When it comes to parenting, there is not a “how-to” book that is a one-size-fits all. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there. Parents sometimes get it right, and sometimes not so much. Parents are all human and make mistakes, even when they have the best intentions in mind. According to the experts, here are five mistakes that can create more “selfish and entitled” kids.
1. Saying “yes” to almost everything
It is okay to once and awhile say “no.” Saying “yes” to almost everything can foster a sense of entitlement in a child. Studies show that overindulged children are more concerned about themselves, show less empathy for others, lack a strong work ethic, and may behave as if rules don’t apply to them. Saying “no” once and awhile will not hurt them at all. In actuality, it will help them in the long-run.
2. Failing to create “teachable moments”
A teachable moment is a specific occurrence, situation, or experience that can be used to teach children about something more general. This is an opportunity to have them put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Or, it can be seen as a moment to find out their opinion, discuss something that might be a little advanced for them, etc. etc. “Teachable moments” can be lessons that last a lifetime.
3. Not addressing what is happening in the world
This is not an option in today’s climate. Parents need to discuss and address what is happening in today’s world with children so that they don’t grow up thinking that things “don’t apply to them.” They need to understand what is going on in the world around them and know that they too are a part of a global community. This is the time to sow the seeds of compassion and service.
4. Giving everything without enforcing gratitude.
Children learn gratitude when they don’t get what they have asked for. Teach them to say “thank-you” for everything and do not accept it when they don’t say “thank you” for things that they are given. Thank-you’s are a bare minimum. This is a great opportunity to teach children to do chores for their allowance instead of just giving them the cash.
5. Failing to introduce them to volunteer work
Volunteering is one of the best ways to teach several lessons in one. It allows children to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. It gives them the opportunity to understand and experience actual lived experiences. Whether it is a food bank, helping to pack and distribute food, or having them get their hands dirty through helping to build homes for Habitat for Humanity, volunteering will unquestionably help kids get more than they give.
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