This is an issue that my fellow parents and I often discuss. Teens seem ungrateful. They seem to have quite a bit yet are always demanding and comparing as a matter of right. Not only teens, this is a problem with younger kids too who often end up behaving like entitled brats. This trait is so putting off, and it also does not bode well for their future. That said, it seems so difficult to raise humble, grounded teens these days.

avoid raising entitled teens

Here are some methods that I try to avoid raising entitled teens. I would love to hear your thoughts on these:

1. Stop Doing Too Much for Your Teens

I know that our teens are studying way too hard. They also have so many extra- and co-curricular activities to manage along with classes. My teen has seen very few real holidays in the past couple of years. So yes, he does not have too much leisure time at hand. That, however, is no reason for me to do everything for him. If we want our sons and daughters to be self-sufficient, there is no other way around it. Starting from making their bed to cleaning their own wardrobe, folding their clothes, keeping their school books, bags etc. in order, they must be able to take care of their own chores. I leave their beds unmade if they don’t do it. If they forget, I remind daily till they remember to do it. Conditioning is important for chores. I hate it when children leave mess around as a matter of right and expect their moms to pick up after that. Most times, I just leave that item behind and point out when they are back to put it in its place. I am sure that slowly they will build the habit of taking care of themselves and their belongings.

2. Make Them Do Household Chores

Have you noticed how teens hardly do any household chores? This is because at home we moms don’t expect our sons and daughters to do any chores.  As a parent it is my responsibility to raise teens who don’t consider any chore too small or beyond their reach. Hence I make them help me when I cook. Not only will they learn how to cook as they are both foodies, but it is an important life skill that they would learn. I seek their help when I do gardening or composting. They are expected to iron their school uniform. Recently they started folding their clothes after I Marie Kondo’ed their wardrobes. They hang clothes from the washing machine. And both the sons know basic cooking like making eggs, toast, noodles etc. They are also learning dishes like dal and rice and how to make basic vegetable dishes. They help in dusting and vacuuming as well. There was a time when the older son did scanning for my business bills, and I paid him for the work. Kids can handle responsibility. All we need to do is give them work.

3. Avoid Excess

Don’t give the best of everything even if you can afford it. It makes your kids entitled expecting that everyone should give them nothing but the best. A perfectly working phone is good enough for your kids. A hand-me-down old phone or a basic new model should suffice. To tell you the truth, I am baffled when I see teens owning latest iPhones or expensive phones. If we don’t teach our kids the value of money, how will they learn?

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4. Let Them Handle Tricky Situations on Their Own

As a parent, it is our endeavour to make life easier for our children. So we shield them from troubles, help them when they are in a sticky situation and generally butt in with solutions to problems. As a result, our teens may be incapable of handling the simplest situations on their own. They lack patience, tact, diplomacy and basic life skills for day-to-day situations. Last year, my younger son was struggling as he was finding it harder to make friends. He struggles to speak up when something or someone bothers him. And while I counsel him, it is something that he needs to learn to become responsible and capable of handing life situations. This year, he has managed to make many friends and in the bargain learnt precious life lessons. I helped him with role-play when stuck. But slowly giving him the reins of his own life situations helps him become empowered.

5. Balance Possessions with Responsibility

Do not be in a rush to buy them things they ask for. I know that they will always have peers who will have a better phone, tablet, laptop, gaming console or whatever else they pester you for. Make them earn it by assigning them chores that they can finish and earn points for. Also let them be responsible for their possessions. If they damage or lose them, don’t buy them a replacement immediately. While we all understand that accidents can happen, we have to teach them that things are expensive and have to be taken care of. Don’t raise teens who expect to get things the moment they ask for it.

6. Practice and Preach Gratitude

When we are happy and satisfied with what life has given us, we automatically become more positive and optimistic. Gratitude is a trait that can help you get through the toughest of times. And it is becoming increasing difficult to practice gratitude as we turn more materialistic. Hence, as parents it is important to crib less and be more grateful. It starts with the parents. If we are appreciative of what we have including our relationships then automatically kids learn to be more positive. Also, when my kids feel despair because they don’t own something, I point out to them how lucky they are to have what they have. I also regularly ask them what things they are grateful for on a daily basis. This helps align their attitude to accepting and feeling grateful for what they have and to complain and whine less for what they don’t. It is important to impress upon them that they are very small cogs in the large wheels of the Universe. Kindness, compassion, helping others and community living will make them true citizens of the world.

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These powerful methods can help us raise humbler, more centered and responsible teens. Trust me, not only will you feel proud of the adults they turn into but the society at large will.

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avoid raising entitled teens

Pics courtesy: By Rachaphak and Air Images on Shutterstock

9 Thoughts on “6 Ways to Avoid Raising Entitled Teens

  1. I completely agree with this post. 🙂

    Kids need to do chores, pick up after themselves, learn responsibility, especially in today’s over-entitled age. It’s important that they learn the reason and effort of hard work that will help them stand on their own two feet when the time comes.

    Gy doesn’t cook just yet but she does help out every time I ask. Her own bed/clothes/books are her responsibility. I refused to pick up after her mess and you can imagine how this must have been for me, who is a tidying fan 😉

    Now, I leave it as is and let her do it.

    Also agree on the gratitude thing. It’s another way to help develop a minimalist mindset and to appreciate what they already have. Also, they need to earn the right for new objects and now have shiny object syndrome.

    Loved this post 🙂

  2. Don’t have a kid yet but I totally agree with you. Kids need to learn the basic lifeskills of cleaning up and cooking before they leave the nest. It must be imbibed in their personality. In this age of instant gratification, it is important for them to learn about patience. And that not all broken things can be replaced. Excellent post Rachna. You are raising two amazing boys ?

  3. It is true. We do need to condition them. I used to crib in my teens when my mom taught me how to make chapatis. Later on, when I had to stay out in a different city, I felt thankful that I knew how to cook a little and avoid cafeteria and outside food 🙂 Hence, from personal experience, I completely agree, there is no other way around it! Good insightful read. Bookmarking this one!

  4. I am so glad you did this post. This is something we all struggle with constantly. They are so busy with such a packed schedule that it is tempting to help them out as much as we can. However it ends up being counter-productive in the long run. Getting them to do household chores is a real fight, though I do stick to it but it is exhausting. I’m hoping at some point they make it a part of their routine.

  5. Very much logical and psychological explanation, though i am not a parent but after guiding some juniors and students i have realized these.

  6. Couldn’t agree more. Kids these days have so much and this is not a good thing as they may feel overwhelmed or less grateful. This adds to 1 more responsibility of ours- To teach them the value of money and to be grateful for what they have. I always try not to give in to my Kid’s demands and rather let him learn delayed gratification.

  7. Great points. One of the things that I fear besides their health is that my kids grow up to be entitled jerks. Not sure why but I seem to see it more and more nowadays, maybe because of social media and the things the people post to show off.

  8. Love this post, and I agree with everything you’ve said here!

    I don’t have a teen yet, but I try my hardest every single day to incorporate a lot of this. Especially because I feel like these days, the social environment ensures that entitlement is the default setting with kids. Responsibility is learned, and so is gratitude. And it’s our responsibility as parents to ensure our kids develop a healthy attitude and mindset.

  9. All of the above points are so valid! Teaching them responsibility, earning their stuff, teaching them patience and practicing gratitude!

    I will be coming to you for pieces of advice when my baby will be a teenager ?


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