Teaching Young Kids Not to Feel Entitled
Children who know their rights and earn their privileges will not have an attitude of entitlement, and will have a chance to grow up to be grateful and happy adults.
As I have mentioned before, the first step in motivating your child is for you to create a list of privileges you think may motivate your kids. Great start! Let’s check and make sure that any assumptions made are actually correct. Now it’s time to involve your kid. With very young children, your close observation is sufficient. Maybe your kid is still very young (about two or three years old) and you haven’t give away many privileges yet. Your kid is in the initial stages of being trained. In this case, all you have to do is make sure your list of privileges is current, and begin training your kid early by labeling what he/she wants as a “treat” or “privilege” every time your kid asks for it.
Earning a privilege for a young child…
This is Aiden’s story:
I often use this example in my parenting workshops. My three-year-old nephew, Aiden, and one of his friends came over to play in my pool one summer day. Before we jumped into play, I went over a couple of simple, yet important, safety rules as they both sat at the edge of the pool. At the end, I checked to see whether they understood or had any questions. They said they understood.
I asked one, “What happens if you RUN here?”
Aiden: “No pool.”
I said, “That’s right: you would lose your privilege! The pool is a treat, a privilege.”
My nephew’s four-year-old friend asked, “What’s mean, if I run lose my peevill-age?”
My nephew responded, “It means you get out of the pool!” Then, pointing with his thumb to a lounge chair, he added, “No more pool.”
Begin teaching kids correct principles when they’re young…
Kids as young as two can understand the difference between privileges and rights. It’s never too early to teach your toddler the difference. The best way to teach kids is to label something a privilege and show them how to earn it, just as my story illustrates how to teach earning the privilege of using the pool.
In my next article, I’ll discuss teaching an older child that his previous sense of entitlement will no longer be tolerated.
This is an excerpt from my book: “Create Happy Kids”
I am a parent strategist, and am available to do Parent Education Workshops, either Private or PTA Sponsored Classes.
Contact me at 425-772-6698.