The culture around us has gradually shifted America’s mindset to believing that we all have our rights, including the “right” to have what we want, the way we want it, when we want it. We would call this a sense of entitlement. It’s an attitude that has led many adults to live off government handouts, and many others to think they should have in their 20’s everything that took their parents a lifetime to earn and accumulate.
When it comes to our kids, some are naturally bent more towards a sense of entitlement than others. Of our two oldest, one of them naturally displays more entitlement than the other simply by their personality.
But while a sense of entitlement poses a greater threat to our children in their future as adults than it may right now, the importance of curbing it right now is vital. An attitude of entitlement robs a person of an attitude of gratitude, servant hood, and the desire to work hard for what they have.
However, there are some things that, as parents, we can do to prevent this attitude in our kids that the world around them so naturally tries to instill.
Here are three opportunities you can intentionally give your children to help them avoid an entitlement mentality.
3 Ways to Avoid A Sense of Entitlement
1. WORK HARD for what they want
Whoever said that a child deserves an iPod, tablet, or game system, just because they bear your last name? Is a parent just a Grizzly Gus for refusing to give their kids whatever they want, or are they rather just exercising good and effective parenting skills by laying down some rules and limitations.
The next time your child wants that new “something,” try one of the following:
- Let them work around the house for payment (allowance) on chores completed, etc.
- For certain items, agree to pay for the second half once they have earned the first half. This still puts the ball in their court to take initiative to get what they want.
- Encourage them to learn a trade or develop a talent working or making something that can give them a small income. Our kids have done duct tape pens and wallets as well as mowed lawns and shoveled snow.
It’s good for our kids to earn the things they want by working to get them. That’s called real life.
Don’t expect that your kids can live in fantasy land all their childhood by getting everything they want, and it not affect them when they enter the real world of adulthood someday. The older they get, the more this point applies. As they get older, increase their opportunities to work hard for what they want. It’s a win-win for both of you.