"She borrowed something from me. And then she lost it."
"But it was the whole 'It only cost ten bucks-you can get another one' attitude that I couldn’t let happen a moment longer.
So, I gave her a job that required hard work and gave her the $10 she earned and then I made her pay me for what she lost.
Listen, when I realized I was more than half the problem in this whole entitlement parenting challenge, it was a wake up call. Kids naturally want what they haven’t earned, especially if we are handing it out for free.
But what we have is an entire generation of young adults who got everything they ever wanted with little or no work; we have a cultural norm and it’s a problem. Because reality is, life doesn’t give us everything we want. We don’t always get the best jobs or a job at all. We don’t always have someone rescue us when we have a bad day or replace our boss just because we don’t like them. We can’t always have what we want when we want it. We aren’t always rewarded in life."
Here are 9 things we can get rid of to begin eliminating entitlement in our children:
1. Guilt- Often we give into our kid’s requests out of guilt. We need to stop feeling guilty for not giving our kids everything they want. It’s hard to swallow, but we foster the attitude of entitlement in our homes when we are ruled by a guilty conscience. It’s okay to ask kids to be responsible for what they lose and to require consequences for actions.
2. Overspending- I think it’s good for our kids to hear us say, “We can’t afford that” Or “We will have to save for it.” Because that’s real life. We don’t have All The Money to Buy All the Things. I’ve known families before who are working multiple jobs to keep kids in extracurricular activities, when honestly, the kids would probably be happier with more family time.
3. Birthday Party Goody Bag (Mentality)-I’ve been guilty of this like most of us. But, really? We take our kids to parties so they can give a gift, but they take a small one home so they won’t feel bad? It’s not their birthday. This concept of spoiling kids (which usually goes far beyond goody bags) is temporary fun. It’s okay for them not to be the center of attention.
4. Making our day-week-month, our world about our kids-Working in the non-profit world has redirected our extra time. We simply can’t center our lives around our children when we are centering our lives around Christ. Child-centered homes don’t help children in the long-run.
5. The desire to make our children happy (all the time)- If you visited my house, you’d find out pretty quickly that someone’s always unhappy. It’s not our job to keep our kids happy. Don’t carry that impossible burden. Typically when our kids are unhappy, it’s because we are standing our ground. And that makes for much healthier kids in the future.
6. Made Up Awards- You know what I’m talking about. Rewarding everyone who participates in every area only fosters an inflated self esteem. Kids don’t need rewards for every little thing. It’s okay to lose, they learn through failure as much as success.
7. Fixing all their problems- I don’t like to see my kids struggling. There’s a part of every parent that longs to make things right in their child’s world. But it’s not healthy to create a false reality. You won’t always be there to do so and not only that, if you’re doing it all for your child, why would they need to learn to do it themselves? Fixing all their problems is really only creating more challenges in the future.
8. Stuff- We could all probably fill a half dozen trash bags with just stuff. Excess. Try it. Bag it up and get your kids to help you and give it to someone who needs it.
9. Unrealistic Expectations- My girls are always asking for manicures. I didn’t have one until I was married, pregnant and 27 years old. I’m not opposed to the occasional treat, but it’s the attitude of expecting it because you as a parent or others have it. Just because I have an iPhone, doesn’t mean my children will get one. We don’t have to give our kids everything we have. It’s okay to make them wait for things in life.
It’s okay to toss out these things. Go ahead, give it a try.
(These are words borrowed from a site called wearethatfamily.com. I love Kristin’s perspective and down-to-earth way of explaining these ideas so I used it as written in her words. This is great advice Moms! As a mom of three grown children 21years + I can attest to the validity of every one of these. I hate to have to admit that I totally failed on some of these concepts. Some of them I wish God would allow me to have a “redo” but he won’t. It’s done. All I can do is start from where I am (hopefully with grandchildren) and give advice from the school of hard knocks to my children and those who God has placed under my care. Let some of the stress of being supermom go and realize our children do not have to have it all to be happy and well-adjusted. In fact, they will probably be much better adjusted not living with us trying to be supermoms. Another thing... take a break from Pinterest! Time could be better spent rolling in those fall leaves with your little ones than it could feeling guilty about not making the perfect pumpkin shaped snowcone for Johnny's Halloween/Birthday party. Now take a deep cleansing breath and make life a little simpler for yourself.)
Want to squelch the sugar at Halloween? As moms, we try to focus our children on healthy lifestyles. Then the school or neighborhood parties come around and they are bombarded with sugar and processed foods. I remember throwing my hands up, feeling totally defeated, and saying "I give up!". Now, I realize that doesn't have to be the case. The internet (which wasn't a household resource when my children were small) has given us a way out. Look at all these creative ideas for Halloween treats! If you are a class mom in charge of the holiday party this year, why not go healthy! The other mommas would LOVE you for it!
1. Fruit Tray - Bananas (cut in half longways) with raisins ghosts, "Cuties" with celery stem pumpkins, red apples with mini marshmallow teeth, grapes (halved) with Greek yogurt and raisin bits for eyeballs. the dip is 1 large container (unsweetened) Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup Nutella. Put plain white Greek yogurt in a piping bag to form the spider web. The spider is made with black olives. How cute is that!
2. Deviled Egg Spiders - Spiders are just cut black olives! That's all! How simple!
3. Banana Ghosts and Pumpkins - This is another way to make healthy pumpkins and ghosts.
4. Veggie skeleton - This is so cute and if this won't encourage your child to eat veggies, nothing will! Head is ranch dressing veggie dip in a small bowl. The body is a combination of celery, red peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms and cauliflower.Use lettuce and broccoli for hair and hat.
Have a ghoulishly good time with the children this Halloween!
This is a fantastic idea I stumbled upon from inlieuofpreschool.com . Pumpkins with a flare that you can put in your entryway, along stairs, or as part of a Fall gift basket and be proud of! If you spray them with polyurethane, you can use them outdoors too!
Mini or large pumpkins
Snack-sized applesauce container (or appropriate substitute for larger pumpkins)
Paper to protect surface
DIRECTIONS: Begin by popping off stems and setting them aside. Place mini pumpkins on container so paint can run down without pooling on surface. Pick 3 to 5 colors of paint, position bottle over center of pumpkin and squeeze.
Trick: Use little squirts and rotate colors often. Paint will “well up” and start to flow over sides as center becomes full (may have to tilt to cover all sides). Let them sit as is (probably 24 hours until sides are dry to touch). When dry, hot glue stems back on! Fall is so much fun for crafting with the children!
Hope you have many laughs doing this one!
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