5 Ways You Are Teaching Your Kids to Be Entitled

4. Being Too Quick to Step In

We all know that mom or dad—the one who pitches a fit if their child doesn’t make first string, doesn’t get the A, or doesn’t get the recognition. Of course we want our children to succeed, but the goal is to help our children learn how to succeed based upon their own merits. When children receive recognition based upon parental intervention rather than their own initiative, entitlement results.

Have you been too quick to step in? Try this: Give your child the gift of working hard to achieve a goal. Resist the temptation to intervene unless absolutely essential. Be okay with a little failure along the way. Failure isn’t fatal if it helps your child develop character. Allow your child to succeed in his or her own time and own way and you’ll raise an empowered child, not an entitled one.

5. Following the Crowd

These days it’s not uncommon for middle school kids to reserve party limos or preschool children to have birthday parties as elaborate as weddings.

Is all this excess healthy? Who started this trend? And why did we as a society follow it?

There’s a fine line between making our kids feel special and making our kids feel spoiled. If every event is special, soon no event is special. Special becomes ordinary. Parents spend time, energy and money trying to top the last party, the last gift, or the last event. It’s a crazy maker for parents and an entitlement maker for kids.

Have you blindly followed the crowd? Try this: Before mindlessly buying the latest gadget or allowing your child to participate in some activity just because everyone else is, stop. Look beyond the moment. Is the decision in your child’s best interest in the long term? Resist the urge to give too much, too soon. Instead, give your child the opportunity to look forward to things as they mature; then special things really will be special. Anticipation is an antidote for entitlement.

Yes, we live in the age of entitlement. But our families don’t have to be victims. We can chart a new course—a better one—for our children. Entitlement isn’t merely a function of giving our kids too much stuff; it’s also a function of failing to give our kids the stuff they really need: parental guidance, wisdom, and direction. With a little know-how and effort, we can turn the tide of entitlement.


This post originally appeared at Crosswalk.com, published with permission.

Donna Jones
Donna Joneshttp://donnajones.org
More than a Bible teacher, Donna Jones is a Bible explainer, who’s shared God’s wisdom with folks in 20 states and on four continents. She’s a pastor’s wife and mom to three wildly funny young adult kids who frequently sit on her kitchen counter, just to chat. Donna is the author of several books including Seek: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God, Taming Your Family Zoo, and the Bible Study series, Get Healthy: Family, Friendship, Confidence and Contentment. Find her books and resources at www.donnajones.org, on twitter @donnajonesspeak, or on Instagram @donnaajones.

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