Is Entitlement Just a Stage for Demanding Kids and Teens?
Your 10-year-old kid asks you to purchase the most recent video game for him. “All my buddies have it,” he exclaims. Why can’t you just be like the rest of the parents? They buy their children anything they want!”
Alternatively, your 16-year-old daughter could be irritated by the fact that she must drive the old beat-up automobile to school. “I don’t want to be seen in this shambles!” “Have you seen the vehicles the other kids drive!?”
If you’re like most parents, listening to your children’s requests and witnessing their entitlement attitudes raises your blood pressure. You may even be perplexed as to what went wrong. It’s easy to feel bad about yourself and wonder, “How did I raise such a self-centered child?”
Self-absorption isn’t easy to live with, to be sure. Children, especially teenagers, believe they have a right to the things they desire and need, and that you should provide it to them whenever they ask. They are rarely aware of how their entitled attitude and persistence on getting what they want has an influence on others.
And, let’s face it, teenagers and tweens could be arrogant in their idea that they are unique. If they don’t get their way, many people become stubborn, demanding, and even unpleasant. With their persistent demands and their righteous sense that they deserve anything they desire, they will plead, threaten, manipulate, and drive you insane.
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It’s Normal To Feel Entitled
Your child isn’t the only one, believe it or not. Their sense of entitlement is a natural and important part of their maturation as they approach maturity. As a result, it is your responsibility as a parent to guide them away from self-centeredness and toward self-control.
Recognize that children do not yet have the capacity or resources to shape their environment, yet they feel that fulfilling their wishes is essential to their existence. Their feeling of entitlement allows them to live by pursuing what they believe they require. Your childrens duty is to demand things and express the urgency with which they must be obtained. There’s even something admirable in the enthusiasm with which your child expresses himself.
However, as a parent, it is your responsibility to lead them and assist them in finding a balance between their impulses and self-control—not an easy feat for them or for us. While living with your adolescent’s self-absorption can be irritating and bothersome, knowing that it’s a natural part of their growth can make it easier for you to cope with their urgent requests and attitudes without feeling angry, afraid, or guilty.
Recognize the Reasons You Give In to Your Child’s Demands
If you give in to your childrens requests, don’t feel bad about it. They wear us down at times, and we accept it. We sometimes say yes because we pity them or because we are resentful of them. And, on occasion, we give in for reasons we don’t fully comprehend at the time. As a result, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your own tendencies and behaviours to avoid contributing to your childrens sense of entitlement inadvertently.
To assist you discover your inclinations and behaviours, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you ever feel compelled to say yes when you would rather say no? Do you answer yes because you want to be liked by your child? Or are you attempting to avoid a confrontation?
Do you ever feel as though you’re living through your children? Maybe you gift your daughter that pricey dress because she looks so wonderful, or you get her the luxury items you wish you had when you were her age. But do you describe her as pampered as a result?
Do you make too few expectations on your children?
If we don’t keep a close check on ourselves, our personal wants may infiltrate our parenting. That is why it is critical to do regular self-inventory. Simultaneously, we must assist our children in managing their desires and learning self-control.
Allow Your Child to Express Their Emotions
Allow your children to communicate their wants and needs, and attempt to listen to them. Remember that your inner voice has a right to their sentiments to calm them down. Don’t be alarmed; they are simply emotions. Your children’s desire for something does not imply that they must have it. It also doesn’t imply that they’re ungrateful, bad kids or that you’ve been bad parents.
Instead of saying things like, “You only think about yourself,” “You know we don’t have the money, so why are you asking,” “You are such a spoilt brat,” or “What’s wrong with you?” Try using phrases like:
“I realize how important it is to you. I know how much it matters to you. We’ll contribute x dollars toward it; the remainder will have to be saved or taken from your allowance.”
You may also say:
“I know you’re excited about this new video game. Perhaps we can purchase it for you for your birthday, but if you need it sooner, you might attempt to find a part-time tutoring job or mow Dad’s lawn for some extra cash.”
This way, instead of always saying no or always saying yes, you’re placing the burden on your child to earn what they want.
Things That Make Your child Self-Centered
Keep an eye on your talks to see whether they’re too child-centred. “Is there anything you require for your scientific project?” What do you want to eat for supper tonight?” Make an effort to include yourself more in these discussions to keep things balanced. Use phrases like:
“It’s been a hard day at work, and I’m looking forward to unwinding tonight.” What are your plans for the evening?”
Make sure your child isn’t the centre of the universe – they aren’t. By promptly responding to their every need, don’t give them the impression that your mission on earth is to provide for them.
Teach Your Children To Consider Others
Here are some suggestions for getting your children to think about others:
If your child is getting up from the table, teach them to inquire if anybody else wants anything.
When you have a dinner party or a job to finish, ask them for assistance.
Expect kids to help around the house with housework.
Remind them to express gratitude.
Make a phone call to your grandparents to check how they are doing and if they require any assistance.
Encourage your child to inquire about your day.
Make sure your children volunteer in their school or neighbourhood to teach them that they aren’t the only ones who matter.
Respect yourself in order for your children to respect you.
Every child, particularly teenagers, has a long list of desires. Remember not to get too moved by their pleadings, begs, and tears. You may still sympathize with your child without giving in to their every request. Indulging them runs the risk of making you dislike them, which may make them feel belittled, ungrateful, and not content.
Educate Your Child About Advertisements and Media Messages
We must fight the force of living in a culture that values material goods above all else. Discuss how advertisers try to deceive us by watching TV together or looking at advertising online. Instill the traditional ideals of achievement and persistence, which come from cultivating a decent character rather than being the greatest or having the most. Make sure you follow these principles as well.
How to Deal With Children Who Use Threats To Get What They Want
When dealing with more challenging children, the same rules apply: you must hang on tighter and not give in to intimidating and threatening behaviour.
Let’s assume your child becomes obnoxious and rude when they don’t get their way. Their birthday or Christmas is approaching, and you’re probably considering withholding their gifts because they’ve been mistreating the rest of the family. This is reasonable, but it isn’t the most efficient approach to deal with the situation in the long run.
Rather, hold them responsible for their actions. Deal with the unacceptably aggressive manner they vent their frustrations on others when they don’t get what they want. When you’re both calm, tell them it’s unacceptable to behave out like that and give them consequences. Perhaps their mobile phone privileges will be revoked for a period of time until they demonstrate improve (growth mindset)d behaviour. Maybe they lose their social privileges and stay at home so you can have a problem-solving talk with them about how to better manage their emotions. Whatever you do, make sure you educate your child on effective methods to deal with disappointments and limitations.
If your stubborn child threatens you to obtain what they want, don’t let them succeed. Keep your cool and don’t allow the intimidation get the best of you. Remove them from the scenario if they’re a small child who’s spoiling your holiday or shouting in public.
If they’re a teenager, ask them to leave the house if they’re misbehaving over the holidays. If they cause harm to property, they will be held liable. If your child refuses, you can deduct the amount owed for the damaged property from a Christmas present (let them know ahead of time if this is what you have in mind).
To successfully separate from us and develop their own personality, children must be self-centred. Their desire to feel that they are significant and extraordinary is not a negative thing as long as it is kept in check.
Remember that this is a natural developmental period, and you shouldn’t be concerned that this stage of behaviour will never change. Being a patient parent and establishing clear limits can help your kid grow into an adult who appreciates themselves and knows how to meet their needs in the world while also thinking about, caring for, and giving to others.
What You Should Do Next:
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- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
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- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
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