9 Things We Should Get Rid of to Help Our Kids

She borrowed something from me.

And then she lost it.

Accidents happen.

But it was the whole “It only cost ten bucks-you can get another one” attitude that I couldn’t let happen a moment longer.

So, I gave her a job that required hard work and gave her the $10 she earned and then I made her pay me for what she lost.

Child counting money (Shallow DOF)

Listen, when I realized I was more than half the problem in this whole entitlement parenting challenge, it was a wake up call. Kids naturally want what they haven’t earned, especially if we are handing it out for free.

But what we have is an entire generation of young adults who got everything they ever wanted with little or no work; we have a cultural norm and it’s a problem.

Because reality is, life doesn’t give us everything we want. We don’t always get the best jobs or a job at all. We don’t always have someone rescue us when we have a bad day or replace our boss just because we don’t like them. We can’t always have what we want when we want it. We aren’t always rewarded in life.

Here are 9 things we can get rid of to begin eliminating entitlement in our children:

1. Guilt: Often we give into our kid’s requests out of guilt. We need to stop feeling guilty for not giving our kids everything they want. It’s hard to swallow, but we foster the attitude of entitlement in our homes when we are ruled by a guilty conscience. It’s okay to ask kids to be responsible for what they lose and to require consequences for actions.

2. Overspending: I think it’s good for our kids to hear us say, “We can’t afford that” Or “We will have to save for it.” Because that’s real life. We don’t have All The Money to Buy All the Things. I’ve known families before who are working multiple jobs to keep kids in extracurricular activities, when honestly, the kids would probably be happier with more family time.

3. Birthday Party Goody Bag (Mentality)-I’ve been guilty of this like most of us. But, really? We take our kids to parties so they can give a gift, but they take a small one home so they won’t feel bad? It’s not their birthday. This concept of spoiling kids (which usually goes far beyond goody  bags) is temporary fun. It’s okay for them not to be the center of attention.

4. Making our day-week-month, our world about our kids-Working in the non-profit world has redirected our extra time. We simply can’t center our lives around our children when we are centering our lives around Christ. Child-centered homes don’t help children in the long-run.

5. The desire to make our children happy (all the time). If you visited my house, you’d find out pretty quickly that someone’s always unhappy. It’s not our job to keep our kids happy. Don’t carry that impossible burden. Typically when our kids are unhappy, it’s because we are standing our ground. And that makes for much healthier kids in the future.

6. Made Up Awards: You know what I’m talking about. Rewarding everyone who participates in every area only fosters an inflated self esteem. Kids don’t need rewards for every little thing. It’s okay to lose, they learn through failure as much as success.

7. Fixing all their problems: I don’t like to see my kids struggling. There’s a part of every parent that longs to make things right in their child’s world. But it’s not healthy to create a false reality. You won’t always be there to do so and not only that, if you’re doing it all for your child, why would they need to learn to do it themselves? Fixing all their problems is really only creating more challenges in the future.

8. Stuff: We could all probably fill a half dozen trash bags with just stuff. Excess. Try it. Bag it up and get your kids to help you and give it to someone who needs it.

9. Unrealistic Expectations: My girls are always asking for manicures. I didn’t have one until I was married, pregnant and 27 years old. I’m not opposed to the occasional treat, but it’s the attitude of expecting it because you as a parent or others have it. Just because I have an iPhone, doesn’t mean my children will get one. We don’t have to give our kids everything we have. It’s okay to make them wait for things in life.

It’s okay to toss out these things. Go ahead, give it a try.


Comments

  1. 1

    says

    After six moves last year (and one move every year for five years before that), EVERYTHING my family of five owns fits in a 5X10 storage unit. It is glorious. It is liberating. We are all happier. We are about to move again, and I’m looking forward to paring down even more.

    • 1.1

      adrian graham says

      What tips can you share for paring down? We are a fam of 5 also. Kids are 6, 3, & 1.

      • 1.1.1

        Mom to 1 says

        Be honest with yourself about what you actually used, if you haven’t used it in the last year, toss it, sell it, or donate it!

        • 1.1.1.1

          Nicole says

          I’m 17 and I do it all the time. I will go through my closet every 6 months and give clothes I don’t wear to the thrift store in town. It’s nice especially since my closet isn’t huge. I also go through my room about once every year and get rid of things I know I won’t ever use again. It helps declutter my room a lot, plus leaving for college soon so I’ll be down sizing anyways.

          • 1.1.1.1.1

            kat says

            OK…um, Nicole…? You’re 17…THAT in itself tells me YOU are one of the kids this article is talking about.
            And that you are “downsizing” to go to college soon…I mean, THAT YOU HAVE THINGS TO downsize at your young age tells me you are giving away YOUR PARENTS hard earned?? money & not your own!
            At your age I didn’t KNOW what it meant to “downsize” because I had nothing TO downsize FROM! Give me a break!

          • 1.1.1.1.2

            Jen says

            Wow….easy, Kat. Maybe she has a job, generous extended family members or has earned her stuff. I would say since she purges and gives her things away, she’s NOT one of the kids this article is talking about. Keep up the good work, Nicole.

          • 1.1.1.1.3

            erin says

            OMG Kat what is wrong with you? What teenager doesn’t have extra clothes and stuff in their room even if they aren’t spoiled rotten? Sheesh. Give HER a break!

          • 1.1.1.1.4

            Jenny says

            Kat I think that was really unfair of you. Nicole is doing a good thing. Donating should never be looked down upon. Obviously yes maybe her family is well of because I can’t afford to go through any closets in my home and just donate things every few months. We would have nothing left. But the fact she is donating it is a good thing. There are people with money out there that just toss the stuff the don’t want. Even loaded celebrities sell their stuff like they need the money. Don’t be so hard in her she’s young and it’s unfair. Don’t take it out in her.

          • 1.1.1.1.5

            "That Mom" says

            Don’t feel bad Nicole, my daughter often “declutters” her stuff, but I can tell you she earns her own money and is often generous with it. B
            But we are those thrifty shoppers so when we buy things is is often just 50 cents but find that someone else can use it after we have used it for the year. We then clean out and go “shopping” again for more 50 cent finds. This allows us to always have a cool wardrobe but never at a costly price.
            Never have paid full price for anything and never will…..

          • 1.1.1.1.6

            Kaytlin says

            Got to side with Jen and Erin here. When I was 17 I had a job and bought everything I owned myself. The only thing I didn’t pay for was rent. I had to walk to work to earn everything I had, I didn’t have a car, or one I could even borrow. When I wanted to get my license I had to pay for my own Driver’s Ed and Lerner’s permit. Some parents just “can’t afford it”. Mine couldn’t at that point in time in my life, so I learned to earn it for myself.

          • 1.1.1.1.7

            Rebecca says

            Kat whos to say Nicole doesnt work for the things she has. at 17 some parents think its time for the kids to step up. my husband was active duty army, infantry at 17. he graduated high school and moved across the country at that time. or whos to say shes doing this without her parents permission. i was encourage to go through my things regularly and donate as a child. at 5, 3 and 2 my children are encourage to set aside things they have out grown to go to a sibling, cousin, friend or donate. by 17/18 i was a full time student working two jobs. i was responsible for all of my actions and belongings. just because the people youve come across in your limited scope have all been entitled doesnt mean every one is. to me it sounded as if Nicole’s parents did a good job at teaching her moderation and altruism.

          • 1.1.1.1.8

            JJ says

            Great habits start early in life, be proud that you are already practicing the value of generosity and not hoarding. Fantastic job!

          • 1.1.1.1.9

            ab says

            Good for you Nicole! Don’t let anyone spoil your the charity of donating what you don’t need.

            Kat,while it is important to not give into our guilt as parents we must also reflect on the repercussions and feelings of guilt we might stir in others. Never is belittling a child or young adult the way to inspire selflessness. Totally unfair and unwarranted judgment.

          • 1.1.1.1.10

            Momof2 says

            Nicole I commend you on giving to charity! Not a lot of people will do that anymore and to see someone who is 17 that has a heart to help others gives me hope for this world. When I was 17 I worked hard for everything I had, down to my clothes, car, gas, and helping with the bills. You will find that later on in life, your caring heart will come in handy. Someone will always have something to say wither you are doing wrong or right. That’s just life. Keep your head up and let negative comments roll off like water.

          • 1.1.1.1.11

            Mz Jab says

            What a great idea, Nicole! Not only are you cleaning out, you are blessing others by donating. I wish I had started cleaning out regularly as a teenager, I might not be the ‘pack-rat-Nana’ that I am today!

          • 1.1.1.1.12

            says

            Kat, I thought the article was interesting and then all of the sudden you were totally rude to Nicole. Sounds like she is doing a great job. It’s always nice to have the opinion of teenagers too.

          • 1.1.1.1.13

            twin mom says

            Wow Kat, growing up my family didn’t have lots of money and one time I wouldn’t have had anything for my birthday if church friends hadn’t given us stuff. Yet my mom made us go through our stuff twice a year and give away toys or clothes we didn’t use. We always had to earn our stuff and when I wanted a cell phone I had to pay for the giant hulky thing. Just because you didn’t do or use the words/actions Nicole does at her age doesn’t make her actions wrong.

          • 1.1.1.1.14

            April says

            As a mother of 2 children (ages 2.5 and 11 months) my house is very full of toys. I have toys for kids of both ages and some say they have “too much”. However, when they do get new toys, I take the old toys and donate them to the Salvation Army and also given to them local daycares. I commend you for de-cluttering and giving things to local thrift shop. When I was 17 years old I was attending college AND high school (because of the Running Start Program) and working 2 part-time jobs. I bought everything I had by myself, even though I was still very financially responsible. I didn’t have a lot of stuff unless I bought it during my teenage years so I like to spoil my children now. You’re doing a great thing and don’t let one or two people’s negatives comments change the way you are. I think you’re awesome, and by the responses from a lot of other ladies – they do too :) Keep up the good work!

          • 1.1.1.1.15

            Abby says

            Wow. Just wow, Kat. Do you have nothing better to do than criticize teenagers online all day?
            I wish I had been better about decluttering when I was your age. It would have been a lot easier when I moved away from home into a small, shared apartment! I moved 5 times in 2 years right after high school so I really wish I had been better about downsizing. Moving is difficult enough without the added stress of packing up junk. Good for you, Nicole! Keep it up. And don’t let people tell you that that you have nothing to downsize from. When I was your age, I know I had plenty of things that I could have gotten rid of. And Kat, my mom actually supported my descison when I decluttered. Even if it was stuff she bought, she would rather have me give it away to someone who could use it than to just have it collect dust. Awesome job, Nicole. Seriously. I’m sure you’re more mature and thoughtful than most people your age are. And don’t feel bad. As you can see, not one person agrees with that negative comment.

          • 1.1.1.1.16

            Amanda says

            Wow! Rude much, Kat?

            I worked full-time when I was 17, and I could spend my money on things that I wanted, just because I wanted them. Does that make me spoiled? No. It just made me a teenager with a full-time paycheck and nothing to pay for but a car, gas, and insurance. We didn’t have much growing up–my mom saved pocket change to be able to buy as Happy Meals as a treat every now and then. We were still taught to donate things we no longer used to charities or thrift stores, etc… There’s no reason to act like you know more/better than this girl. Just because she is ‘downsizing’ for college doesn’t mean she’s spoiled. It just means she doesn’t want to take all of her stuff with her. You don’t know what ‘a lot’ is to her. It could be half of what YOU have. Don’t judge.

          • 1.1.1.1.17

            mary says

            I agree with what everyone is saying about it being great that you donate stuff you don’t use. I just wanted to comment on Kat’s “you shouldn’t have to downsize for college” comment. How in the world do you NOT downsize for college? I know some people really have nothing, but you don’t have to be spoiled to have stuff. When I’m at school, I’m living in a room smaller than my bedroom at home, and with two other girls living in the same room too. Three beds, three desks, three closets and dressers. There’s just no way all three of us could fit all of our home stuff in that tiny room. And even if I could, I wouldn’t want to try to transport all that to and from school in my car every year when I have to move. Congrats on being a decent human being, Nicole, and good luck in college!

  2. 2

    says

    After working at a major university for 20 years, I hope this anti-entitlement parenting takes off! We are not an organized religion family, and I still agree with #4 — no matter what your bigger frame, community, family, they get a vote but they don’t get to “drive the bus.” THANK YOU for this!

  3. 3

    Erin says

    THANK YOU! Entitlement is such a huge issue in our world today, and its no exception in my home. The biggest thing I struggle with is the guilt, but I know that if I “stick to my guns”, my kids will appreciate it in the long run.

  4. 5

    says

    Your blog lately is at the top of my reading list. You have so encouraged me and inspired me as a person, and as a mom. I cannot thank you enough.

  5. 7

    Karena says

    This article is spot on! I work with students ages 17-27 and the entitlement spirit is rampant! I will be printing this for a few of my students, because I’m glad to see that other people are putting their foot down to help the next generation become better than us in all areas of life. Thanks for this Kristen, you totally rock!

  6. 9

    says

    YES! My husband and I were just discussing last night that our eldest needs a bit more responsibility and less coddling. This was a fantastic “green light” for us.

  7. 11

    beth says

    I grew up in a family where I was told no, a lot. I had a job at 15, and before that babysat for spending money. I paid for my first car on my own, and had to maintain good grades for them to pay for insurance. Everything I own comes out of my money and has since I was 11 and started babysitting. It’s hard, but I think it has taught me the meaning of hard work and dedication

    • 11.1

      JR says

      There is a fine line between helping out and making them totally dependent on themselves. They have to also understand that they can’t do it all by themselves and need to ask for help.

  8. 12

    Susan says

    THANK YOU! #s 1 & 9 are my two biggest challenges with my daughter. Add to the mix that I have just one child and occasionally succumb to the “we can do more for her because we only have one” mentality and I battle with these daily. Thank you for the reminders that a) I’m not alone; b) I’m not wrong when I say “No!” (for good reasons); and c) my child really will be better for it in the end.

  9. 13

    says

    Thank you for this! Well said. I am right there with you. I recently wrote something on what giving allowance taught me and why we don’t do it anymore. We don’t want our children to believe that just because they exist or do basic things in life, someone will hand them money. Also our ‘Gratitude Project’ has been successful for minimizing the ‘I wants’ and helped our children realize and appreciate what they have. We are not alone! Thanks again and keep up the great work!

