Category: Entitlement

How to Teach Your Child Self-Control & Delayed Gratification

How to Teach Your Child Self-Control & Delayed Gratification

Kids are notoriously terrible at waiting. Patience is just not something that comes easily to young children who want everything RIGHT NOW.

With every new piece of technology that comes out, our kids become more and more dependent on instant gratification. As a society we’ve forgotten how to stick with long-term projects and reap the rewards of our patience and hard work.

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The One Rule That Will Make Your Child More Polite

The One Rule That Will Make Your Child More Polite

Teaching politeness to your child is not just about instilling good manners; it’s about nurturing empathy, respect, and effective communication skills. It takes patience and consistency in your efforts to cultivate politeness, but it is a valuable trait that will serve them well throughout their lives.

From a very early age children begin learning that their words are powerful, and can use as a means of getting their needs and wants met. But when children’s words start trending towards rude and abrasive it may be time to implement this one simple rule in your home…

Children must ask a question, instead of making a demand 

A demand is made from a sense of entitlement. The child feels that they should have something, and so they say it… “I want a snack!!” “Give it to mee!!” “It’s my turn!!”

Many parents focus too much on correcting the tone of their child’s demand rather than requiring them to ask for permission. For example, if a child yells “I want a snack!,” many parents will redirect them to say “I want a snack, please” in a nicer tone of voice. Tacking on a “please” is definitely more polite, but it doesn’t address the deeper issue. 

Requiring your child to ask you a direct question has many underlying benefits, and it’s more polite. Instead of “I want a snack,” it’s, “May I have a snack please?” And instead of “It’s my turn”, its “May I have a turn?” The subtle difference in requiring your child to ask permission instead of making a demand reaffirms that the parent is in control. When your child asks for something, you as the parent can say “yes,” or you can say “no.” The parent is in charge of making the decision.

 Children are much more likely to accept a “no” when it’s in response to a question they’ve asked rather than a demand they have made

Because in the act of asking the question, the child is already prepared to hear a yes or no answer…they know that it’s a 50/50 chance.

No Nagging Needed – “Asked and Answered”

Another benefit to having your child ask permission is that it naturally shuts down nagging. A child can walk around the house demanding “I want to watch a movie” a million times, but when you require them to ask you directly “May I watch a movie?” they get a definitive answer. If the answer is “no” and they ask you again, you can simply say “asked and answered.” When parents are consistent, children learn quickly that “no” really means “no” and they stop whining and nagging.

Important Things to Note

Make sure to provide your child lots of opportunities to make age-appropriate choices throughout the day, so that they can also feel a sense of control over their environment. For example, letting your child choose what they want to wear or what kind of fruit they want with their breakfast. Children who are given the opportunity to make choices will be less likely to lash out when parents need to make tough decisions os say “no.”

Of course like any parenting strategy, it takes time to teach your child that they need to ask, rather than demand. Whenever my son makes a statement like “I need a snack now!!” I simply say, “Are you trying to ask me something?” He immediately knows to ask politely for whatever it is that he wants.

He still struggles (as most 3 year olds do) when the answer is “no,” but it’s getting better every day. The important thing to me is that he learns respect for authority. I want him to know that he needs to ask permission because we as his parents know what is best for him, even if he doesn’t understand it in the moment.

5 Reasons Why Bribes Don’t Work for Kids

5 Reasons Why Bribes Don’t Work for Kids

We’ve all done it at one point or another…bribing our kids to gain their cooperation. “If you finish your dinner, you can have a cookie.” “Be a good boy at Grandmas house and then we can go to the park.” “If you do your homework, then you can have some TV time.”

It is so easy to fall into the trap of bribing our kids, because it seems like the quickest way to gain their compliance. Parents say “it works” because it gets kids to do what we ask, but bribes can have long-term negative effects on our children’s motivation and behavior. Here are 5 reasons to stop bribing your kids and what to do instead:

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How Entitlement Steals Our Kids’ Joy

How Entitlement Steals Our Kids’ Joy

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Small babies and young toddlers are notorious for their beautiful spirit and infectious joy, which comes from knowing little about the world in which they live. Babies need nothing but love, and the essentials – nourishment, shelter, security. As children grow and learn more about the world throughout the years, they begin to want more than just our love and the essentials.

In her book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen Welch states, “When our kids begin to expect – even demand – more than our love, that’s when we have a problem. What our culture feels entitled to isn’t just stuff. It’s the desire to fit in, to feel good or happy all the time; it’s the desire for instant gratification and the demand to receive something just because we want it, hard work optional” (13).

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