What? My kids don’t have a sense of entitlement! Or do they? Before now, I never understood the signs of an entitled child nor did I think that my child could possibly have fallen victim. In fact, it wasn’t until I read Amy McCready’s new book, The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic – A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World, that I started to realize just how entitled my children really were.
You might be like me… you’ve seen the posts crawling the internet about entitled kids, you’ve seen the warnings, and maybe even watched some parenting experts talk about entitlement in kids, yet you never once thought it could be your kids they were talking about. That is exactly how I have been!
I was pretty sure that I had been doing a good job at teaching my kids that nothing comes free, that they need to work for what they want, and that in our home, they are far from spoiled.
While I was reading The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic, however, I was shocked to learn that my children were in fact living with a sense of entitlement! I just never connected the struggles we were having with the entitlement attitude. You might be exactly the same as I was! Let me tell you what I learned.
What Does the Entitlement Attitude Look Like?
I always thought entitled was synonymous with spoiled. I thought you couldn’t have one without the other. Even at the beginning of Amy McCready’s book, she paints a picture of a child I would described as spoiled and entitled. She describes a child that needs everything her way, can only see her own needs, and doesn’t take ownership over her needs and wants. I was pretty sure, this wasn’t my kid.
So what hit the nail in? What made me realize my kids were in fact entitled? Through multiple examples in the book, I realized that entitlement comes in the form of time and attention as well as things. You see, my kids demand my attention. They are under my feet all day long. They need me. They want me. They will do anything in their power to keep my attention and not allow me any time to myself.
You might think this is part of being a mom. This is part of parenting right? What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be! In fact, we can actually help our children become more independent and less entitled to our attention and time.
A Brilliant Tip to Squash Entitlement in Kids
As many of you know, I have three children, one of which struggles with anxiety and Sensory Processing Disorder. Often times, this means that his attention seeking behavior gets the whole family’s attention and sucks our time and energy away from the rest of the family. We have been working on his ability to self regulate and become more independent, however this is a struggle and something we will continue to work on.
This tip I learned in Amy McCready’s book is brilliant. It not only helps my son with special needs have some routines and set boundaries; it also helps the other children find their place and get the attention they need without being entitled to all of my time and attention. Seriously, why didn’t I think of this.
The tip? MBST!
Ha! Are you thinking… “What in the heck is she talking about?” I was too! MBST is Mind, Body, Soul Time. It is undivided attention and time given to connect with your children. I have to admit, I thought I was doing this! I was giving my children attention ALL DAY LONG!!!!!!
However, this is different! MBST is a time set aside every single day for each child. It is just 10 minutes. That’s it! In this time, you put everything else aside… even your smart phone and give your child undivided attention. You might be thinking… I don’t have 10 minutes per kid. I will say, make the investment. Sit with them while they play in the bath. Read a book before bedtime. Sit with them as they play barbies. Whatever the activity… it doesn’t matter. It is the undivided attention.
Also, don’t be afraid to tell your children what they are doing. “We are very busy today, but you are important to me and I want to give you some one on one time.” “I need some time to do my work, but I want to give you a little bit of time together.”
Don’t think of this as a big ordeal. Instead, think of it as a way to teach children that you do not need to give them undivided attention ALL DAY LONG. Empower them to find things to do on their own, ways to play on their own, and give them confidence that you are there for them… just not every single minute of the day.
More Tips for Squashing Entitlement
The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic is full of more tips to battle the entitlement attitude. It is a Step-by-Step guide to raising capable, grateful kids in an over-entitled world! Just to name a few more topics Amy touches on in the book: The Praise Problem, Money and Sense, and Consequences. This book is full of great insights into what leads to a sense of entitlement in all children (not just spoiled one).
With 35 incredible, easy-to-implement tools, parenting expert Amy McCready outlines thestep-by-step strategies for empowering your kids without indulging them. Fueling their spirit – not just funding their wish-lists. Building bonds that can last a lifetime. Fostering compassion for others, rather than focusing on themselves. And parenting in powerfully positive, pro-active, life-changing ways.
Amy McCready is the author of and offers parenting webinars and courses that are invaluable in helping parents build their parenting toolbox.
I would recommend this book to parents, teachers, and grandparents! This is one of my favorite books on parenting I have read in a long time, as it turned my thoughts on entitlement upside down.
BONUS: GET FREE TRAINING WITH AMY
Order The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic by August 28 and get a FREE WEBINAR: The No-Rescue Policy for Consequences
Tell me, do you see your kids as entitled? Do they demand your attention, all day, every day? I’d love to hear from you!