4 ways to break the sense of entitlement in your kids

Published 17 March 2017  |  

If you've been a parent for quite a while now, you'll know just how awfully selfish children can be. Yes, they're cute, adorable, funny, and of course we love them unconditionally. But deep inside them is a wretched sinner with the ability to be extremely entitled at times.

If your child is a sinner, welcome to the club. We all have sinful children, just as we are all sinners ourselves. The Bible reminds us in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

But that doesn't mean we should just accept them as they are. As parents, we have a God-given role to guide, correct, and nurture our children.

The sense of entitlement is one big enemy that parents can face in children. From the time they open their eyes, children will have one thing on their mind—the self. This sense of entitlement can lead to huge relationship, career, and even spiritual problems if not addressed at an early age.

Here are four ways to break the sense of entitlement in your kids today.

1. Remind them who's in charge

The big question behind every battle for entitlement, whether in adults or children, is this: "Who's the boss?"

While our children may have control and ownership over certain areas, there are other areas that they might feel they have a say over when they actually don't. In situations like this, it's good to reinforce and remind them who's in charge.

Many times it might be you, it might be a teacher or a guardian, it might be an older sibling, or it might be God. Whoever is in charge, we must teach our children to submit to authority.

2. Expose them to harsh realities

The desire to shield children from the harsh realities of the world is innate in every parent. However, we have to allow them to face the harsh realities of life at a non-dangerous and tolerable level.

It's when our children learn to fail, to process a loss, and to have to work for something they want that they learn the values of humility and diligence.

3. Teach your children to earn some things

Many of the things our children receive from us are things that they need not have to earn—like a roof over their heads and food in their tummies. But there are things they want that they have to earn to get—like a video game, toy, gadget or vacation. When our children learn how to earn some things, their sense of entitlement is challenged.

4. Allow your children to be of help to others

There's nothing that breaks the sense of entitlement more than generosity. "It's more blessed to give than to receive" as the Bible tells us in Acts 20:35. When we allow our children to experience the grace of giving, it challenges their pride and sense of entitlement by allowing them to see and appreciate the value in others apart from themselves.


More News in Life

  • One way God uses your spouse to change you

    God desires His children to become like Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. God is so committed to sanctifying and making all of us who believe in Christ holy, He will use each and every circumstance for it.
  • Jesus said 'Judge not...' So why are we so judgmental?

    I don't want to be a Mrs Mangel Christian. If that doesn't make any sense to you, then you probably didn't grow up in the UK or Australia in the 80s and 90s, and I should probably explain. Nell Mangel was the semi-villainous old busybody in long-running Aussie soap opera Neighbours, back when the show had an inexplicably enormous following. She was, at least according to her own recurring phrase, 'a good Christian woman', and it was apparently her faith which drove her interfering, occasionally malevolent actions. She didn't like the young people enjoying themselves too much; she tutted and told tales as the older characters became romantically involved. Essentially, she saw every individual as a person to be judged against her own high moral code, and every situation as an opportunity to be judgmental – where possible even dishing out a sentence too. This, for her, was the bedrock of the Christian life.