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How to Break Your Child’s Sense of Entitlement

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A familiar trope in movies and TV shows for kids, tweens, and teens is kids complaining that they didn’t get something they think they deserve. They complain about a teacher giving them a poor grade. They whine to their friends about their parents giving them an early curfew or not letting them go to a party. They call coaches dumb when they don’t make the team. They expect other people to bend over backwards doing things for them, with younger siblings and “dorky” friends frequently falling victim to their demands.

The scary thing is that this theme, used for comedic value in the entertainment targeted at our children, is far too often found in the real world. Have you ever been shocked to find that your child believes they deserve something, that they are entitled to something they clearly haven’t earned? An entitlement is something that is granted to someone without them having to earn it. It is given without any effort. And unfortunately, our culture is encouraging our children’s sense of entitlement. My husband, Mark, asked me to join him on this podcast to tackle the worrisome trend of entitlement that is growing in recent generations and has become all too prevalent among kids today.

Before we can discuss how to break your child’s sense of entitlement, I have to share some common lies that fuel entitlement.

4 Things Our Children Often Believe

  1. I deserve an “A.”
  2. I deserve to make the team.
  3. Of course, I deserve to be served.
  4. I deserve to do what my friends do.

That last one is SO common! In our house, we always tried to encourage hard work and a spirit of gratitude—the enemies of entitlement. But sometimes when the kids’ friends were doing things they weren’t allowed to do and had things they weren’t allowed to have (or we couldn’t afford to buy!), a spirit of entitlement would rear its head. The dreaded phrase, “but if HE can do that, why can’t I?” was heard a few too many times.

So what did we do about it? Listen to the full podcast here for tips about helping your child overcome a sense of entitlement.

Tell us! What do you do to teach kids to not be entitled?


What do you think it means to be a leader?

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