Entitlement is a very prevalent issue in our country today. Kids are growing up with more and more. It seems to me, in many situations, that the more kids have, the more they expect.
In my own experiences, I sometimes find that my kids can be overcome by entitlement. For my oldest daughter, the boundaries need to be firm and clear. Does that mean that a child who has been given clear boundaries understands that they are not entitled to everything and anything? Absolutely not.
I work to create clear and consistent boundaries as to what I will help pay for and what I believe to be my 24-year-old’s responsibility; however, the resistance and disappointment that I receive from her in these conversations can make it a challenge. I express this because these are challenges that all of us have dealt with or will deal with at some point in raising our children.
Clarity is a way for me to define and be consistent with my values and what feels comfortable to me. In my mind, I create the boundary and then work to find the words to clearly communicate what it looks like. For example, if your child is on your phone plan and wants a new phone, you need to be clear about whether this fits with your values. In my case, one of my children was demanding a new phone at one time and said she would pay me monthly for the additional costs. I weighed the situation, felt that there was no necessity for a new phone at the time and that there were other bills that this individual was having difficulty paying. I stuck to my values and made the decision to say no. On her own, she got a new phone and her own data plan, and now, it is all her responsibility and I am uninvolved in it. If we give our young adult children the answer of “no,” they can either accept it or figure it out on their own. Sometimes this is when the most growth occurs within them. While it is easy to want to cater to and give our children everything they want, it is important to adhere to our own values, and to say “no,” and allow them to weigh pros and cons of situations, manage their finances, and decide what is a necessity and what is not.
Remaining firm in our values can certainly help in reducing how we contribute to our child’s attitude in this entitled world. We do not have to engage in entitlement in our own families just because it appears to be a societal norm. What is the norm you want to see in your family? How can you use some of the aforementioned practices to allow your children to grow and become more independent?
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