Really! Overpraising Leads to Entitlement?

In my opinion praising your child has little to do with a sense of entitlement. Always giving into them, giving them what they want and never disagreeing with them, leads to a sense of entitlement. For many parents or caregivers they feel the guilt of not being there for their kids due to having to work and spend many hours usually outside of the home. For others it’s the need to be their children/s best friend, those afraid that their children may not like them, or others who feel the need to keep up with the Jones’s.

We know that kids can learn to be very manipulative at a very young age. They actually learn how to manipulate parents, from the parents. You know that ‘button’ that gets pushed or the ‘wear you down’ technique which always happens at the worst time. Then there are the consequences which you lay down and never follow through. These are the times when your child is learning how things work with you. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that you don’t always …say what you mean,… walk your talk or…. practice what you preach. They learn exactly what buttons to push, that they can and will, wear you down or that even if you say there will be a consequence….they know there won’t be! So this is when you bow down to your kids, buy them what they want because it’s easier than listening to them whine or complain. You give into their demands over and over, they win every time! Before you know it you have signed them up for yet another sport, that’s more time out of your day. You have purchased a new gaming system just to get them off your back, then you complain about the amount of time they spend gaming. This in my opinion is what causes kids to develop a sense of entitlement.

Praising kids is something completely different. Growing up I was not lavished with praise or any other items. This did not affect my sense of entitlement but did however affect my self-esteem, self-worth and confidence. I remember even teachers giving out more negative remarks than praising. As a parent myself I had the experience of the kids being given everything by their father, (who has since passed) he always made me out to be the bad cop. He would tell the kids that I said no, or I didn’t want them to have fun or try anything new, which wasn’t the case at all. It was basically because we had different views on parenting. I valued and wanted more family time. I wanted the kids to play outside, which thankfully they did on the street we lived on until a few years back. All they needed was a tennis ball and hockey stick, they and the neighboring kids were happy for hours.

I talk to my kids openly and honestly about the difference between rights and privileges, what they are doing right, choices they make, taking responsibility etc. When they do something well or try really hard, cooperate, help me out, I praise them. Praise teaches discipline, self-regulation, builds confidence and self-worth. I am not afraid to let them know when I feel they didn’t make a good choice or they were not responsible. I let them know that I am disappointed, but I also know the importance and the need to make mistakes and to learn from them. They know if they want something and I won’t buy it that they can save for it, which does and has happened. My kids are both honour roll students, great athletes, caring, respectful, and appreciative. Is this a reflection of good parenting? You bet it is!

Author's Bio: 

Law of Attraction Life Coach

..….I help families become happier and healthier by empowering and teaching parents and children better communication skills, positive parenting strategies and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices!