2. Set realistic expectations
Let your child clearly understand that from now on the rules around the house will change and you and your spouse will respond differently to your child’s expectations. Let them know that your decision regarding something will be final and no negotiations or threats will be entertained on that issue. This means you will need to be strict and bring a drastic change in yourself, your attitude and your approach in raising your child. If they keep misbehaving or arguing, simply do not give them the attention they seek and walk away. Be firm on your decision consistently. By deliberately deciding to be a different parent you can turn an entitled child into a more grateful individual.
3. Encourage them to “Earn”
One of the best ways to make your entitled child grateful is to make them understand that they need to earn everything they want through hard work and sacrifice. You can ask them to do their homework, finish their chores or run some errands around the house if they want a new toy or a treat. For adolescents and teenagers, you can encourage them to do a part-time job, whether online or anywhere they prefer. By learning to earn what they want, they will value themselves and the things they want more. It will also prepare them for the real world and help build a strong sense of self-esteem.
4. No more over-praising or over-protecting
If you want your child to be more grateful and less entitled then you need to stop with over-pampering and over-parenting. Stop giving in to their every demand. Do not treat them special every time they do some mundane tasks which they are required to do. Although you should appreciate your child’s efforts, you need to refrain from over-praising and unnecessary gift giving. Restrict your special treatments and gifts for special occasions and when they truly deserve it. Studies show that constantly praising a child’s ability instead of their effort can influence “children’s failure attribution, self-handicapping, and their subsequent performance.”
5. Make them more responsible
Encourage your children to give back and make contributions in some way. One of the best ways to do this is to ask your kids to do household chores without having any rewards upon completion of the task. By assigning time-consuming and tedious tasks, you will help your children get in touch with reality, make them responsible and happier. Studies have found that chores help to build perseverance, autonomy and accountability and makes children healthier and happier. It can also help them learn respect, teamwork, time management skills, life skills and provide an opportunity to bond with other family members. Psychotherapist and international bestselling author Amy Morin, LCSW, explains “Kids who do chores learn responsibility and gain important life skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.”
6. Practice gratitude and be grateful
As children learn the most from their parents, create a family culture of being grateful. Practice gratitude as a family by saying “thank you” more often whether to others or to your own family and by expressing what you are grateful for on a daily basis. This can be especially important when you or another family member is having a bad day. By focusing on the good things in life even on the roughest days you will show your child how to develop a more positive mindset. Each family member can share what they are grateful for before dinner. You can also ask your child about three things they feel thankful for at bedtime. By practicing it daily, gratitude will eventually become a habit.
7. Have patience
Changing an entitled child’s behavior and encouraging them to become grateful can take time. It depends on a number of factors and the child themselves. Instead of being overly concerned or forcing them to change their behavior, be patient with them. Encourage them to practice gratitude and use positive reinforcement. Over time, the child will change their behavior and become a more positive individual.
Raising a grateful child
No parent wants to deliberately raise a narcissistic child with a distorted sense of entitlement. But if you feel your child is showing signs of entitlement, follow the tips mentioned above and take a more positive and responsible approach towards raising children. With proper guidance, positive and negative reinforcement and love, you can help your child grow up to become a responsible and grateful adult.
Read also: 7 Ways To Encourage Kids with Words