    (http://disquisitivemama.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-gratitude-project-unspoiling-our.html)

  10. 14

    says

    Great list! I just love seeing that there are other old school parenting techniques making a comeback. I agree with you on all points, especially #4. We should love them dearly but be careful not to worship them. Thanks for sharing!

  11. 15

    Dawn says

    Another great blog post! The only thing you didn’t mention was spending more on a daughter’s prom then we probably spent on our wedding… maybe you haven’t crossed that bridge yet but, trust me, it’s gotten ridiculous! So thankful I have boys for this one reason alone (not that I would spend that much $ anyhow – egads.)

  12. 16

    says

    Spot on! We are on a financial fast & it has been a real eye opener for the children to see . It can be hard to stick to your guns in this culture but our kids are worth it.

  13. 17

    Bea havens says

    I do think you have valid points, but I think our children should be our focus. We brought them into Hughes workd and it is our responsibility to center our lives bringing them up. I am older than you seem to be, and my children & husband were my second priority after my God. See I believe that they are a gift from God and I cherish them. Remember, who you are is God’s gift to you, who you become is your gift to God.

    • 17.1

      Katie says

      Hi, Bea. I think maybe your views are closer in line with the author’s than you might think.

      To many of my mom-friends, their child is their entire WORLD. I think the author is making the point that many of us are guilty of worshiping and basing our lives around our kiddos. If our relationship with God is on track, that would just not be possible!

      Parenthood is a godly profession, and we are certainly called to take parenting seriously. I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and I love my son more than I could ever express. I spend all day with him, and I’m constantly looking for ways to better my parenting. Would I say I “center [my life] bringing [him] up?” No! If I did, I would consider that a sin. The center of my life should be God…just like you expressed yours is. :)

  14. 18

    Casey McKinnon says

    great article! fabulously written…but I must defend the GOODY BAGS! For our family it is a way I use to help our “birthday kid” remember to look beyond themselves on that day. They are responsible for planning, shopping, preparing and distributing these modest tokens of thanks. As parents, our birthday “gift” to them is the family dinner, some special decorations or activities, and the cost of the treat bags. We find this accomplishes many of the goals you’ve written about here! Thanks again for sharing!

    • 18.1

      Kristine says

      As someone who just threw a b-day party for my 6 year old (we only started doing a friend party at age 5), I went against “tradition” & didn’t give out goody bags for 2 reasons: 1) even the smallest of stuff adds up cost wise, on top of the cake, a few decorations & place were we had the party (we live in a condo & it’s winter here, so no room to hold it at home) and 2) do kids really need more food, bubbles, crayons, books, balls, small toys that don’t get played w/once it gets home? No, my kids don’t need it & neither do the other kids (my friend told me “thank you” for not doing goody bags, she said they don’t need anything else). And if you get one “nicer” item, even $10, that’s over $100 just on gift bags (which goes back to my #1). I’d rather use that $100 and give to a charity instead.

      • 18.1.1

        Amy says

        I threw my 6 year old her first friend birthday party a couple months ago and specifically said NO GIFTS on the invitations. We tie-dyed t-shirts at the local art studio, so I did ask each child to bring something to tie-dye instead. We did have a pinata with some candy and pencils, so each kid (including my birthday girl) went home with what they brought to dye and a a small bag of pinata goodies. My daughter didn’t need that many gifts and, I was already asking them to buy a shirt to tie-dye. Hopefully my daughter realized that the party was not about her getting stuff, but her having a fun experience with her friends. (She did get gifts at our private family dinner – I’m not THAT mean!)

  15. 19

    Oma says

    AMEN! And Thank you!!! This list hits a sore spot for me. As Oma to seven kids from 5 to 25 both in so CA & Europe, and a retired teacher, I have seen family values flip-flop 180 degrees since I was growing up in the 40″s & 50′s. IMHO, prosperity has done this to our society, maybe around the world. The idea that children should live a “better life” than their parents did because the parents CAN afford to give it!
    Wish I had the nerve to send this to my loving daughter & DIL but I do not dare interfere. Anyway, the daughter’s & grandkids know that some of Oma’s ideas are different but she does so many fun and free outdoor things with them like camping & getting filthy & tired out, so they get the picture. Also, they do hear, “No” sometimes and, “I can’t afford it.” But then we go Geo-caching and they forget what they wanted to buy. And we give away the trinkets in their stash at home to trade for other stuff when we find a hidden cache.
    Posted with Love and Hope for the future. I don’t wish for them to live through a return to a much lower standard of living, but, honestly, step back and look at how the total US economy is going…

  16. 20

    Deborah says

    I’m in total agreement, especially about the “made-up” awards. I had an acquaintance who was “The Mom Who Wanted To Be In Charge Of Everything” for her son’s Little League team. She picked up half the kids (most of whom didn’t even want to participate half the time, and those that did, their parents didn’t care one way or the other) for each practice, she provided the snacks, and at the end of the season when they came in dead last she bullied each of the parents to pay for trophies for their kids. Naturally I was puzzled: “But didn’t you say Hunter’s team came in last place?” She said, “Yeah, they did, so?” “Then why give them trophies? Aren’t you rewarding them for doing badly?” She said, “No, it’s not like that, it’s a “Participation” trophy so they’ll remember their experiences in Little League!” To which I HAD to reply, “Why don’t they remember the old-fashioned way, with their brains? Why buy a piece of plastic junk for them to look at and say, “Yeah, my team sucked but I got this crappy trophy anyway!” that YOU have to dust? She had no answer for that.

    • 20.1

      Bonnie says

      Perhaps she wanted the kids to be proud of their season, whether they won or not. I think the most telling bad parenting bit about this isn’t the trophies; it’s the apathy of the other parents who were too lazy and apathetic to take their kids to team sports. I personally support this parent for stepping up.

  17. 21

    Tonya says

    THANK YOU for this! I am a fourth grade teacher and I see this EVERYDAY. It is terrifying. People told me my perspective would be different when I had my own child. Well, I’ve had my own child and they were wrong. My husband and I have realized we’re going to be the “mean parents” and I am completely fine with that. My child will grow up with a healthy perspective and know how to earn things with hard work.

  18. 22

    Kristina says

    Good advice. The only thing that is possibly scarier than raising an entitled child is marrying one. My fiance is a sweet and caring man, but I can see different areas where he had too much freedom growing up and too little respect for his parents. Bad habits only solidified in adulthood. Thankfully God is working on him (as He is all of us), but it’s a shame that so many people have to be undone because of a failure to “raise up a child in the way he should go.”

  19. 23

    Amy says

    What a great article!! I believe we live by all of them, but number 5 is the hardest. Being a divorced parent, it’s tough being the “mean” parent. I explain to them that it is not my job to raise them to be only-happy children, but to raise them to be good adults (they are preteens). And yes, I plan activities that will bring them joy, and we have planned nights that they get to pick the game/movie/restaurant.

