Entitled: believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment
If children are rewarded from a young age for everything they do, or don’t do then we are allowing them to become entitled and they are losing those ever important lessons of common courtesies and ordinary, everyday challenges. Entitled children are oblivious to other people, to others needs and to others interests. The potential of the entitled child is limited because everything is given to them.
How can an entitled child become a fully functioning adult?
In order for children to become entitlement free we need to stop giving them everything they want when they want it; it’s really quite simple……in theory. By allowing children to have everything that they want they are constantly wanting more and more – the happiness becomes temporary and worse still, conditional. The entitled child learns quickly that ‘if I have that, then I will be happy’; they are learning all about immediate gratification and how this snowballs into more and more wants as they become aware that ‘things’ don’t create happiness. The side effects of this immediate gratification are tremendous, just look at the impact immediate gratification has on poor eating habits – the immediate gratification is in the taste of the food, however, this is soon replaced with feelings of regret, self-loathing, fatness and even nausea. Research shows that shop-a-holics display similar patterns of behaviour – the immediate gratification in the initial purchase of the product, followed shortly by feelings of regret, despair and self-hate.
Because the entitled child always gets what they want, when they want it, they are never given the opportunity to problem solve, to discover or to explore. As parenting expert Maggie Dent would say “If you want your child to do more….do less”; it’s pretty simple really….in theory. The next time Miss 4 wants a glass of milk teach her how to pour it herself and how to clean up after herself. Children need to be given opportunities to contribute to family life, they need to take on some level of responsibility for their own needs. So, when Miss 4 proceeds to pour milk into her cup and all over the cupboard she will now possess the skills to be responsible for her needs and is able to clean up any residual mess. If we expect children to contribute to their lives and that of the family, they soon recognise the benefits of these contributions and they continue to grow into self-sufficient adults.
We continue this discussion in the next instalment……..