Wanting to show your kids just how much you love them by spoiling them silly with lots of love and basically everything the world’s got to offer is pretty normal, but the question is, just how much of a favour are you actually doing your kids in the long run? Truth be told, despite your best intentions you’re grooming entitled kids who would not understand they need to work to get things in return. And as teenagers it definitely gets worse; they become spoilt, angry and demanding teens who believe the world owes them – they’ve got to have their every desire and would not be able to handle disappointment either. So just how can you correct this, 7 tips;
There must be clearly defined limits, teenagers need to have a clear understanding of what is acceptable and what is not, in terms of behaviour and relationships. Teenagers who do not have a clear definition of boundaries struggle to develop confidence and a sense of responsibility. Expectedly, conflict will arise from time to time but overall they reduce friction in parent teen relationships. When limits are not imposed early and parents later try to enforce it teenagers become frustrated and angry, usually resulting in conflict.
You need to put in a measure of strictness as a parent, don’t just let your teen off the hook each time they fail to meet up, misbehave and are disrespectful. Each time you allow them be, simply because you want to avoid conflict or because your heart just can’t take it when they’re less than happy, bear in mind you’re encouraging bad behaviour. Disciplining your teen can be exhausting but letting things go is not the solution. There must be consequence for every action.
If your teen acts in an inappropriate manner; talks to you rudely, don’t let them see you’re upset or wounded, letting them see your pain is empowering them. Never let them know they can anger, hurt or get a rise out of you. Never argue with your teen, instead stay calm and restate the instruction alongside consequence of not complying,this helps you take control putting them in their place in turn.
Mistakes and disappointments are good for your teen, don’t always butt into every situation like a superhero, let them deal with it. Yes it’s normal for you to want to save your kids from being hurt or upset, but stepping in makes you selfish. It comes at the expense of your teenager’s long term well-being. You could offer support and advice on how to move forward but you must refrain from stepping in. Let them fight their battles and face the consequence.
It’s pretty easy to get focused on the negatives especially when it’s constant but you should make constant effort to note when they do take care of things which makes them have a sense of responsibility. Encouragement is key, but be specific so they know exactly what they are being praised for, this helps them learn and want to become better.
Needs and privileges should be clearly defined. While their needs must be provided, privileges can be given or taken, your teens must know this. They should understand that certain things are necessities. Pocket money, the latest gadgets are privileges that your teen needs to understand he gets when he acts right. Spoiling them with abundance of resources even when they treat you with contempt breeds a sense of entitlement which gets worse as they grow.
As a parent, you should teach your teen responsibility, it’s something which shouldn’t be debated upon. If he wants something, sometimes make them work for it, this is key in helping your teen loose that sense of entitlement. This provides an opportunity to demonstrate gratitude each time he gets a privilege. Don’t just state rules, offer an opportunity for your teen to showcase his ability to change.
Last word, your role as a parent is crucial to moulding your child into adulthood, don’t take it for granted.