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Are you dealing with an entitled teenager? Many teens have a distorted idea of what they deserve or think they should get just because they exist.
I wish it were not so, but this is the world our kids live in today. It’s probably the worst it has ever been.
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Some of this entitlement is created by our kids and the media, but most teen entitlement is created by us, the parents. Yep, we have to share some of this blame. We give in to our kids with every want and whim to keep them happy.
I must admit, I was guilty of giving in to my kids more than I should have at times. I had to learn the fine balance between meeting their needs (and a few wants) and being excessive.
Frankly, some of their wants became needs just to keep up with the “Joneses.”
And that was the rub. Explaining that an iPhone 6 was just as good as an iPhone 10 is not easy when “everyone else” has the later model.
Sadly, no matter how many times you say “no,” it doesn’t make your teen any more grateful. Sometimes you have to go on the offensive and work on your teen’s heart and pray God gives you wisdom on how to unspoil them.
Before you can undo some of your parenting fails, it is important to see if you have an entitled teen. Check out this definition and see if any of these things are happening at your home.
What Is An Entitled Teenager?
An entitled teenager is constantly concerned about image, popularity, and friends. They are typically egocentric and are willing to do anything to make sure they maintain their image. They are emotional and will throw a tantrum or manipulate to get their own way.
Sadly, social media has exacerbated this attitude because it is all about selfies, who you are with, and what you are doing.
Typically, an entitled teenager is disconnected from their family or parents and don’t feel they should have to participate in family activities or help out at home. They don’t understand how their behavior affects others when they leave a mess, act ugly towards siblings, or ignore their parent’s requests.
They are super sensitive about individual rights, judging, and justice without understanding the complete picture as it is slanted to their world.
Many entitled teenagers think parents do not have a right to impose their family values on them because mom and dad don’t understand how the world really works.
An entitled teenager is hard to correct or teach. They think they already know everything. Furthermore, they are unpleasant to be around for any amount of time because of their attitude.
By definition, this describes most teenagers to some extent. If you think you are seeing some of these things, check out how to unspoil your entitled teenager.
9 Tips to Unspoil Your Entitled Teenager
Check out these life-changing tips to unspoil your entitled teenager. Unfortunately, it takes time to undo what has been done so don’t get discouraged.
The most important thing is to be consistent. Over time, you should see a difference in your teenager if you change the way you think and act toward him.
Your teenager needs to work some. If he is too young to have a job, then let him earn money doing chores around the house. Ask him to clean his room, do his laundry, etc. (You decide what is good for your home.)
Kids are self-centered by nature, so breaking this lazy streak is hard. They will naturally complain and gravitate toward excuses so they don’t have to help. Keep working on the attitude. Some kids take years to get it right.
We asked our teens to give 10% of their earnings to the church. This helps ward off greed. My husband and I practice this same principle as well. If you don’t model it, don’t expect your kids to do it.
3. Volunteer/Mission Trip
My family has gone on several mission trips, and one of my kids went to Guatemala with other teenagers. I think this is the best thing we ever did as parents. It was life-changing for our whole family. Our kids saw what poverty looked like, and they learned to serve those who could never pay them back.
There is no textbook, TV commercial, podcast, or post that can teach gratitude like real life. In my opinion. life experience is the best way to deal with an entitled teenager. They will not be the same after this experience.
Give your teenager a certain amount of money and then let them figure out how to allocate it. They can add any earned money to make up the difference.
There is nothing wrong with wanting your kids to participate in activities such as sports, shopping, or dances. Just do it for less. If they want more, they can work for it.
5. Set Boundaries
Set boundaries in your home. If you have expectations for your child to be home at a certain time, dress a certain way, or help around the house, then enforce it. If you don’t stay consistent, then your child will not do it and nothing will change.
6. Let them fail
You may be tempted to step in when your teenager does not get up in the morning, complete homework, or follow through with chores. Instead of reminding him to do his work, let him fail. Allow the natural consequences to hit him if it is at school.
If it is at home, then have consequences in place and enforce it. The more you step in and enable, the longer it will take for him to learn. Some kids need to take the field trip multiple times to get it right.
7. Regulate your emotions
Regulating emotions is probably one of the hardest things to do. If you are naturally emotional, you may get triggered when your child is disrespectful, doesn’t do his work, or blames you when things go wrong. You are the adult. It is up to you to be a good role model.
Separate yourself from your teen’s behavior. It is easy to get embarrassed or want to yell when he fails a class, has to serve a suspension, or doesn’t do what he is told.
Continue to love him even if he makes poor choices. It’s okay to grieve. Your heart may be broken and you may get angry. Just do it appropriately.
8. Help not enable
Help your teenager when he needs help. If it is a problem he is capable of working through on his own, then don’t step in. Let him figure out how to navigate friendships, school issues, and sports. If he doesn’t know how to do something, take the time to teach him or find a tutor.
The goal is for your teenager to be independent when he goes to college. He needs to learn how to problem-solve before then. Your home is a great place to practice before he is on his own.
Pray for the relationship with your teenager. Ask God to show you how to love your teen well even if she is acting like an entitled teenager. The teenage years are not an easy time to navigate because there are so many heightened emotions at any given hour.
Pray for creative ways to reach your teenager without exasperating her. You won’t always get it right, so learn to forgive yourself and your teen when things go south.
How Can I Help My Entitled Teenager?
If you want to help your teenager, encourage positive change.
Praise them when they make good choices so they know they are going in the right direction. Engage with them and let them know how much you love them. At the end of the day, your kids just want to be loved.
You may have enabled your teen and pushed too hard in the past. Stepping back and allowing natural consequences to hit is not easy to watch. In fact, you may need a strong stomach not to step in and rescue.
Furthermore, it may cause a strain in your relationship for a while when you start enforcing consequences. This is a normal process in unspoiling your child. It is painful but necessary.
The most important thing is to react appropriately with truth and love. There are times of grace, but overall, you have to change the way you do things to see real change. It is worth it in the long run as you will no longer have an entitled teenager.
Do you have an entitled teenager? What did you do to unspoil him?
Do You Have Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Creating Family Memories Book
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
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Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.