Children and Their Entitlement

This is a good reminder concerning the entitlement we allow our children:
Help your children understand the difference between wants and needs.
Be aware of your own language and how you distinguish the two. Help incorporate both words into your children’s vocabulary and experience. Provide necessities, but let them look forward to holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and other random special days for the things they simply want.
Let your child be a part of fundraising.
If your son desperately wants his first iPod, let him earn half the money. When holidays roll around, let him save to help buy gifts for your immediate family. Don’t just buy them on his behalf and sign his name to the card. Gifts for him and others will mean more when he’s been part of the process.
Make gratitude a part of the natural environment of your home.
At dinner, have everyone go around the table and say something for which they’re thankful from their day … not just on Thanksgiving. Have your children write thank-you notes. And model gratitude as an adult. Thank your server at dinner. Be grateful to your own parents when your children are around (and when they’re not).
Be a family who gives.
At Christmas, sponsor another family with children of similar ages, and let your children select the gifts.Establish financial boundaries.
If your 15-year-old daughter earns a $20 weekly allowance, don’t give her more than that. Allow her to run out of money, or she’ll never appreciate the distance a dollar can go. Give her consequences for overspending, too. If she uses too many minutes on her cellphone plan or overspends in another area, have her complete chores in your home to pay the difference. She’ll learn much more from paying the debt of her experience than by your explanation.Give your children responsibilities around the house.
Kids should contribute to life as a family with age-appropriate chores. They can help clear the table as young as they can walk and carry items. You can pay them for some chores, but some chores should just be a part of being a contributing family member. Chores help them learn responsibility and the value of your time and energy.Don’t be afraid to start over.
It’s never too late. Tell your children, “I’ve been thinking about how, as a family, we’re not grateful” or, “We take a lot of things for granted. It’s time we did something different and appreciated one another and all that we’ve been given.” Then do something different — no matter how old your children are.
Breaking the chains of entitlement begins at home. As you live out gratitude and graciousness, your children will see these values as worthy. You teach them by how you live, what you say, and how you allow them to struggle and work their own way toward responsibility. You can raise kids who live with humility and thankfulness, who see and appreciate what they’re given daily by the Giver of all good gifts.

Excerpt from an article of HomeLife Magazine.

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