How To Avoid Raising an Entitled Child

Raising children in today’s fast-paced and often materialistic world presents unique challenges for parents. Among these is the task of ensuring that our kids grow up to be grateful, hardworking, and empathetic adults, rather than feeling entitled to what they have or want. This blog post aims to shed light on how to avoid raising an entitled child by offering practical strategies and advice. By fostering a healthy environment that promotes responsibility, gratitude, and empathy, parents can guide their children towards more fulfilling and humble lives.How To Avoid Raising an Entitled Child

Understanding Entitlement in Children

Entitlement can be understood as a belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. In children, this mindset often manifests as expectations for constant reward without effort or appreciation. Several factors contribute to the development of entitlement, including overindulgence, lack of responsibilities, and not experiencing natural consequences for actions. Recognizing these behaviors early is crucial in redirecting attitudes towards more positive and realistic viewpoints.

To combat entitlement, it’s important to introduce children to the concept of earning privileges through contributions and effort. This doesn’t mean withholding affection or support but rather emphasizing the value of hard work and the satisfaction of achieving goals through perseverance.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Setting clear boundaries and realistic expectations is foundational in preventing entitlement. From a young age, children should understand that while they are loved and valued, the world doesn’t revolve around their desires. This can be achieved by:

  • Communicating clearly about what is expected in terms of behavior and contribution to household tasks.
  • Being consistent with rules and consequences, ensuring that children know the boundaries and respect them.
  • Encouraging children to set personal goals and work towards them, teaching the value of effort and perseverance.

By establishing these expectations early on, parents can help children develop a sense of responsibility and an understanding that privileges come with effort.

Teaching Responsibility and Independence

Encouraging responsibility and independence in children is essential for their development into self-sufficient adults. This involves:

  • Assigning age-appropriate chores and responsibilities, such as tidying up toys, helping with meal preparation, or taking care of a pet. These tasks teach children the importance of contributing to their community, starting with their family.
  • Allowing natural consequences to follow actions, helping children learn from their mistakes. For example, if a child forgets their homework, they experience the natural consequence of not completing it rather than having a parent intervene to fix the problem.

These strategies teach children that their actions have impacts and that they are capable of managing tasks and solving problems on their own.

The Value of Gratitude and Empathy

Fostering gratitude and empathy in children goes a long way in countering entitlement. Parents can:

  • Encourage daily reflections on what they are thankful for, possibly through shared family time discussing the highs and lows of the day.
  • Involve children in community service or acts of kindness, helping them to see beyond their immediate world and develop empathy for others.

Teaching children to appreciate what they have and to empathize with others’ situations helps them develop a more grounded and less self-centered perspective on life.

Balancing Rewards and Consequences

A balanced approach to rewards and consequences is crucial in parenting. Rewards should be tied to effort and achievements, rather than given freely, to teach the value of hard work. Consequences, on the other hand, should be logical and related to the child’s actions, helping them understand the impact of their behavior. This balance ensures that children appreciate their achievements and learn from their mistakes.

Modeling Positive Behavior

Children learn a great deal from observing their parents. Demonstrating humility, hard work, and empathy in daily life sets a powerful example for kids. Parents can:

  • Share their own challenges and how they overcome them, emphasizing the importance of persistence.
  • Show kindness and empathy in interactions with others, highlighting the value of considering others’ feelings and perspectives.

Through these actions, parents can lead by example, teaching their children valuable life lessons through their own behaviors.


Avoiding the pitfall of raising an entitled child requires patience, consistency, and a commitment to instilling values of responsibility, gratitude, and empathy. By setting realistic expectations, teaching independence, balancing rewards with consequences, and modeling positive behavior, parents can guide their children towards becoming well-rounded and appreciative individuals. Remember, the goal is not to be perfect but to be mindful and intentional in our parenting choices. With time and effort, we can raise children who are not only successful but also kind and compassionate members of society.

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