As a parent, you want to give your children everything you didn’t have…and more. You want to champion them and love them… but you also want to avoid them becoming total jerks! No one likes the entitled child. So, what can you do to avoid raising entitled little monsters? Here are the best tips we’ve got!
What does entitlement look like, and why is it bad?
Entitled kids have problems accepting no, not winning and when they don’t get their way. They cannot accept responsibility and have problems with self-reliance. They don’t understand boundaries and turn into adults who have these same problems. We all know them – and we don’t like being around them. So how do we create kids that are good members of society?
#1: Teach Them How to Cope with Not Getting Their Own Way.
Toddlers are egocentric – that’s a given, but you have to start somewhere.
- Teach empathy from a young age. You can do this by clapping when someone else is getting a ribbon at soccer, or taking them with you when buying a birthday gift for a friend letting you child know that it is for their friend and not them.
- Take turns. Toddlers don’t understand sharing but turn taking is easier to master. Use words and take deep breaths when they are frustrated, rather than letting them scream and shout.#2:
#2: Give Them Chores.
Teach kids responsibility from a young age. Studies show that kids who had chores at 3 and 4 had a higher sense of responsibility and self-reliance as adults. Some age-appropriate chores are:
- 2 and 3: Clearing their plate from the table after a meal. Putting toys away before bed.
- 4 and 5: Taking lunch bag out of their backpack after school. Determining if clothes are clean or dirty at the end of the day. Helping put their laundry away.
#3: Create Boundaries and Stick to Them.
This applies to both big and little things in life. As parents, you need to choose your battles: What are you willing to compromise on? What about when you’re tired? Agree on these as a household, and have your children repeat them back to you so you are all on the same page. As a good rule of thumb, put your foot down 75% of the time, and compromise 25%. Kids may get upset about this but it’s a good opportunity for them to learn to deal with anger and frustration.
#4: Model the Behaviour That You Want to See
A note on parenting: kids are always watching. Be cognizant of how you treat people, even within your own family. Treat your own family in a way that you can be proud of! Know that you will make mistakes, but put thought into how you will handle them.
Finally, remember that kids have bad days like adults, and although you may instill all of these great habits and lessons, remember that they are their own people. That will be reflected as they get older and start making their own decisions.
Join the conversation