“Our offspring have simply leveraged our good intentions and over-investment…They inhabit a broad savannah of entitlement that we’ve watered, landscaped, and hired gardeners to maintain.”
“I think I want my daughter to have some sense of entitlement… We were raised that we don’t deserve anything, including respect…. This happens every generation, the same spoiled children story….I’m sure the first generation of kids to wear shoes or go to school were also considered spoiled and entitled. I say we break the cycle of calling the younger generation names.”
We all want to raise kids who know how to work hard to create what they want in the world. Nobody wants to raise a child who thinks the world owes him, who feels like he’s entitled to take whatever he wants. But Kara (who made the comment above) is right. We also DO want to raise a child who feels deserving of the blessings of abundance—spiritual, emotional, and yes, physical—and the rich life that should be the birthright of every child. How do we raise a child who feels deserving – but not “entitled”?
In this video with Avital of the Parenting Junkie, she pretends to be a five year old who wants more trucks, and I pretend to be the mom. We go into detail about how to talk with kids about money and things they want, in a way that empowers rather than shames.
And here are eleven tips to raise a child who feels deserving and empowered — but not entitled!
1. Don’t feed your child’s emotional hunger with possessions.
Material cravings are so often a salve for the deep need all humans share to be truly seen, accepted, cherished. Often when we feel guilty that we aren’t spending enough time with our kids, we buy them things. When your child gets demanding, that’s a red flag to stop, drop your busy-ness, and get clear about your priorities. What can you do with your child today to simply enjoy her? How can you set up rituals in your week to spend more time connecting? As the old saying goes, children thrive when you give them half as many presents and twice as much of your presence.
2. Instead of shaming, empower kids to create their own abundance.
Too often, out of our own anxiety about money, we shame children when they “want” material things. But the opposite response of giving kids everything they ask for also teaches the wrong lessons. There is a better way—we can empower our child. Consider these three approaches to your child in the toy store when you’re buying a present for her cousin’s birthday.