Entitlement is a spreading epidemic that’s getting the best of our kids. Here are 10 tips to help you combat this and raise less entitled children.
How to Raise Less Entitled Children
Entitlement is a spreading epidemic that is getting the best of our kids. Children that believe they deserve special treatment and privileges, just because, have caught this bug.
But wait, it’s not too late to either prevent or cure your children of this rampant disease. When entitlement doesn’t dominate a child’s character, they are more likely to be happy, resourceful, responsible, helpful, and caring.
Here are 10 tips to help you in your efforts to raise less entitled children!
Tip #1 – Don’t “Rescue” Your Kids
Entitlement comes usually when a parent is too wrapped up or over-responsive to their child’s emotions. Think long term. It’s going to be better that your child forgets her math homework at age 12, rather than later on when it really matters. Don’t always rescue your child from their forgetfulness or mistakes. If they forget their lunch a day or two, they likely won’t forget it anymore, as long as you don’t rescue them.
Rescuing your child robs them of excellent learning opportunities.
Tip #2 – Actively Love Your Kids
As mentioned previous, don’t rescue your child. Easier said than done though, right?
It’s completely heart-wrenching to watch our kids hurt. In these moments of sadness and disappointment whether it was a mistake or self-inflicted, love them. Be there for them. Empathize with them. Hold them when they cry. Cry with them if necessary. Help them see the good. Be supportive and an active part of these difficult learning opportunities.
Tip #3 – Teach Empathy
Get kids thinking about why something may be. If the waitress hasn’t brought your food out, consider the scenario – maybe the kitchen’s backed up or maybe she’s been working a double shift. Help kids practice empathy and get out of their own heads.
Empathy diffuses big emotions. As we facilitate opportunities to practice empathy, it’ll diffuse the frustration, selfishness, or injustice your child may be feeling.
Tip #4 – Consider Your Default Setting
What’s your default setting? Your child may be perfectly satisfied with plain pancakes… until chocolate chips are frequently thrown into the mix. Celebrate on occasion with “chocolate chips”, but make sure your child knows that chocolate chips are an exception.
Kids expect what they are frequently given so be cautious that you set and stick with a realistic and healthy default.
Tip #5 – Lay Ground Rules for Consumption
If you haven’t had rules on consumption previous, it’s not too late. Lay ‘em down. It may be tricky at first and your kids may be upset, but stick with the rules, it’ll be worth it! Be consistent.
Tip #6 – Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
Those who are entitled have an attitude of whatever they want, they deserve, simply just because. Help to combat this by modeling an attitude of gratitude. Help them know you are grateful for things of substance such as their kind actions. Gratitude is the antidote to entitlement.
Look here for more ideas on how to teach your child gratitude.
Tip #7 – Give Your Kids Chores
Age appropriate chores will help your kids learn responsibility, work-ethic, and important life skills. Chores can bring a sense of accomplishment to your child. Be sure to stay positive and resist criticism when your child completes a chore. Be okay with an imperfect job, even if you could’ve done it better. Let them learn.
There are many systematic ways to approach chores, don’t be afraid to change if your current method isn’t working.
Tip #8 – Teach Kids to Be Polite
Kids who are NOT entitled, are generous and polite. Remember though, kids need lessons on basic social interactions, that as adults, we take for granted. Help your kids master the following phrases: “please”, “thank you”, “excuse me”, “may I…”, “no, thank you”
Tip #9 – Participate in Service
Serving helps your child get outside of themselves. There are lots of opportunities including, but not limited to, baking cookies for a neighbor, volunteering at a local food bank, or donating old toys to those who are less fortunate. When your kids are a bit older, consider encouraging them to participate in humanitarian efforts abroad.
Service opportunities will be eye-opening for your children.
Tip #10 – Help Kids View Finances & Work Realistically
Help children view finances and work realistically. Offer them, say, $10 an hour for doing specific and extra jobs that are beyond normal responsibility. If they want a $100 item, they then have the option of working 10 hours to buy it. This’ll help kids either reconsider or really value the item they’ve worked hard to get.
Another idea for helping your kids understand finances would be to give them a “no strings attached” allowance that they learn to use. If they spend poorly don’t give them more, just encourage and coach them as appropriate.
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