  20. 24

    says

    I have to put my foot down about the Starbucks. Last month, between my daughters and I, we spent over $60 on the caffeinated goodness. But here’s the problem: That’s 60 Bucks! Money that could feed a child…good to the church…or anything else. My oldest daughter asks for it. all. the. time. It’s too much! (Not to mention drinking that much caffeine is not good for your body.) So I put a stop to it and she is NOT happy with me. Oh, the guilt. No one said our job as a parent is to make our kids happy, although you would not know that by looking around today. I agree with everything you said. It’s good for kids to hear “We can’t afford it.” Money doesn’t literally grow on trees. If our kids think that they can spend money without making or saving it, then they grow up not knowing how to handle it. -Jeri

  21. 25

    says

    Love this, especially # 8. We live far away from family and visited family for Christmas. We packed up their Christmas presents in a box and sat them in their room when we got home. 2.5 months later, the box still sits there, untouched. We obviously have too much stuff!

    • 25.1

      Lynn says

      Definitely candidates for a “give to the poor” moment. Be careful of the ones that are out and loved, no matter how well intentioned.

  22. 26

    Pebbles says

    This is the way I parent all very Love and Logic. It makes the child responsible and leaves the parent’s guilt at the door.

  23. 27

    says

    couldn’t love this post any more! How true we’re raising self-absorbed kids who want it all right now!!

    We give our boys jobs to earn money. It has been the best thing for my son. He can make $5 / week. If he does not do all the work he “left that money on the table.” He can see what he didn’t do and how he chose to leave it there.

    Also the lesson of making better choices! Asking, is this worth my money. Because they’re quicker to spend my money on anything just to have something.

  24. 28

    says

    My parents basically lived by these rules, and while I feel that they shaped me into the decent human being I am today, number three scarred me. I was afraid to ask for anything because I always heard we barely had enough money for necessities (read: food).

    This proved to be difficult for my husband who loves to buy me frivious items. I fought him tooth and nail over items I would deem unpractical. (Practical over pretty was my mother’s mantra.)

    It took a lot of time for me to loosen up and realize you don’t always have to buy the cheapest of cheap, and it is occasionally okay to spend money on others.

    • 28.1

      says

      I’m really glad you commented. I went thru this journey a little with my husband – we’ve shaped each other really. He taught me to value quality over cheapness and I taught him that by spending less money we could work less and enjoy each other more. It’s still a compromise. I think he spoils our kids, he thinks he shows great restraint. I just try to not make it a bone of contention in our marriage, for us to have a good relationship is more important than how much money we spend.

  25. 29

    says

    This came in perfect timing. I would like to think that we not raising entitled kids. In comparison to the world we are doing a pretty good job but there in lies or fault. Anything in comparison to the world looks pretty good. Recently, after church, the kids said, “Oh you NEED to sign us up for camp. It is ONLY $300″ I was shocked at their words. So much we need to to reflect on and this list is a great start.

  26. 30

    Heather says

    I grew up in a farming family I worked from sun up til the bus came and from when the bus dropped me off til sun down I earned my thing I worked hard and didn’t care if I broke a sweat doing so. Very rare for my generation, my 4 yr old May be spoiled by the grandparents but he is the first out the door with a shovel to do his chores and loves every minute bc I made it fun for him to enjoy hard work!

  27. 31

    Steph says

    PRO TIP I take “stuff” out of their rooms, put it in a box in the garage, if after a month they haven’t said “where is ….”, it goes to our favorite charity.

    • 31.1

      Gwenda says

      In our house, its still sitting in the garage because I haven’t emptied it yet… But her room needs to be done again!

  28. 32

    C says

    I hope you don’t mean this with special needs kids. They deserve every praise and trophy they get just for trying. I used to have this mind set until my child died. Now, I chose to live in the moment. Some kids may never earn a trophy so what is wrong with telling them they are not a loser just for trying? I agree with some of this but not all. Children need to know they are valued and loved because you never know when you might lose one.

    • 32.1

      Kristine says

      I’m sorry for your loss :-(
      I don’t think this was meant to include special needs children, that’s totally different.
      When I grew up & played sports you got something for 1st, 2nd & 3rd, period. That’s the thing, kids today think they should get something. You can show children they are valued & loved w/o giving them a physical object. Give them a hug, tell them they are loved & spend time w/them. Most kids today are in so many extra activities, but they really crave time w/their parents the most.

    • 32.2

      Kristen says

      No, of course not. One of my favorite things is the awards ceremony at my kids schools where they honor the special needs kids! Makes me cry every time! I’m sorry for your loss.

      • 32.2.1

        Jill says

        So, what, trying is only good enough for a kid with special needs? I am not trying to be critical and say children with disabilities get special treatment and it’s unfair, but you make it sound like it’s only appropriate to recognize with kids who have special needs. I have ADHD, but had an A average in hs and am about to graduate at 23 with an MS. My IQ tests at genius level… But things were NOT always easy for me. Kids need to know they aren’t less or a loser/freak for not being great at things, and they need to know you appreciate how hard they are trying. It is one thing to be lazy, it is another thing to struggle, and everyone has things they struggle with, typical or otherwise.

    • 32.3

      esther w says

      I 100% agree. My son has autism, and his tball team all received small trophies at the end of the year. He will probably never be able to earn a trophy the traditional way. But, he worked his tail off every single game, and had a great attitude. This deserves a trophy.

      While I don’t want an entitled kid, I also don’t want my kids always feeling like they aren’t good enough to be appreciated. No one is giving away college athletic scholarships to these kids. They aren’t being handed Nike deals. My goodness, a trophy that says “You did a great job working together as a team” isn’t going to spoil your child.

  29. 33

    says

    I am a new – ish parent (my boy is 16 months old) so I have not encountered many of your points firsthand. However, I know some spoiled entitlement brats that are now ‘adults’ with kids. I can’t help but roll my eyes when I see them referring to their kids as ‘little divas’ and saying things like, “Well she always gets her way! LOL!” It seems like our world is doomed to be overrun with kids that don’t get it.

    Your post has given me hope that my kid won’t be the only one that hears “no” when he needs to… Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • 33.1

      Roxanne Stickler says

      When I hear parents say something like that, my reply is usually, “Whose fault is that? Who’s the parent?” Is it really easier to let a child have her/his own way than say “NO!” and mean it? It might be now, right this second, but it won’t be when the child is older and the behavior has only gotten worse.

      • 33.1.1

        Jill says

        17? Do you want your son to be the boy who goes to college and can’t do his laundry properly, keep his dorm/apartment clean, and cook once he goes off the meal plan?? It happens far too often…

    • 33.2

      Kaytlin says

      The funny thing is, personally I always told myself I’d never be “that” parent. I thought I’d stand firm and tell my child “no” when need-be. I found out I wasn’t the parent I thought I’d be. It was until recently I realized I had to start telling my daughter “no” because she expects everything and then some, and she is only 4! I hear it’s easier to stop the problem when they are younger, but my issue has always been a combination of guilt and the fact that she is my only one I feel inclined to spoil her because she doesn’t have any siblings. It’s a huge learning process every single day.

  30. 34

    Valerie says

    I suffer from the guilt to give and give. Or to just let bad behavior go. How do you over come that? I’m a single mom of two boys 17 & 9, divorced for the past 5 years. I feel guilty asking someone to do the dishes and my excuse is well they went to school. Awful huh. … I just can’t help it and when I enforce it’s out of anger. Love this list I’m going to do it. …. I’ve got to ! Hard though without back up.

