Another outcome of the Entitled Child is the “what’s in it for me?” attitude; this is when children expect a reward for every little thing they do. Yes, rewards and acknowledgements of achievements have their place, however if constant rewards are given for expected behaviours the child is never going to move on from this expectation. If you ask your child to clear the table, sweep the floor or make their bed, what is their reaction?? If it is met with a ‘what will I get if I do?’ reaction, you have set your child up to become lazy and expectant. The reward for clearing the table is that you have just eaten, the reward for sweeping the floor is a clean floor and the reward for making the bed is that it is nicer to get into at the end of the day. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less!
Is your wallet a constant free for all? Are you constantly handing over money? Does your child insist that you buy them the latest gadget? STOP!!!! Children need boundaries, they need to be taught the value of money and they need to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. Children need to earn their own money, just as adults do. Pocket money is an essential learning tool to aid the teaching of delayed gratification. Set a reasonable allowance in consultation with your child and then also offer them the opportunity to earn extra money by doing extra duties that are above and beyond the expectations of pocket money. By providing opportunities for children to earn their own money, they are learning about budgeting, they are learning to spend wisely and perhaps they are also learning a little about giving charitably.
Entitled children often have parents who give in constantly and the child knows this and will play on manipulating their parent/s. Children know how to ‘push’ their parent’s buttons and will continue to do so if this is a pattern they are used to. Your child has learnt that “No” actually means “Yes, if you keep bugging me until I give in”. If this is the case, it’s time to start saying no and actually meaning it. By saying no to some things children are learning that life is not always going to go their way, and that that’s okay. You are establishing rules and healthy boundaries, you are building the resilience of your child and you are being a good parent.
A final point to consider is does your child need to be uncentred? Do they need to be taught that the world does not owe them anything and that they need to appreciate their surroundings in the here and now. It is the responsibility of all to make the world a better place, to see the beauty in everything, to show kindness and to be grateful for all the wonderful things in our lives.