problems – especially the problems they cause. This will prevent the kids from expecting someone else to solve all their problems.
- Expect them to contribute. Chores are the #1 antidote to entitlement. Kids who contribute appreciate what they have and are far less likely to take the contributions of others for granted. Get them contributing to the household/family and watch the entitlement suffocate.
- Expect them to earn the things they get. This doesn’t mean we don’t get kids gifts or commit unsolicited acts of love. But the things they often ask for, we can ask how they plan to earn (all or part of) those items or privileges. From purchases, to playing sports to driving, avoid making things free but instead, expect young people to work to earn all or part - and see if they don’t appreciate those things m
The big entitlement “DON’T” is obvious. Experiment with a “Do” or two and see what happens.
Find more solutions in the book From Innocence to Entitlement.
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