    • 34.1

      Annie says

      Would it help to ease the guilt if you remind yourself that your boys need these skills?
      From the simpler ones like washing dishes, preparing food on a budget, ironing their own shirts, to understanding how the world will interact with them – how will they cope with their bills, organise their college funds etc, if you haven’t given them the opportunity to practice on the small scale before they have to swim on their own?
      As a family, especially a single parent one, operating as a team, being able to rely on each other, to look out for each other, is something to sustain them in the hard moments of life now and in the future when they have to operate as adults.
      At 17, is the older one planning for college now, looking at what kind of future he wants to have? What kind of contribution he will make to the community around him ( if he’s content to let you do everything for him now, and whine about being asked to take a share of chores, maybe ask him does he plan on just being a taker all his life? has he thought about who he will be in 5 years time, and will he like himself then?)
      Keep reminding yourself that the skills, the attitudes, that you cultivate in them now have to get them through the next 70 years of adulthood, surviving money worries, marriage, childcare, maintaining a house/home, a career, and being the man that anyone would be proud to know
      And finally, make sure you have supportive friends of your own, preferably ones who have some of the same issues! And that you do things that nurture you beyond being just mom – show them how to be a competent adult by giving the best example you can be – and if that means they have to man up and do dishes, so be it, one day they (or their wives :) ) will thank you!

      • 34.1.1

        Cindy says

        Excellent way of thinking. My daughter is 17 and fondly talks about living on her own after high school – then I ask her if she remembers how to throw in a load of laundry then dry and put it away. I asked her if she’d be able to prepare a nice dinner for a boy she’d like to impress and she started reading and following recipes. I asked her to please practice these things now while she has help if she runs into questions.

    • 34.2

      Roxanne Stickler says

      It’ll be difficult if you’ve just let things go. So they’re at school for 5-6 hours. You’re at work for 8 hours + travel time. You come home & probably fix supper most nights. They SHOULD be helping (even if you’d been home all day). There is absolutely nothing wrong with your sons having home ‘chores’. They can wash dishes or load/empty the dishwasher, clean a bathroom, run the vacuum, learn to do laundry, iron occasionally, sew on a button or repair a seam, or anything else. It will teach them responsibility; who knows – they could even be a bit neater if they’re having to clean up after themselves. = ) After all, who’s going to do it for them when they’re out on their own? They might even like to cook! (That can be scary!)

      It may be harder to enforce if you’ve been doing most things at home for the past 5 years (or longer). Sit down with both boys & explain why they NEED to help you more. They’re old enough to understand; not to mention everyone will benefit from their helping – less ‘fussing’ on your part has got to be a ‘win, win’ for them, too!

    • 34.3

      Sue D'Nem says

      You OWE it to your children to make them do chores and help out around the house. The NEED to know how do do all the things around the house: dishes, garbage, vacuuming, etc. It they do not learn how to do these things at home when they are young, who is going to teach them?

  31. 36

    says

    You know, even though my sons are all-grown-up, I still find myself in some of these parent *traps* in my thinking. Sometimes I still find myself trying to fix their struggles and make them happy all the time. Of course, those efforts are more often than not viewed as meddling!! LOL!

    But these are wise words. We must always remember that we’re battling a culture of entitlement that is fueled by the lies of the enemy of God. After all, wasn’t that the basis of his temptation in the Garden – the sense that Eve (and Adam) were *entitled* to be like God?

    May we ever be diligent to fight against our innate sinful nature, and its constant striving for the *me* things in life.

    And may I, as a mom with adult sons out of the home and on their own, learn to let go and let God work in their lives.

    GOD BLESS!

  32. 37

    Kristi says

    Amen, and thank you. Especially for No. 6. I recently attended a dance competition where not only did everyone who participated get an award but even some of the “earned awards” were ridiculous…in some age groups they went all the way to 12th place…really?? 12th place out of like 15 groups – is worth an award?… not to mention the “for fun” awards they gave which were like “made me want to dance with you”, etc.. Craziness. My kids have more trophies, ribbons, and awards for NOTHING than my husband I had for ANYTHING deserving. I’m proud for them when they EARN a reward, but stop the “just because you showed up” junk…thank you.

    • 37.1

      Lynn says

      One time my son got one of those “originality” awards and he almost cried because it actually unintentionally insulted him. Getting nothing would have been better.

  33. 38

    Kate says

    Thank you! All your points are very valid and I especially relate the not making our world centered around our children. So many parents try to guilt other parents bc their child(ren) aren’t the center of the world in that home but I completely adhere to the philosophy that making home life child centered is only created egotistical children! I also love the point that you made at the end about just bc you (as the parent) get something like a mani/pedi or some expensive gadget doesn’t mean that your child(ren) get it. We are the adults earning the money and if we want to treat ourselves then by all means do so but that doesn’t require your 6yo to get one too. Children and adults are not equals and the sooner that a lot of these children stop being treated like equals then I feel as though the sooner these kids will stop acting like they’re entitled to everything. As you stated, many of the things/experiences we have as adults we didn’t have UNTIL we were adults and worked for those things. We have that conversation regularly in my home, “when you earn the money you can spend it on whatever you want”.

  34. 39

    says

    Amen! I got my first manicure the day before my wedding. It is funny how tough it can be to “deny” our own kids things they don’t need and we don’t have money for though…

  35. 40

    Christie says

    I agree 100% with all these points! I teach upper elementary and nearly all of my students have SmartPhones, while I still carry a non-SmartPhone…unbelievable! They think nothing of losing $50 sweatshirts and $120 coats on the playground or on the bus, then flippantly telling me their parents will just buy them another, (which is, unfortunately, what happens).

    I am also tired of kids being told by their parents how awesome they are! My son’s basketball team just won 1st place – in their division – and the other parents kept going on and on about how awesome their kids are and how they will probably be state champs when they are in high school. Well, I didn’t have the heart to break it to the parents, but we didn’t even win the TOP division…there were 6 other divisions above us. We were the winner of the “middle-of-the-road” division…but don’t tell the kids (or parents) that…lol! I’m not in favor of discouraging the players, but let’s introduce a little reality into their lives so it doesn’t all come crashing down on them in college: “What?!? You mean I’m NOT awesome? I’m normal just like everyone else?!?”

  36. 41

    says

    One tool that we have found helpful is Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace Junior” (Teaching Kids to Win with Money!). Ages 3-12. Highly recommend it!

    • 41.1

      Courtney says

      Us, too!! And our kids love the books, especially the one where they go to the carnival. It really made them think about money the next time we went to an amusement park and they heard all the people trying to get them to spend their money on the games. :)

  37. 42

    says

    Amen! My wife and I struggle with this. She came from a good family, nice house, always had what she needed/wanted.

    I lived in an old travel trailer in a small town in the country, was poor, and never got what the other kids had.

    We both do well now, however when it comes to parenting I lack sympathy for the material things they want. I expect my kids to work & earn the things they want and appreciate what they have.

    Kids are spoiled these days. They get trophies when they don’t win, birthday presents when it’s not their birthday. It’s ridiculous. Society is not teach kids what it’s really like when they get on their own.

  38. 43

    Kristin says

    Love this and had to laugh about the party favors. My sister once sent her child to a birthday party with a cute $10 gift. The child returned with the exact gift as the party favor!

