Everyone wants what’s best for their children, but sometimes that means providing guidance that may not be popular. Yet many parents still give in to their kids’ whims simply to avoid a tantrum, negotiations or confrontation. And while it is okay to give in every once in a while, doing it consistently can lead to self-entitlement issues in your children, which will end up making everyone more miserable in the long run. Here are a few parenting styles that can cause entitlement, and what you can do to provide better guidance:
–The Enabler: Enabling your child can start with small things but can quickly escalate to the point where you are constantly frustrated by your child’s behavior and still do nothing to adjust it. Examples might include if your child expects you to drop everything so you can give them a ride to the mall or to a friend’s house or to keep their room clean and tidy because that’s what you’ve always done. Instead, let your children know that you will take them to things like extra-curricular activities for school, but that you are not a taxi. That you will do laundry on certain days but will only wash what is properly placed in the laundry hamper. If your child has to wear a dirty soccer uniform because the rules were not followed, it will quickly reinforce your expectations.
–The Rescuer: If your child constantly “forgets” things that require you to help them out in the 11th hour, they will always expect you to come to their rescue. This might include helping them out with school projects, bringing them their lunch or gear for swim practice, etc. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t jump in from time to time for legitimate reasons, but you shouldn’t make a habit of it. Instead, let your children know that you will not rescue them for repeated forgetfulness, then help them figure out better ways to keep from needing to be rescued. It may be difficult to play out, but the behavior should change on its own once your child understands they need to be responsible for their own actions—and will pay the consequences in one way or another if they don’t.
There are several other types of parenting styles that can lead to entitlement in your children, but the best solution in every case is to have a frank conversation with your children about what you will and will not do for them, and what you expect from them. Strelitz International Academy will help you reinforce your position by engaging your children at school and making them responsible for their learning. Together, we can create a positive environment at both home and school that will make your children better, more well-rounded citizens of the world.