Maintaining Self-Control and Overcoming Entitlement

Teach Kids Self-Control and Overcome Entitlement

The primary goal of the Love and Logic approach is not just to make kids behave.  Instead, we strive to help them learn how to govern their own behavior without dependence on rules, regulations, laws, or incarceration. Over the years, Love and Logic has helped thousands of parents teach their kids self-control as well as overcome entitlement.

How to Teach Kids Self Control?

When kids learn healthy self-control, they will develop an internal voice that can guide them in making good decisions throughout their lives. Here are some strategies that can help young people learn essential emotional self-control skills:

  • Delayed Gratification: Teaching kids to wait for what they want.
  • Empathy and Social Responsiveness: Helping them understand and respond to others' feelings.
  • Self-Calming Techniques: Showing them how to calm themselves when experiencing strong emotions.
  • Cause-Effect Thinking: Encouraging them to think about the consequences of their actions.

Many Love and Logic techniques can be enhanced by modeling behaviors for your kids. One way is to allow your kids to overhear you discussing how to apply self-control in your own life. Here are some examples of what you might say:

  • "I saw this new phone that I really wanted, but I said to myself, ‘No—my old one is just fine. I’d just be all stressed out about how to pay for it.’"
  • "The other day, one of my friends said something that really made me mad. I kept reminding myself, ‘Stay calm.  If I say something nasty, I’ll feel horrible later.’"
  • "I always have an easier time being nice to difficult people when I remember to put myself in their shoes."

Incorporating self control activities for kids into daily routines can help reinforce these skills. Activities such as waiting games, mindfulness exercises, and role-playing scenarios can be effective in teaching self control for kids.

Remember—children are typically more likely to learn from overhearing these reflections rather than from direct lectures.

How to Stop Being Entitled

If kids lack self-control, they can develop a sense of entitlement and believe they are entitled to all the perks of success without exerting any effort. These entitled kids often have little respect for adults and suffer from low self-esteem. Here are some concepts that can help you slay the ugly beast of entitlement thinking and reverse symptoms of apathy, disrespect, defiance, and low self-esteem:

  • Risk: Encourage kids to take positive risks that provide opportunities to develop new beliefs.  Sometimes the only way to see the benefits of personal responsibility is by doing something positive—and experiencing the intrinsic satisfaction that it provides.
  • Struggle: Entitled kids need to experience real-life difficulties and learn that they can overcome them through perseverance.
  • Achievement: The beast of entitlement convinces its victims that they are dependent on others for success. Breaking these chains requires that they achieve hard-earned victories.
  • Attribution: Entitlement tricks people into believing that life is a game of chance. When children learn to attribute their successes to their perseverance and personal responsibility, the beast loses its grip on their hearts.

When Do Kids Develop Impulse Control? Typically, children begin to develop better impulse control around the age of three, but it continues to improve throughout childhood and adolescence.

A healthy self-concept is essential for maintaining self-control and overcoming entitlement. In our audio, Shaping Self-Concept, you can learn how to encourage kids to take risks and learn by giving them hope and the willingness to keep going when the going gets tough.


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay


Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants

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