  39. 45

    says

    These are fabulous reminders. Trained as a child psychologist — I always say, if your child doesn’t have a band-aid on … they are not exploring the world enough. These band-aids can be physical, social, psychological or emotional …. right?

    I worry about the children that this generation of parents is raising. There are very important character lessons that children must learn in order to be productive adults. My son and his friend just broke a priceless antique mirror. Without asking — they both came to me with money from the banks. It wasn’t the amount that they offered — it was the fact that they knew that they needed to — that made my day.

  40. 46

    Dave says

    Well let’s see……I agree in principle with the points. But I maintain that things today are much more complicated than this article implies. This may shock many of you, but I believe that most young adults and kids growing up today have it far harder than most generations did. Yes, there is a segment that has an entitlement, spoiled-rotten mentality, but I believe this is not the majority. With the economy being so bad, many parents are forced to have 2nd incomes, without the mother staying home. This has taken it’s toll I believe. (I am not saying all mothers should never work outside of the home, for the record.) Plus so many kids have parents who never married in the first place–shacking up. Plus churches are yielding to liberalism and not doing their jobs either. If kids’ love cups aren’t filled the way they used to be, and the way they were meant to be in the first place, why wouldn’t they hope for more party favors? It’s gotta go somewhere, friends. Stop blaming kids for stuff that are beyond their control. I’m not saying all adults are all to blame either. A lot of stuff we are caught in the middle of. But to broadly generalize that our young people are just too spoiled and have an entitlement mentality is categorically unfair. And what about those awful young adults, and especially those lousy young men, whom evangelical leaders are almost universally blaming for everything (see Richard D. Phillip’s book The Masculine Mandate–God’s Calling to Men)? Many hard working college grads can’t find jobs paying more than minimum wage. How is that their fault? How is it our fault that wages haven’t kept up with inflation for roughly 40 years? Or that gas is so high? The fact is, my mother’s generation fought the war on traditional values, and of militant feminism, and my generation is the one paying the price.
    Again, I’m not saying the points in the article are wrong, but it really is deeper than that.

    • 46.1

      Jade Allen says

      I agree that a lot of children have it tough these days. There are the entitled kids on the one side, but there are the neglected kids on the other side. Also, so many children are having to experience the pain of a broken home. However, no one is saying that these children shouldn’t be loved. Loving them and buying them everything they want are not the same things, in my opinion. I love my children very much, but I don’t think it is healthy for them if I give them everything they want, or don’t teach them any responsibility or independence by doing chores, and paying for things with money they’ve earned. I do these things because I love them, and I want them to have the tools and character to be able to be a productive, responsible and mature adult some day. I think we always need to keep the end product in mind when we are raising our children.

    • 46.2

      Meanest Mom in the World says

      That is true that the world is harder now; all the more reason to make sure they are prepared for it. When my adult children have needed help we have let them move in–and pay for rent and groceries as much as they were able. Only “free ride” if they were in college and even then had to work PT to pay their extra expenses.

      I am now 53, back in college for my master’s degree, and working 16 hours a week. It’s tough but I am doing it and got a scholarship for doing it well the first semester. We have to live it if we want to teach it.

      I have offered to each of my children to pay 1/2 for financial peace university, and so far they have turned it down. They’d rather work extra hard, live with two kids in a hotel because they can’t get an apartment with wrecked credit, or live with in-laws than take a risk on the course. That said, they also know not to come running to me for help very often.

      Unlike Dave Ramsey’s advice, when I do help I usually expect it to be paid back eventually, but we don’t let it get in the way of our relationship. One son has been paying back gradually by putting our cell phones on his plan and paying the whole bill, which was a bonus for our budget for nearly four years.

  41. 47

    Trevor says

    Thanks for the post and comments, we do need to get back to positive parenting that we received, but because we are in a different era with a lot of distractions. I pray daily for wisdom to handle the various challenges that crop up daily. We can help each other by posting these positive posts and comments. Thanks again. Blessings

  42. 49

    says

    I own an estate sale company and there is no one at the end of their life who isn’t overloaded with stuff. Everyone wishes for more time and time more well spent. This blog is awesome.

  43. 50

    says

    This is the best parenting blog post I have EVER read. If I didn’t know any better, I would think my own mom wrote it! I love it! Entitlement is a huge peeve of mine! Thank you for speaking up!!!

  44. 51

    he says

    sad why have children of goingto treat them this way I know at.least 5 couples.that woulddo all these if only they a.child. Someidral are.just.touch. if God givesyou a child give them all you can and.love to. with out unlimited love how can theyshow.love. Justmy.op….

  45. 52

    Cathy says

    I come from that generation. The ones who grew up with a father who worked and a mother who stayed home. We were not wealthy but had fun. I also come from the generation that felt when we moms had to go to work and leave our kids with sitters we felt guilty. We felt we were cheating our kids out of summers home from school so we worked all the harder to go on vacations, buy our kids expensive toys and clothes off the Macy’s rack,etc… Then we wondered why our kids had no desire to settle for mediocre. Our kids wanted everything mom and dad have without having yo work for it. And these kids are still burdening their parents when they should really be out making their own living and life.
    I didn’t do any of that. I enjoyed my mom home so much I sacrificed money, a job, a career to be home for my kids. We did things together so we didn’t have to go on a vacation. I dressed my kids in many second-hand clothes so I could be home with my kids. I decided when I had kids I was going to raise them so that they would become grateful adults. And that they are.

  46. 53

    says

    We raise our kids much this way–that is, without the entitlements that so many expect in these years of plenty–and it is really refreshing to read this. I guess I just feel a sense of relief that we aren’t the only ones who raise our kids this way. I hope lots of young parents read this and heed it, too. Thank you.

  47. 54

    JS says

    The VERY 1st thing Americans need to get rid of to help their kids the MOST- is their current CORRUPT President.

    • 54.1

      kelly says

      Why is there always at least one person who just HAS to bring political crap into every single discussion, even when the discussion had absolutely nothing to do with politics?!! This discussion is about parenting! Take your political opinions elsewhere, thank you!

  48. 55

    says

    Wonderful post! This is something my husband and I talk about all the time. We don’t have kids and are kind of afraid of the entitlement attitude that kids have today. I’m saving your post so I can study it and apply it when we do have kids.

  49. 57

    Colleen says

    Here’s is number ten.
    I grew up when I only got gifts, toys at Christmas or birthday. Not whenever my mom went to the store and I wined ” I want, I want”.
    My mom sewed a lot of my clothes, plus many hand me downs.

  50. 58

    Georgie says

    My son hears me say we can’t afford it all of the time. I told him if he wants a phone he can get a job and buy it himself; pull weeds or more lawns. He had a choice last year of a present or a birthday party, but not both. He chose the gift because he said it would last years, he could do a party some other year. He doesn’t get a birthday party every year; once we went offroading, another time we were camping that weekend. He has only one extracurricular activity. I sometimes go on dates and he understands I might come home just a little later than usual. We share in household chores…without an allowance because it’s called contributing to the good of the family. He helps people with things, especially his great grandma. He rubs my back when it hurts and I don’t even have to ask. He has a lot more responsibilities than his friends, but I bet my kid is ready to launch first without freaking out when he hits 18 :-) I hate to see my son disappointed, but life is full of them and he bounces back faster without me coddling him. I may not be the best parent in the world, but I didn’t turn out bad at all and my parents raised me the same way.

