The holidays can often cause parents to reflect on whether they’re spoiling their children. As we look at all the presents piled under the tree or listen to our kids ramble on about yet another thing they want to add to their Christmas list (as they’re going to bed on Christmas Eve!), we might question if our kids are too entitled — and if so, are we the reason?
It’s natural to want your children to succeed, but overindulging or sheltering them can backfire. Some experts talk about an entitlement epidemic that is making it more difficult for the next generation of adults to develop realistic expectations and interact with others. In any case, over-parenting can undermine a child’s self-confidence and make them less resilient.
So, how do you balance caring for your child with helping them to grow up to be independent and appreciative? Take a look at these proven strategies to turn a sense of entitlement into healthy self-respect.
Strategies to Use with Your Child
At an early age, it’s natural for children to feel like they’re the center of the world. As a parent, it’s your job to teach them they’re not and how to respect others and accommodate their needs.
Set limits early
If you’re tempted to spoil your child, think about how their future classmates and coworkers are likely to respond to their demands. Youngsters who learn to cooperate and compromise will be better prepared for the future.
When you set limits early, you teach your child that what others want and need matters just as much as what your child wants and needs. It encourages them to think of others.
Clarify the rules
Children need consistency. Enforce regular bedtimes and screen their TV viewing. It will help them to follow the rules when they start to play school sports or drive a car.
If your child breaks a rule, take a moment to evaluate. Was the rule unclear? If so, make it clearer. Be more specific about what’s expected.