Parents worry that their children may become entitled, the opposite of grateful. Children who feel entitled often develop unreasonable behavior traits whenever they don’t get what they think they deserve.
On the other hand, when kids are grateful, they show appreciation even for things they feel they don’t deserve.
Here are a few ways to teach your kids to shun entitlement and favor an attitude of gratefulness..
1. Explain Why It’s Important to Say Please and Thank You
It’s not enough to teach your kids to mind their “p’s and q’s,” they should also understand why it’s important to say please and thank you and why they must say them with sincerity. When your kids understand the importance of these words, it will help create a foundation from where gratitude can grow.
2. Set Boundaries
Children need boundaries to show them that parents have a limit on their resources.
Teach your children the boundaries for essential areas like responsibilities, finances, and screen time.
3. Teach Through Role-Play
Role-playing is a fantastic way to teach your kids the importance of gratitude. Create a few hypothetical situations where your child can express their appreciation. Do this often enough, and gratitude will develop into a lifelong habit.
4. Learn to Live with Less
Children who live in a house of abundance will struggle with the concept of gratitude. However, children who learn to make do with less learn to appreciate what they have rather than resent what they don’t. You may have to make sacrifices, but raising children who are not entitled will be worth it.
5. Teach Your Kids the Difference Between Needs and Wants
Entitlement can develop because a child cannot tell the difference between a need and a want. For example, they ‘need’ to eat a healthy diet, but they want a packet of chips.
When children understand the difference between need and want, they tend to be more grateful when they receive something they want but don’t need.
6. Believe Your Children Can Change
Parents struggling with a child’s entitled attitude can fall into the trap of believing their child will never learn the concept of gratitude and will always feel entitled.
One of the first things you need to do when raising decent human beings is to believe your kids have potential. Children can be very sensitive to what their parents think about them, so if you want them to start changing their attitude, you must first believe they can.
7. Manage Your Child’s Screen Time
Screen time is a very selfish activity because the child is actively focused on themselves and no one else. When using their devices, they will be thinking thoughts like:
- What do I want to do to have fun
- Which games are the most entertaining for me
- What will I post to social media next
In short, they are engrossed with their desires and wants, to the exclusion of everyone else.
Kids need some screen time, but it’s essential to set limits and ensure they are spending some time socializing with others.