Signs That a Child Has Entitlement Issues

9 Signs That a Child Has Entitlement Issues

Lets set the scene: A child’s birthday party.

Most of us have watched this as the youngster—your child or a friend or relative’s child—tears into her gifts. She sees what is in one package and quickly moves on to the next. A parent stands by reminding her to say “thank you,” often fruitlessly. Feeling somewhat helpless. The parent herself comments on how special the gift is just what her son or daughter wanted it.

OK, we have all been there, the birthday party, the particularly “over the top” extravaganza. The gesture seems to be the only way parents indulge their children and cultivate their sense of entitlement. We delight in seeing our children’s faces light up. They receive what they want when we drop whatever we are doing to drive to have someplace to be “right now!”. Or when we agree to finish their school project so they can get a good night’s sleep.

Happiness Overdone

Yet, when children receive everything they want. We feed into their sense of entitlement—and feelings of gratitude fall by the wayside. It’s what Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, believes is a “Me, Me, Me” epidemic brought on by parents doing everything they can to ensure their children’s happiness.

“The entitlement epidemic usually begins with over-parenting—over-indulging, over-protecting, over-pampering, over-praising, and jumping through hoops to meets kid’s endless demands,” she says. “Today’s generation of parents are overly invested in their child’s happiness, comfort, and success.

“Overly involved parents helicopter their kids’ every move and mow down the potential obstacles in their path,” McCready adds. “In our attempt to shelter our kids from adversity. We rob them of the opportunity to make decisions. Learn from their mistakes, and develop the resilience needed to thrive through the ups and downs of life. All done in the name of love—but too much of a good thing can result in kids who always expect to get what they want when they want it.”

9 Signs Your Child Has Entitlement Issues

Does your child have an entitlement issue? In her book, The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World,(link is external) McCready details signs that help indicate the extent of an offspring’s “me, me, me” problem:

-Expecting bribes or rewards for good behaviour.

-Rarely lifts a finger to help.

-They are more concerned about himself than others.

-Passes blame when things go wrong.

-I can’t handle disappointment.

-Needs the treat to get through the store.

-Expects to be rescued from his mistakes.

-Feels like the rules don’t apply.

-Always demanding and wants more and more.

-Turning the Tide of Entitlement

What is this telling us

Whatever the depth of your child’s sense of entitlement, it can lessen. I find the right place to start is to restrain your overprotective instincts. Stop doing things for your children that they can do themselves. For instance, if you are worried about your child, preteen, or teen riding in the car with a new driver. Simply say no and then stand firm. Sure, your child will be disappointed. But don’t change your position. Children tend to recover reasonably quickly from most disappointments.

If your child wants a smartphone, McCready advises agreeing to pay for a phone with basic functionality and explaining that he or she will have to earn money for a “fancier” phone and pay the data charges.

Have you been able to turn the entitlement tide around in your family? If so, how did you do it?

What can help 

If sleep is part of the issue with these concerns you are suffering from at this time, then an excellent place to start together is with a family sleep program that will put everyone back in the right place. If it is yourself as the adult who is suffering due to no patience or generally run down. I can help you, too, with an adult sleep program. Well rested and able to make better decisions about the way forward as a family