One of the keys for us when it comes to raising a child with character; is to have a grateful child. A child who is grateful for what they have, will be more appreciative for everything. So how can we help kids overcome the entitlement mentality? I’m sharing 3 simple, but effective, ways to do just that.
In this day and age, many parents are concerned about their children developing an “entitlement mentality”. Maybe you’re a parent who’s already seen this mentality exhibited in your kids. Teaching your kids to “pay it forward” – that is, to give back to others and their community – is a remedy of sorts for the entitlement mentality.
Here are some simple ideas on paying it forward and giving back.
3 Simple Ways to Help Kids Overcome the Entitlement Mentality
1. Learn to Say No
This doesn’t mean you have to start saying no to everything your kids request.
If you need to ask for time to think about it first, by all means do so. But if you do say no to something, make sure you stick to it. Modern society has made instant gratification the norm. 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.
So to counteract this, saying no now and then is a good idea. 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.
2. Push Your Kids a Bit
Sometimes, kids needs to stretch. If you give in to their dislikes – they may refuse to do something legitimate because they are afraid or uncomfortable – then you deny them the opportunity to sacrifice something for others.
For example, what if your child was asked to speak before a group, and was terrified at the prospect? Requiring him or her to do it despite the fear teaches several things: first, that sometimes you need to sacrifice for others; second, a sense of accomplishment; and third, a deeper understanding of what it means to give time and effort (not just giving things).
Check out these discipline strategies for more ideas.
3. Just Because Others “Have” Doesn’t Mean You “Deserve”
No one owes your child because he or she has less than another child. 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 his wants.
Tell him he will need to earn the money to buy that particular thing, and help him find age-appropriate jobs that pay (if you can afford it, you can pay him to do some jobs). 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.
Books about Entitlement for Parents
Want some more strategies? Try one of these hand-picked books.
Or, if you’d rather have it more portable, here are some eBooks to purchase for your kindle. Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial
More Ideas to Try
Raising grateful kids is actually quite easy. Encourage them to keep a gratitude journal or try these monthly acts of kindness calendars.
You can also print out kindness cards for them to share with others at school.
By helping them overcome the entitlement mentality they’ll also (hopefully) extend this charity to others.
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