The culture around us has gradually shifted America’s mindset to believe that we all have our rights, including the “right” to have what we want, the way we want it, and when we want it. We would call this an attitude of entitlement.
It’s an attitude that has led many adults to live off government handouts, and many others to think they should have in their 20’s everything that took their parents a lifetime to earn and accumulate.
When it comes to our kids, some are naturally bent more towards an attitude of entitlement than others. But while an attitude of entitlement poses a greater threat to our children in their future as adults than it may right now, the importance of curbing it right now is vital. An attitude of entitlement robs a person of an attitude of gratitude, servanthood, and the desire to work hard for what they have.
However, there are some things that, as parents, we can do to prevent this attitude in our kids that the world around them so naturally tries to instill.
Here are three opportunities you can intentionally give your children to help them avoid an entitlement mentality. Give them opportunities to:
1. WORK HARD for what they want
Whoever said that a child deserves a smartphone, tablet, or game system, just because they bear your last name? Is a parent just a Grizzly Gus for refusing to give their kids everything they want, or are they actually exercising good and effective parenting skills by establishing some rules and limitations?
The next time your child wants that new “something”, try one of the following:
- Let them work around the house for payment (allowance) on chores completed, etc.
- For certain items, agree to pay for the second half once they have earned the first half. This still puts the ball in their court to take initiative to get what they want.
- Encourage them to learn a trade or develop a talent working or making something that can give them a small income. Over the years our kids have learned to make duct tape pens and wallets as well as mowed lawns and shoveled snow, among other things.
It’s good for our kids to earn the things they want by working to get them. It prepares them for real life.
Don’t expect that your kids can live in a fantasy world all their childhood by getting everything they want, and it not affect them when they enter the real world of adulthood someday. The older they get, the more this point applies. As they age, increase your expectations and their opportunities to work hard for what they want. It’s a win-win for both of you.
Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”
Ecclesiastes 4:13 “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king.”
Secondly, give them opportunities to:
2. GIVE BACK for what they’ve been given
Every child ought not to just expect that being a part of a family means an automatic right to all the benefits of a family without any contribution of their own.
If everyone in the family benefits from food on the table, clean dishes, clean clothes, and many other things, then it’s not too much to ask, and even expect, that everyone can contribute to cleaning off the table, washing the dishes, and folding the clothes, etc.
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Source: Church Leaders