  51. 59

    L.B. says

    Really, goody bags? Goody bags have nothing to do with an entitled attitude or helping the other kids at the party to not “feel bad” that they didn’t get a gift for themselves (although this is a good thing to do with toddlers who can not possibly comprehend why they haven’t also gotten a gift!), goody bags are just a fun way for the kids to take a little bit of the party home with them. That’s why they’re usually filled with party poppers, candies, and those little kazoo-like noise makers. I have never in all my life heard one person gripe about goody bags this way, how laughably absurd.

    • 59.1

      says

      I’ve heard of tons of complaints about goodie bags and have plenty of friends who, like me, boycott them.

      They serve absolutely no purpose expect to line our trash cans and landfills. They are mostly filled with junk, after all, because who can afford to give 10, 15 or 20 kids a bag full of valuable items? No, instead the valuable “item” should simply be attending the party. The birthday child is the one who should feel honored and loved because, after all, that’s the point of a party, right? Teaching our kids that they need to go home with something after attending someone else’s birthday party is absolutely contributing to the entitlement mentality.

      I (obviously) agree wholeheartedly with this post. I wrote something similar last month on my blog. :) Cheers!

  52. 60

    April says

    So true! I fall into this trap more often than I would like. I have tried to say,”that is not in our budget” ( and maybe add it is something we can save for or put on the bday list..).rather than I cannot afford it as I feel maybe they will realise it is about making responsible choices with the money we do have. Not sure it matters but a thought. I also realised at one point my kids expected something everywhere we went…happy meal with a toy, treat at doctor, treat at store so I tried to make a point of telling them before entering a store what we are coming for and whether they would get anything. Thanks for the great articles. Have enjoyed your blog!

  53. 61

    Debbie Hughes says

    I love this! We raised 8 children. We could never afford everything they wanted. Most times, we had to pray for the things they needed. But God promised He would provide all our needs and He did! When they were in school, they knew if they wanted to go to college, which we definitely encouraged, they would have to work hard in high school and hopefully receive scholarships. I have 3 college graduates, who did pay their own way through it, 3 that went into the workforce right after high school and have very rewarding jobs, and 2 that are still in college working towards their degrees in nursing and accounting, while working full time jobs and being married. They all worked while in high school and bought their own cars and paid for their own insurance. Most of the time, the special gift for their birthdays was a day off of chores. They loved that…and they still talk about it! They are 8 of the hardest working adults I know. They work hard for anything material and appreciate it. I do believe that if you do not give and give and give, and teach a child hard work and respect are the way to achieve things, they are much better off.

  54. 62

    John says

    Great list! As a parent of 3 young boys I can tell you their mother and I wouldn’t have made it very long if we felt the need to constantly make them happy. Because of this our oldest has developed a ton of confidence and responsibility such that we can regularly leave the boys to play on their own with him in charge.

    Another thing to add to this list would perhaps be to stop letting our kids give up the moment they try something new and aren’t automatically good at it. They need to learn that not everyone can be great at everything and to accept that sometimes you have to put in a little extra work if you want to be as good as the next kid over. Also, there’s something that they can do naturally a little better than others.

  55. 63

    Jenifer says

    Thank you for this! Read it at just the right time in my life. I had planned my son a very nice birthday lazer tag party for him an his friends. Later that day he came home with an unsatisfactory report card so I immediately called and cancelled the party. I have taken a lot of heat about this from friends and family that think I am too hard on him. His teacher tells me he is not doing his best and I know he is not either! The whole birthday party thing has gotten so out of control as it is and I am not going to give him that luxury unless he is at the top of his game in school and at home. Thanks for relieving my guilt!

  56. 64

    James Dixon says

    Seems like good stuff, until I get to #4. All of these good thoughts, then you recommend brainwashing them with religion, and therefore also teaching hatred for non-Christians.

    • 64.1

      Rebecca says

      James, how can you say that #4 is implying that she is encouraging hatred for non-christians and brainwashing them with religion? If she wants to raise her kids in a Christ-centered home, that’s her business, not yours. And not once did she imply any sort of hatred.

      I LOVED every word of this. I hope that I can raise my son with these same ideals.

  57. 65

    Ashley Hall says

    Why am I being asked to log in to Google when I click to sign up for your mailing list?

  58. 66

    Mary Brady says

    I hope all the adults are setting a good example for their kids and not having a double standard in their home, such as “clean up your room” ( but I can be as messy as I want.) Also, parents must be a team or the kids will play you against each other. As for “goody bags”, they are just fun–maybe we could make them healthier. Here the double standard is the baby or wedding shower, where there are table favors for everyone and many “prizes.” Shall we abolish this also?

    Another good example to set is healthy eating habits of the adults, and NO smoking at all. Also no foul language, bigotry, gossip, etc. in the household. Get yourself right, parents, and the kids will follow.
    All the suggestions and comments in this thread are very good and well thought out. I learned a lot too, at my rather advanced age of 70.

  59. 67

    Lexi says

    My God does not want to come before my children, sorry. And I wouldn’t worship any God that did expect my kids to come last, after and work or non-profit stuff that you think takes priority. You have your kids for such a short time, you damn well better believe I am putting them first.

  60. 68

    Tangi says

    I read thus thinking I could pick up a few tips fact is my family has lived this. Job change and lost job within a month. Now 8 years later I could write a book. Coupons goodwill … We go to the mall twice A year. And it’s an occasion. Who else with two girls can say that. I am so proud and amazed. We have two amazing girls who don’t feel entitled to anything. They appreciate all life has to offer. All they want is an education. And that’s what we will give them.

  61. 69

    Elaine says

    Hey I’m that Mom…when I’m working I’m fairly generous when I’m not.. I’m not the kids are used to it and if they want something even if I have the money they still got to do something to earn it. I earned so they have to too. We donate all of the time and buy second hand. In fact I make extra cash when I am laid off redoing furniture. The kids see how taking something used can become useful and its rewarding.

    I like this post.

  62. 70

    Madison says

    I agree 100%… as a step-mom of a 12 year old girl & 8 year old boy…its taken awhile bc their “mother” bought the boy something in EVERY store she went in…would buy the (then 10yo) girl lacey underwear from VS — trying to force her tomboy daughter into the priss pot world…we had clean out weekend. My husband and I sat down and explained how some kids dont get anything, some parents cant afford anything but food, etc. Now after any birthday/christmas/etc my 2 babies bag up things they dont wear, use, play with, or havent touched in months & ask us to donate it! Then want chores & are willing to donate some chore money to the charities in our area :) — humane societies as well!

  63. 71

    Jen says

    I love this! My husband and I have three kids (10,7,3). We are trying so hard not to raise them entitled but to raise them to be independent and contributing to society for the good. Instead of saying we can’t afford it (because at this age they want small things and honestly I can afford it) we say it isn’t in our budget, or it’s not on our shopping list for today. Then they know that while I do have the money, we don’t spend it unless it’s budgeted or on the list. I do let them do extra chores beyond what’s normally expected as a way to earn that treat they want. So glad raising healthy adjusted children is easy! (sarcasm)

  64. 72

    says

    We work as foster carers to children with special needs and I really thought my kids understood that money tight. Well I did until this last couple of years my eldest is seriously pushing me to insanity.

