entitled kids

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entitled kids

Have you ever wondered what causes some children to become entitled kids? Or what can you do to prevent this? Here are some answers that I’ve learned when I asked myself these questions.

As a child, I grew up in a single-parent family. My mom was the only income provider and she worked hard to offer me everything I needed. And she did a great job with this but I imagine how difficult it was!

Watching her managing everything, no matter how hard the situation was, offered me precious life lessons. I grew up knowing that everything I have was obtained with hard work. I learned that accomplishing things requires determination and perseverance.

In many ways, I think that this made me a better person.

It made me appreciate more the things that I had and take better care of them. It motivated me to want to be a hard worker and obtain things on my own. And it taught me about gratefulness and generosity.

I always wanted to raise my child in the same way because I knew that learning these lessons will serve him well in life.

But as he grows up I can’t help to notice how different his childhood is compared to mine. It’s probably more similar to my husband’s childhood, who had a pretty “privileged” upbringing. It’s not that we have a lot of money (this is certainly not the case) but we always put our son first and we made sure that he has everything he needs (and even a little more).

He always has nice toys, wonderful books, great learning games and activities. He went with us on many awesome vacations that would make any child happy. And he visited places that I would have never even dreamed of visiting when I was a child.

entitled kidsphoto credit: Anna Grigorjeva / shutterstock.com

I am very glad that I can offer him all this! Because I know that having these kinds of opportunities and experiences can really make a difference.

But I am also sometimes afraid that this can easily turn into a negative thing if we don’t take the time to make him understand that none of these things are for granted.

That behind all these toys, vacations, and opportunities that he has there are compromises. Hard work. And our efforts to offer him all these things.

It’s not about him being grateful to us. It’s about him appreciating what he has. And being determined and motivated to become an adult who is responsible and caring for the people around him.

I see around me too many entitled kids.

Children who think that they deserve everything. Who are used to having all they want. And who have too little respect for the things they have and the people who made it possible for them to have everything.

Because there is really a fine line between offering kids everything they need and making them believe they deserve everything.

Between being a supportive parent who wants to help their child and being overprotective and preventing the child to face any disappointments or frustrations.

Between being understanding and caring and making the child believe that they can get away with anything without any consequences.

entitled kidsphoto credit: Anna Grigorjeva / shutterstock.com

I am pretty sure that every parent who has an entitled child never wanted this. That at some point things got out of control without even realizing.

This is why I have this fear of raising an entitled child. And I want to do everything I can to prevent this.

It’s certainly a lot easier to do this now, when my son is young than to deal with entitlement later, when things will be a lot harder to change.

So in the last weeks, I took some time to think about this and to research ideas that could help me. I selected the ones that are compatible with the positive parenting approach and I share them here with you, in case this topic is of interest to you too.

1. Family Contributions

I discovered this idea on a presentation by Amy McCready (the author of “The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World“) and I loved it!

They refer to the chores that the kids should do to help around the house. Naming them “family contributions” makes them more meaningful because they teach kids that they need to contribute to the family’s tasks. And that their contribution matters!

Involving kids by assigning them family contributions makes them more responsible and teaches them helpful life skills.

I wrote more about the chores that we set for our son here: Chore ideas for young kids and how to put them into practice {+ printable chore list}.

entitled kidsphoto credit: Grekov’s / shutterstock.com

2. Healthy boundaries

Kids need to know that they can’t always have everything they want. Or do everything they want.

Setting limits in a firm and gentle way helps kids understand this and learn to deal with frustrations. I admit that I’ve struggled with this when my son was a toddler but things got a lot easier in time.

I wrote more about this here:

How to set limits with young kids in an effective and gentle way in 3 simple steps

This is why sometimes setting limits with kids seems so hard.

3. Teaching kids about the value of money

I liked the idea of setting a monthly allowance to help kids understand the value of money and teach them to make spending decisions.

We decided that we will start doing this in a few months, when my son will turn 4 and a half. I will give him a small weekly allowance that he will be able to use when we go to the grocery store and he wants to buy something that is not on our list.

I think that this will be a great first step towards teaching him more about spending and saving money.

4. Practicing gratitude

One of the best ways to prevent entitlement is to teach kids to be grateful for what they have and to show gratitude towards the people around them.

The easiest way to do this with young kids is starting a gratitude journal and creating a ritual of writing in it every day. This can be a wonderful practice for both parents and kids. And I plan to do this soon with my son!

entitled kidsphoto credit: Evgeny Atamanenko / shutterstock.com

5. Allowing kids to deal with their mistakes and face frustrations and disappointments

It’s natural to want to protect our kids from bad things that can happen to them. But overprotection can have some very negative effects!

Kids need to learn that they are responsible for their mistakes and it’s up to them to make things right. As parents, our role is to provide the kids the tools they need to manage these situations.

But we need to let them face them! As well as we need to let them face disappointments and frustrations even if this is sometimes so hard!

This is a very important lesson that I need to learn as my child grows up. Because I know how important this is!

If you want to read more about the parenting styles that can cause entitlement, I recommend you this article by Amy McCready: 5 parenting styles that cause entitlement in kids — and how to change them. It’s a very interesting perspective on the mistakes that can lead to raising entitled kids and how to prevent them.

You can also get a lot more tips and ideas from Amy’s book – “The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World“.

For me, the next months will be about being more intentional about implementing the above ideas. And I hope that they will help me put a firm foundation for raising a responsible and grateful child.

>> Want to remember this? Share these tips to your favorite Pinterest board!

entitled kids

If you ever felt that your kids feel entitled and you want to change this using a positive approach, here are some great tips to help you! Discover these easy ways to raise your kids so they are kind, respectful, and responsible! --- Entitled kids | Entitlement in children | Sense of entitlement | How to avoid raising entitled kids #PositiveParenting #ParentingTips #RaisingKids
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photo credit preview photo: Sokolova Maryna / shutterstock.com

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