It’s natural to want your children to succeed, but overindulging or sheltering them can backfire. Some experts talk about an entitlement epidemic that is making it more difficult for the next generation of adults to develop realistic expectations and interact with others. In any case, over-parenting can undermine a child’s self-confidence and make them less resilient.
So, how do you balance caring for your child with helping them to grow up to be independent and appreciative? Take a look at these proven strategies to turn a sense of entitlement into healthy self-respect.
Strategies to Use with Your Child
At an early age, it’s natural for children to feel like they’re the center of the world. As a parent, it’s your job to teach them how to respect others and accommodate their needs.
1. Set limits early. If you’re tempted to spoil your child, think about how their future classmates and coworkers are likely to respond to their demands. Youngsters who learn to cooperate and compromise will be better prepared for the future.
2. Clarify the rules. Children need consistency. Enforce regular bedtimes and screen their TV viewing. It will help them to follow the rules when they start to play school sports or drive a car.
3. Share chores. Household tasks are a practical way to teach collaboration. Kids will see how they can contribute to a happy household.
4. Write thank you letters. Birthdays and holidays can inspire gratitude rather than greed. Make sending thank you notes fun. Let your child choose the stationery and draw pictures if they’re struggling to find the appropriate words.
5. Teach financial responsibility. Even small children can start to understand the fundamentals of sticking to a budget and saving up their money for special occasions. Try buying your child a basic phone plan, and let them use their allowance to purchase extra minutes and features.
6. Encourage conversation. Parents sometimes buy merchandise for kids because they’re too tired to spend meaningful time together. Take a road trip without any movies or video games. Count road signs or sing songs.
7. Value effort and learning. Guide your children toward developing a positive self-image. Praise them for gaining knowledge and taking risks instead of focusing on grades and prizes.
Strategies Just For You
Your children will follow your example, so ask yourself what kind of role model you’re providing. Examining your own entitlement issues may be revealing.
1. Give yourself credit. Each of us wants to feel special. and do things our own way sometimes. Being willing to put aside your own preferences is a big first step. Congratulate yourself on being aware of your tendencies and open to changing them.
2. Practice giving. You’ll soon find that curbing your sense of entitlement is no sacrifice. Being generous usually makes you happier than trying to fulfill your own wishes. Plus, your relationships with others will probably become closer and more harmonious.
3. Simplify your lifestyle. Modern life bombards us with advertisements urging us to spend more. Keep material possessions in perspective.
4. Hold yourself accountable. Do you take responsibility for your actions or blame others when things go wrong? Your children may stop making excuses if they see you taking ownership of your own decisions.
5. Consider counseling. Ironically, an exaggerated sense of entitlement can also be caused by feeling like you were deprived as a child. Talking with a counselor may help if you need extra assistance.
You can give your child love and attention without feeling pressured to do their homework or buy them truckloads of expensive gadgets. Managing entitlement issues will help your child to have a happier and more satisfying life.