Do you know a “spoiled rotten kid?” C’mon, we all do… or have at least witnessed one, mid temper tantrum, in the store, crying over the newest candy bar, toy, or cell phone!
Seriously, I think that may be the #1 topic people ask me about…. entitled kids!
I could write for days on the topic but I will try to reel it in with a few simple tips.
Tips to prevent raising entitled kids:
#1 Keep the praise to a minimum to raise a quality kid!
Yes, I did just say that! Stop complimenting everything breath they take. When you over praise, you set your kiddo up to seek external validation rather than learning self pride or appreciation.
Instead of praising, ask your kiddo some questions! Next time lil Johnny brings you his school project, instead of endlessly gushing, ask him how HE feels he did. Ask him what his favorite part of the project was. Or you could ask him what part he is most proud of, or what part he struggled with and how did he overcome the struggle.
#2 Reward with attention, not stuff!
If your kid deserves some praise or a reward, then offer them some quality time! And I’m not talking about the time it takes to go to the store to buy them stuff.
I mean go to the park and play hide and seek to celebrate together. Or go build a fort together. Or play a game, go for a walk, bake a cake, people watch, play mini golf, or even just sit and enjoy an ice cream cone together while talking!
I promise you… they will NEVER remember the toy you bought them when they were 6 but they WILL remember the quality time you spent with them, and how loved they felt.
#3 Say NO once in a while!
Just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Telling you kiddo NO is a good thing because it teaches them patience and appreciation.
Just because Apple came out with the brand new version of the iPhone, doesn’t mean your kiddo should have it, even if it’s not a financial burden to get it. Remember that old anti-drug slogan from the 80’s? Just say NO!
#4 If you want them to act responsibly, you have to give them responsibility!
Thad and I are always amazed by the amount of responsibility some kids have in 3rd world countries. Kids at 7 years old are out hustling for money… shining shoes, carrying bags… whatever it takes.
It’s terribly sad that some kids are forced too young to hustle for food and resources, but it’s even more sad that some kids sit around and do nothing while being showered with praise and presents.
Give your kiddos some responsibility! All ages, even toddlers can participate in cleaning or picking up, loading things into the dishwasher, and helping out around the house.
If you start them young, they learn to contribute to their family because that’s what family members do. Not because they are getting a reward! Throw out the star sticker chart and start handing out hugs and thank-you’s!
#5 Allowance: Yes or No?
People ask me this a lot too. I don’t believe in giving an allowance, and I’ve never given allowance to my kids. I do however think it’s important to teach them to earn. I have paid my kids to do some things above and beyond their normal responsibilities. BUT… I do not nag, or bribe, I give them an opportunity to learn and earn.
Simply put, I let them know that I have a job available, how much it pays, and if one of them is interested, they can see me about it. I let them know the requirements, and if they do the job, I pay them. Simple.
Some examples have been:
- Cleaning out the car
- Foot rubs
- Packing up books to send out to customers
- Shampooing the dog
- Organizing my bookshelf
- Sweeping the patio
- (My mom used to pay me to pull her grey hairs out. lol. I hope she doesn’t kill me for sharing that!)
I also think it’s important to teach them about money… how much to save for short and long term, and what to spend. (But that’s a whole different topic for another day!)
The point…. stop showering your kids with undue praise and rewards.
Instead, give them wings to fly so when the time comes, they leave the nest to do good in the world and eventually return for visits with adorable grand babies! 😉
If you know a parent who is struggling, please forward this to them and offer a kind word. Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then!
Experience has made me wise, coaching has shown me how to share that wisdom.
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Love and inspiration,
Heather Paris inspires people all over the world to create happier lives through talks, workshops, blog posts, and her book, Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness. For more information about transforming your relationship, family, or your life, contact Heather today!