10 Ways To Stop Entitlement Parenting

There are constant news reports about this generation and entitlement, but it didn’t start with this generation. It was actually started by our parents and with our own children we have perfected it. Less than a hundred years ago our grandparents wanted their kids to have a better life so they worked hard to make that happen scrimping and saving to send their kids to college. Our parents in turn wanted even more for us and now our kids expect it all to be given to them. Jack Donaghy from “30 Rock” put it more eloquently,

“The first generation works their fingers to the bone. Second generation goes to college and innovates new ideas. The third generation goes snowboarding and takes improv classes.”


I recently read Tori Spelling’s book “Stori Telling” (I’m researching her for a script I’m writing). In one chapter she talks about how she was raised in ultimate luxury, but how her parents set her up for failure by not preparing her for real life. Aren’t we as parents doing the same with our kids (with far less money of course)? We can’t spoil our kids rotten, give them an equal voice in the family (something I’m particularly guilty of) and expect them to give nothing in return.

I know too many 30-somethings who still feel like the world should treat them like mommy and daddy did. When they get treated critically by the real world and find it too difficult, they move back home. This is the problem with everyone getting a trophy in soccer. Yes the winning team gets a trophy everyone else, sorry… try harder next time. It’s a good life lesson. Plus there are many things you do in life because you enjoy it or it simply needs to be done. I don’t get a trophy for participating in my family activities such as making dinner or doing laundry – it’s just part of life.

10 Ways To Stop Entitlement Parenting

No free handouts – Create jobs around the house and pay your child for work well done. Teenagers should get weekend jobs. In life if you want money, you work.

Fewer presents – More isn’t better. Teach your children to be happy with what they have and to cherish new items.

Instill work ethic – Being lazy or fast and careless isn’t going to get your kid ahead in this world. Help them to learn the satisfaction of a job well done.

Buy secondhand items – Show your kids how to take something used and make it “new.”

Teach respect of authority – Your child’s future boss will thank you.

Buy older technology – Teach your kids about NOT keeping up with the latest trends. How it’s okay to keep something till it breaks. This will also help them to avoid future credit card debt.

Teach the value of money – Show your kids ways you save money around the house. How your reuse old towels as rags or buy generic. Let them know how much things cost and even have them pay bills. This is especially important for teenagers. Car insurance and designer jeans aren’t free.

Learn family history – Tell them stories and let them know where their grandparents and parents came from and how hard they had to work to get there. Help your children to value education and what they have in life.

Teach the difference between rights and privileges – Kids have the right to eat the food you buy. Doritos are a privilege.

Assign family responsibilities – Kids can be in charge of a certain area of the house. For teenagers let them see more of what it takes to run the household. Let them help you make the grocery list, get the groceries, put them away then make the meal and clean up after.

Character building life lessons aren’t the fun part of parenting. Let’s be honest, teaching your child work ethic sucks. It’s always easier to just do it yourself. Teaching your child about saving money for something they want is not as much fun as watching them smile when you surprise them with it. We love bringing joy to our children’s lives, but that is only part of the equation. It is our JOB to train our children to be adults. To teach them how to carry on the happiness they’ve felt in childhood into adulthood and instill values that someday they’ll have to suffer through teaching their children.

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3 Comments on “10 Ways To Stop Entitlement Parenting

  1. I naively thought I’d get to bypass the entitlement issue because we don’t have a lot of money, my kids where hand me downs, and we keep it simple around here! But no such luck. My 6 year old had the audacity to ask me if she could have a laptop for her birthday. I said no way, even if we could afford it NO. Kids need to learn about patience, and the privileges of growing older. 2 year olds don’t need cell phones!

  2. Amen sister. I am currently working on a chore chart system for my 4 year old and also teaching him that playing the wii is a privilege not a right. Can you tell we have a bit of a problem?

  3. I completely agree with the points on your list. We aren’t doing our children any favors if we hide the truths of life from them. College is an expensive place for a kid to “learn who they are,” and that indecisiveness comes from not knowing before they get there. If we don’t teach our kids that things have intrinsic value, and they shouldn’t pay unless its truly worth it, I can’t imagine what prices will be like in their day and age.

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