There’s always a lot of talk about what’s the matter with kids today, and these days one of the biggest discussions centers around “entitlement”…. Way More. It can be seen over “stuff”- always wanting more, not taking care of what you have. It can also be seen when kids treat other kids poorly. In fact bullying is a form of entitled behavior.
There are many theories about the cause of entitlement behavior: One may be that kids have so much more things than former generations-within the past two years the percentage of kids under age 9 who’ve used smartphones and tablets soared from 38 percent to more than 70 percent! They are constantly bombarded with media images of kids who have EVERYTHING with no consideration for family finances or the fact that they did nothing to earn it. TV families seem to have unstoppable resources, When that’s nearly all they see on TV and movies, we can’t expect them to understand that their lives are not those of people on TV or that TV is not real life.
Also, in an effort to boost self esteem we often weaken it. Kids know when they didn’t do their best or as well as someone else. But when we tell them they did instead of saying “you weren’t the fastest today, but you are great at reading” we actually lower self-esteem (and leave them thinking we are either liars or gullible). Books that say “I’m special” because my favorite toy is Tonka Trucks nothing for self esteem. Books that say “I’m special because I can tie my shoes by myself” do.
Here are a few things you can do to raise healthy, kind kids:
Teach them the difference between needs and wants. Make the “wants” something to look forward to on birthdays, special occasions or as random rewards
Include them in the finances of their wants. Let them help around the house or use their allowance to help pay for the new Legos, or bike or game. When it’s not free, it’s usually better taken care of and appreciated more anyway
Create an atmosphere of gratitude. Thank the kids and your spouse for getting you a glass of water, or shoveling. Thank the waitress who brings your food. Send thank you notes and help your kids do the same on holidays and for birthday gifts.
Everyone has a job in the family. Very young children can bring silverware to the table with napkins. They can pick up toys they use. As kids age, give them jobs that are more complex with more responsibility. Allowances are just that- money they are allowed to have. Chores are a part of being in the family. Everybody eats, so everybody can help clean up. Everyone sits around the TV, so everyone can make sure there’s not too much clutter to do that. Everyone rides in the car so everyone can bring out his or her trash. Families help and take care of each other.
If you do offer an allowance, stick to it. If your child gets 5 dollars a week that’s it. He can save for something or spend it all at once, but there is not more money until the next “payday”.
Finally, while it’s not okay to intentionally cause your child pain, It is OK to let your child experience pain … not pain that you can prevent physically, but pain that you can’t necessarily prevent emotionally. If your child forgets his lunch, don’t drop off a McDonalds Happy Meal. Forgotten coats mean a cold day, that will probably not be repeated. His homework is not your homework…
We all want to raise kids who are strong, and independent. Entitlement mentality creates adults who are whiney, and dependent.
Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area. Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!
Call 877-938-1442 for general info
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