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
- 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.