Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Raising Children Not To Have An Entitlement Mentality

Our guest blogger is Kari Cullen author of Saving Your Way to a Better Life.

Raising Children Not To Have An Entitlement Mentality

Many parents today are concerned about raising children with an “entitlement mentality”. Maybe you’re a parent who’s already seen this mentality exhibited in your kids. You wonder where they got this mentality. How is it that they think they are entitled to everything they want? Why do they want so much even though you did not raise them this way?
Here are some ideas on teaching your kids to overcome the entitlement mentality.
1. Teach Them to Give Back
Teach your kids to give back to others, take them to volunteer at a soup kitchen or do some community service. This allows them to see that there are others out there that are not as fortunate and that we have to work for the things we get.
Another simple and easy task to do and can be done every few months is to clean out a closet or toy box and have them choose items to give away to charity. You can fill a bag and have them go with you to drop it off at your local Salvation Army or Clothing drop box.
2. Learn to Say No
This doesn’t mean you have to start saying no to everything your kids want. But when you do say no to something, make sure you stick to it! Another common occurrence is when one parent says no your child knows to go and ask the other parent and that parent may say yes without even thinking. Make sure both of you are on the same page.
Modern society has made instant gratification normal. Remember when you had to spend hours at the library to research for a paper, and your parents had to drive you? Now all that information is just a mouse-click away. And sites like Amazon make purchasing something super-easy, and it often arrives in one day. I even find myself losing patients when I have to wait for things because I am use to getting them right away.
To overcome this, saying no now and then is a very good idea. Even if it’s something you may want to give them you can always say “let me think about it” and get back to them. It may seem strange, and if your child reacts with a huge outburst, just calmly ride it out and don’t engage in an argument.
3. Just Because Others “Have” Doesn’t Mean You “Deserve”

Most often your child may develop this entitlement mentality because they see what other children have at school. If the other kids at school have gaming systems, then your child is going to feel like he or she deserves one, too. It may go further – your child may feel like wealthier kids owe him something of their wealth just because they have more than he does.
To counteract this, teach your child to take responsibility for they wants. Tell them they will need to earn the money to buy that particular thing, and help them find age-appropriate jobs that pay (if you can afford it, you can pay them to do some jobs/chores). This helps your child come away with a sense of accomplishment (once again), and a recognition that if he wants something, he can take the initiative and go out and get it.

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