    These are some of the statements my 17 year old has uttered.

    “You should thank me for wanting to go to universty”.

    “I think you should be buying me a car paying for my driving lessons isn’t really enough without a car”

    “I think you should buy me a MacBook because I’m working hard on my exams and you have one for your hobby writing.”.

    I have seen red at these times I just don’t understand how her sweet servant heart has turned into such entitlement.

    I could just cry over it, no in fact I have cried over it.

    She has a job which she does well but her wages are for her going out etc if she buys herself clothes I never hear the end of it.

    The worst thing is my 13 year old said something the other day and it sounded so like her sister I could scream so I really need to let go of my guilt regarding saying no and to stand strong in not giving in.

    I just want her to be happy, after growing up in a abusive childhood I never want my girls to ever think they were never loved.

  65. 73

    Bethany says

    While I agree with most of what you wrote, I don’t see the need to tell people not to center their lives around their children. There are so many children who don’t get the attention they need because their parents are giving it to their smartphone instead. It breaks my heart when someone else’s child at the park says to me, “Look at me! Watch what I can do (because my mom is too busy)!” I think sometimes people just need to be told to put their technology down and live for a higher calling.

  66. 74

    Toni says

    When I was 16 I was going to work in the morning(40hrs/week) and to school in the evening. Having my own money felt great, but also my parents asked me to pay rent as well wich I did. After a few good year when I got married they came to me and present me with a considerabile amount of money. Surprize……they were my money the rent that I was paying thru the years. They didn’t need the rent from me but for sure they thought me a great lesson. I was thought how to take care of myself without depending on others and I thank them for that. I have the same values as them.

  67. 75

    Haley says

    Wow. The internet has provided you all such a wonderful place to make yourselves feel superior to every other parent. Congratulations- you’ve had to walk uphill both ways to raise your kids. I sure hope you aren’t teaching them to be as self righteous as you.

  68. 76

    Carol says

    When my oldest daughter (who is now 35) was about 4 years old, my father-in-law said something to me that I never forgot and tried to remember when raising my 3 girls. He said, “It is better that they cry now than you do it later.” I took this to mean that we as parents needed to do whatever was needed to make them into moral, caring, responsible and grateful adult and it needed to be done when they were still young enough to be molded. Train a Child in the way that they should walk and they will not depart from it!

  69. 77

    Babs C. says

    Love, love, love this post!

    As a former Youth Leader and as an observer of many friends parenting their children into an entitlement handicap, I am aware of how difficult it is for parents to combat the pressures of society and their own kids’ voices. Some parents told me that they had to say “No” so often that they felt guilty and began to “give in on the little things since these are really good kids and they already aren’t getting to do nearly what their friends get to do” out of that guilt.

    It is good to hear someone else who is actually a parent say what you have put forth in this post here. There is no need for a parent to feel guilty for raising a child up to understand that things don’t just happen so easily. Real life involves real work, and parents who help their kids to grow and learn to understand this fact by implementing rules, structure, boundaries and saying “No” or “If you earn the money yourself” sometimes – well, those parents have every reason to believe they are training their children wisely!

    Changing the world and the future starts at home. Great job with this list of how others can also start to make that change for their children (and our) better tomorrow!

  70. 78

    SGT P O'd says

    Charity? You mean like give it to someone who will sell it? I like the idea of giving it to someone in person. Nothing wrong with kids that have high self esteem, as long as they know what it means to achieve, and earn it. But I think I will continue to focus my life around my kids. You can do what you want with yours, but mine are doing great.

  71. 80

    Morgan says

    Adults attend weddings and receive goody bags. That does not mean we are trying to be “the center of attention”. Children review goody bags for attending and it’s suppose to be the adults way of saying, “Thank you for bringing yor child, let me thank you!” I get that this article is to help, but I actually feel it is harming instead. Why are you trying to teach your children to face a cruel and realistic world and rob them of the only child hood they will ever have? Once in a while it’s okay to have “accidents” because well they do happen! I’m sorry, but I can’t believe people are actually buying into this. The only “good stuff” I can agree with is trying to raise your children to make the next generation less cruel, and more responsible young adults. A child learns from the adult. Plan and simple. A child should not be handed what ever they desire this is true, but to tell them no you can’t have this, or we can’t afford it. To never save up for it maybe with allowance? Was that a thought ever? Instead of working for a mistake or “accident”, why not have the child do chores and earn an allowance to save up for that toy! This article is very depressing and negative in my personal opinion. Good thoughts for people who are ready to make their children grow up and face the real world! Not everyone makes mistakes like, “working a few jobs to help pay for extracurricular activities” when they could be having family time instead. That is not a majority but a minority. Or your children will never be first because Christ is first. I am a true believer in God and Jesus Christ. I would never tell my child you are not first in my life, Christ is. I would tell my child, let’s learn about God, to love and live by his example each and every day! He is very important in life, this I agree, but who blessed you with a child? To love and protect with your entire life. You want to teach people how to raise a family, tell them to pray often, treat others the way you want to be treated, & have fun! Stop treating your children as if they were adults already! Because when you grow up, it’s no fun. Until your looking into the eyes of your own beautiful creation.

  72. 81

    Josh says

    It’s great that we are teaching our kids not to act entitled, but try to keep balance in mind here. Kids acting entitled is bad, but the opposite is just as bad.

    There are times when it is best to be modest , but they also have to learn to stand up for themselves, and each other.

    We are constantly demonize young people for being lazy and entitled. In reality, most of them have grown up to be mindlessly subservient– working more for less money, with far fewer opportunities than generations before them.

    We have successfully trained them to think nothing of it, otherwise they are “entitled” while we pretend things are just the way they were when we were growing up. If there aren’t any jobs, we’ll just call them lazy and stupid for not finding one.

  73. 82

    says

    Agree. My boys are 15 and they are not sucked into ‘I need an iPhone’ saga because they were train to be okay with basic as basic is all they need at this age. They help with house works, delegate among themselves the trash and milk duty, serve their friends drinks when they visit and above all save for what they want. They save for years and bought their own piano, guitar and games which I refuse to buy on principle. Yes, there were times that I felt guilty for doing all these, felt like I was depriving them of good childhood but I hope all that I have done would benefit them in the future.. the generation of a 14 year old asking her mother for a Gucci bag is absurd to me.. GIVE OUR KIDS THE FISHING ROD RATHER THAN THE FISH..

  74. 83

    Vanessa says

    While I agree with the majority of this article, I personally make my children the center of my world. That is my personal decision and that does not make them entitled. That makes them know that as a single parent, I don’t put anything else above them. They know they are loved and I will always be their champion. They are told “no” quite often and have to work around the house as well as bring home good grades/good behavior reports in order to use electronics or spend time with friends. I work with CPS kids/teens in group homes and have seen these children firsthand who would have benefited from being the center of their parents world.

  75. 84

    Jennifer says

    I tell my kids all the time that I can’t make them happy. They have to find their own happy. My dd was telling me about a 10 year old at gymnastics that was bragging about the iPhone she just got. She was appalled! My dd is 13 and doesn’t have a phone yet. She couldn’t believe it. Now the guilt – that is something I need to let go of.