In my last Relationship post we began to look at ways that we as parents have been known to enable our child’s entitled expectations. While we may have done so inadvertently, the consequences are the same. And the only thing more aggravating than an entitled child is an entitled adult – which is what entitled children grow up into. A child who expects a cell phone, grows into a young adult who expects a college education without having to work for it, who then becomes an adult who believes that raises and promotions should be automatic without needing to be earned.
In the last post we looked at the first two steps that parents can take to combat their child’s entitled thinking. Today, we will briefly look at the remaining two steps.
3) Entitlement makes people more dependent on others. This paralyzing dependence can be broken by achievement that comes from hard work. Whether it is academic grades or an employment paycheck, we can help foster independence in our child’s thinking by encouraging and supporting their efforts toward meeting new goals.
4) Entitlement can trick people into thinking that life is a “giant slot machine.” When they learn to attribute their success to their own perseverance and responsibility, they gain confidence and skills.
Many parents enable dependent behavior because they love their kids and want them to have nice things. But creating a dependent mindset is actually anything but loving. Supporting our child’s struggle and perseverance, which teaches them to achieve and helps them to become responsible and independent adults, is no doubt one of the most loving actions we can take. While we may hate to see our kids struggle, we want them to succeed. And true success doesn’t come without the struggle.