Friday, February 10, 2012

Nannies, Are the Children You Care for Spoiled?

Is My Kid Entitled? How to Tell

In this article found on MSN web site by Martha Brockenbrough we learn that children today often have a sense of entitlement and how to change, what entitlement looks like, and how to shift our priorities. Below is just a portion of the article. Please click here to see the entire article.

Though there are always exceptions, many [people born between 1980 and 2000] struggle at work because their expectations are so out of line with reality. As the subhead to a 2007 Boston Globe story put it, "The crop of talented recent graduates coming into today's workforce is widely seen as narcissistic and entitled. And those are their best qualities."


Will our kids fare any better? When you look at the material expectations some have for cell phones, gadgets and fancy clothes, there's reason to worry.

We want our kids to have everything, of course. But we don't want them to be spoiled. It's a delicate balance to strike. So how can you tell when things are out of whack for your family?

What entitlement looks like

An entitled child feels he or she should receive without giving or working, says Edie Raether, a behavioral psychologist and family therapist. Other common signs of entitlement in children include:

- not taking turns
- impatience
- a tendency to put themselves first
- insensitivity to or a lack of compassion toward others
- temper tantrums when they don't get what they want
- not saying "please" or "thank you"

While it's not uncommon for kids to view themselves as the axis of the universe, it's a parent's job to help kids see beyond themselves, and some of us aren't doing it very well.

Am I giving my child too much?

It's not always easy to tell if you've overindulged your child. The line keeps moving. When we were growing up, for example, computers were a luxury.

Today, though, "Computer access is almost a necessity, especially at the high school level, for research and written assignments," says Jennifer Little, Ph.D., who runs the website Parents Teach Kids.

So what are other necessities? The basics of clothing, food and a bed are a given, she says. Kids also need social outlets. Sports are good ones because they let kids be both physically active and social.

Beyond that — designer clothes, gourmet meals out, piles of toys, concert tickets, expensive vacations, huge bedrooms — these things are all frills.

Our kids especially need us to set limits on how much time they spend with their friends and how much money is spent on clothing and gifts at holidays and on birthdays, Little says. And instead of us providing them with material things, they need us to find ways for them to earn their own money and opportunities. As teens, for example, they should help pay for their own cars, insurance and college tuition.

It's a matter of shifting our priorities

The good news is, "This is an entirely solvable problem," Gilboa says.

It's not about saying no to everything. Rather, it's a matter of understanding what we need to be focusing on. Our kids' happiness isn't it, Gilboa says. Rather, it's their resilience — their ability to cope with stress and adversity.

"As we think of each request with the goal of building resilience, it becomes much clearer how we can say no with love and confidence," Gilboa says. "Clear, repeated explanations to our disbelieving children can bolster our will and spirit to give our children less things than they want, and more of the initiative to get those things themselves."

Please click here to see  the entire article.


Anonymous said...

Every generation complains about the kids being spoiled. The key is about respect. My issues is they don't speak to me with respect. They think they are equals to adults.

Steph F said...

I agree with the idea that every generation complains that kids are spoiled and I posted that on FB thanks.

Anonymous said...

My charges have a lot compared to what I had growing up, (I never felt we lacked anything) but seeing all the things my charges had was a bit over the top sometimes. But I never felt they were spoiled.
However, many kids we come in contact with at their schools or classes are extremely spoiled, and have all the sign of entitlment, even though they are 5 or younger, and it's DEF. the parents/grandparents fault. I've actaully switched out of a few classes over the years because I could not stand some of these children and parents/grandparents.
Even though my charges have all been well off, I make it a point to teach them kindness and to be aware of other people's feelings. We also do little things in the community to help others so they can see everyone is not as lucky as they are. One time comes to mind, it was around the holidays and the Salvation Army was ringing the bill and collecting. My charge was 4 at the time and very interested to know why they were doing that. So I said Well, lets go ask them to tell us. The lady was very nice and explained they help people without homes and food. My charge was so shocked to learn some people did not have homes or food. I explained how we can help them by giving our money so they can have things. After that whenever my charge saw anyone collecting, she always asked if we had extra money so we could help.