Monday, October 21, 2013

How to Raise Kids that Don't Act Entitled?

This is the millionaire dollar question? And I'll be the first to admit I don't have the answer. I invited my son to run an errand with me this morning and he immediately asked "can I buy a toy or something?" I responded "no" and he snarkily followed up with "I don't want to go then." His tone was one of those that just didn't settle well in my gut.

My husband overheard and immediately sent him to his room to clean. He reprimanded our kiddo telling him "his response wasn't very nice and he needed to pitch in around the house instead of asking for toys." Without exchanging words, my husband's gut reaction somehow matched mine. 

I was bummed after it all went done because I felt we all lost. I didn't get the usually willing shopping buddy (without strings attached), my son ended up begrudgingly cleaning his room and my husband was upset with my son's attitude. I thought about entitlement all day. I thought about my son's behavior and I struggled with the idea that maybe I've already somehow "messed him up." I went on to look at the actual definition...

EntitledAn attitude, demeanor, or air of rudeness, ingraciousness, or combativeness, especially when making excessive demands for service (usually used following the word "acted").

Wow! The the word that immediately jumped out at me here was ingraciousness. I don't expect perfect kids, but I do expect gratitude and kindness. I often feel like a broken-record with three children learning to treat each other lovingly. I excessively remind them to "speak kindly & use their manners." But something doesn't always add up. Even in modeling kindness and reminding them to act in this way our children can fit the above description. And then they DON'T! As I type this, my son is folding his own laundry. At seven he's expected to do his laundry from start to finish, take out the trash, feed his dog, etc. etc. He isn't entitled to mom or dad doing any of this for him simply because he's a youngin. And we often stay away from rewarding these behaviors. He isn't doing anything to receive something in return. He pitches in because it's an expectation and a part of life.

But what about not wanting to come to the store with his momma unless I'm somehow bartering time for toys? I'm conflicted on entitlement. I don't want to spoil my children but I also don't want to ask too much of them. They're kids, far from being bratty, entailed teens? But how do I know they won't become just that?

Please comment below and share your parenting tips! 
How do you ensure you're not raising entitled kids?

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