Do you know someone who believes that they are owed all the perks of success without having to expend a single drop of the perspiration required to earn them?
Have you met a person who lacks the skills required to earn a living yet believes they are too valuable to do the jobs available to them?
Perhaps you also know someone who's always unhappy, never feels "fulfilled," and resents those who've done the most for them.
It's deceptively easy to slip into giving our kids too much. It's also easy to begin expecting far too little. When this happens, we create kids with what I call the Over-Indulgence/Under-Expectation Syndrome:
- Entitlement thinking ("The world owes me the best!")
- Lack of marketable employment skills
- Lack of self-respect coupled with alternating feelings of dependency and hostility
Is there any hope? You bet! If your child displays any of the following signs, it's time to act quickly to reverse the problem:
- Displays an attitude of false superiority
- Expects only the finest things
- Manipulates others to get what he or she wants
- Has difficulty waiting or working for what he or she wants
- Is careless with possessions, frequently losing, neglecting, or destroying them
- Views his or her teachers with contempt
- Refuses to do chores, does them very poorly, or demands to be paid to complete them
- Constantly interrupts and demands to be the center of attention
- Only associates with people who can give him or her something
- Refuses to accept responsibility for bad behavior
If reading this hits a nerve, it's time to begin giving less and expecting more. The first step in this process involves learning how to avoid getting pulled into your child's attempts to argue and manipulate. Experiment with calmly repeating the following Love and Logic "one-liner":
I love you too much to argue.
The next step involves studying the Love and Logic parenting package that best fits your child's age level. From this package, you'll see how to take concrete steps toward raising a personally responsible, thankful, and happy child.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay