Lessons in raising the entitled child
Entitlement is not simply something that children possess without parental effort. It takes real work! In today’s culture, we seem to be in a race for displaying the most entitled, spoiled, over-indulged child.
Perhaps you fantasize about sweating and toiling in your yard, while your child sits and laughs at you while snap-chatting. This is a pointer that you are on the path to a class A spoiled child. Or maybe you envision borrowing money for their private school education, while your senior parties away the summer in their new car, using your credit card. Certainly the entitled could not be asked to work!
If you’re dreaming of the future, you must aim for the mountain top! Your 25-year-old has not yet completed a degree after attending three schools, still lives at home (not yet working, of course) and plays video games until 5 am.
This devious article outlines some specific summertime strategies for getting your child to live the life of the deeply and permanently entitled. During the school year, there are practical limits to how much one can pamper a child. However, the summer opens the door to new levels of indulgence. Let’s smile and get started on these powerful mistakes…lessons.
Keys to the spoiled and entitled child
Lesson #1: Assume child knows more, and always give them a voice.
The truly spoiled are raised in a home where the child is viewed as the ultimate authority. Lessons you may have learned from your parents, books you may have read, advice from psychologists, as well as your “common sense” must be thrown out the window when faced with a child who objects your wisdom, your consequences, or your limit-setting.
Remember: Assume they know more. When they argue about something, listen and give in. When it comes to what’s healthy, of course, they should choose their food. When it comes to video games, violent or not, of course they should own it if they want it. When it comes to bedtime, unquestionably your kids know better what is good for them. You get the idea here… easy start! But really, it’s only the beginning.
Lesson #2: Work harder at your children’s happiness, work harder at your children’s success and work harder at your children’s lives than they do.
This lesson is one of those “insider secrets” that must be considered carefully when in the race for the truly spoiled. If your child is given homework, made sure that you prod, push, negotiate… and ultimately work harder at solving their homework problems than they do. If they keep forgetting their baseball glove, cleats or (fill in the blank), even after you repeatedly remind them, then turn the car around on the way to the game to retrieve it! For any serious projects, you must stay up late while they go to bed. If your child is unhappy, negative, and demanding you to ‘fix-it’, then do so! Over and over…keep trying to fix it while they complain.
Work harder at solving their problems. Work harder at their happiness. Work harder at everything in their life. You will teach them a core lesson in entitlement: “It’s someone else’s job to make me happy…successful…and competent.”
Lesson #3: Never set limits that reflect how the world works. Teach them that the rules that apply to others do not apply to the entitled!
The essence of this lesson is simple: Keep your (soon to be entitled) child away from any rules that reflect the real world. Do not teach about reality, because the entitled must know those lessons are below them and simply don’t apply.
If exposed to such lessons, they might begin to realize that effort is required to grow and learn, and that consequences come with choices. Stay away from these lessons, lest they learn about responsibility.
Do this instead: when they ask, just put up a bit of fake resistance and then give in. When they complain, always agree with them. Just to test them now and then, ask for a bit of help around the house, and listen while they whine and complain about how unfair it is. Then, set them up on Netflix and you do the work while they are laughing at you! Please, never insist on real effort or contribution! The whining, complaining will lead to a victim story. Once this happens, you are well on the way to success.
The best of the entitled are raised to presume that the limits that apply to others do not apply to them. They shouldn’t have to follow the rules, and if they break the rules, mom and dad MUST rescue them from the consequences.
They shouldn’t have to work when something is difficult. They should have no chores. They should get paid for taking their plate to the dishwasher or picking up their room. And when disrespectful, just surrender and give them what they want.
This is the best I have to offer, for those of you seeking to raise the truly entitled. Keep in mind: If brat-building turns your stomach, then simply do the opposite! And please…just smile, as you do so!