How to ensure that kids don’t end up thinking that demanding anything is okay…

kids demanding for more- Parenting resources by ZenParent

The Middle class is very affluent today and one of the biggest things parents struggle with is the sense of entitlement that kids have. “Everybody has a phone. Everybody has a Play station. Everybody has an iPad…” The demands are constant and you are caught wondering if you are the only bad parent who is going to be hated by your child while all other kids have cool parents. It is hard to say “No” to kids’ unceasing demands when the kids can see that it is not the lack of affordability that is the limiting factor but just that you think it is not necessary for them. That is the tough battle for parents of today. How do you raise kids who don’t grow up “expecting” that all they need to do is ask and it shall be given to them?

1. Allowance: Some parents believe that kids do not need allowance. Whatever they want, they can ask parents and there is no need for them to have their own money. However, I believe that having your money and deciding what to spend it on is an important lesson to learn. When kids constantly are in the habit of asking parents for money, they do not even inquire about the price of the product. They just demand it. On the other hand, if they were given an allowance from which they had to spend, they would have to figure out the price of the product and if they have the resources to buy it.

2. Make them earn it: So your child is again asking you for something. Make them earn it. It can be linked to grades or allowances etc. Earning for something gives them a better ability to appreciate what they have received. Give them tasks that they can do to make some extra money and save up- You don’t have time to organize your closet?Outsource it to your teen and pay her for it ! Does your younger child need help with Math and your older one is a Math whiz? Get them set up for tutoring at home and pay your older kid- It is only when they make money they will understand the reality of how fast it can be spent but how slowly it is earned.

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3. Say No: As hard as it is for parents to do this when children say that “all” their friends have something and therefore they should get one too, stand by your convictions. If you think there is absolutely no need for your child to get a phone, or a facebook account stick to it. Reflect deeper on why you are giving in to your child’s demands, if indeed you are. Is it the fear of being disliked?  Is it some other guilt? This will help you also figure out why you do what you do.

4. Gratitude: It is essential that you create an environment of Gratitude. Constantly have your kids be thankful for what they receive. Model gratitude – My kids groan when we have to take them to the Mandir- they ask me, “What should we do there?” I tell them to recite in their heads a list of things they are thankful for. Show them videos like these on storyofstuff (click here to open the video) which makes them aware of their environment.

demanding kids can be controlled- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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5. Exposure: Take your kids at least a few times a year to an orphanage or a ‘home’. Talk to them about what privileged lives they lead when compared to many children in the world. Constantly give them doses of reality check which would get them thinking along those lines. It is very easy for them to constantly focus on their classmates and what they have. We need to put them in situations where they think about how blessed they are too.

When kids see that parents have money that they are spending on buying a 52 inch flat screen TV or a new car, but they say No to their request for a new phone, they feel resentment. They do not understand why it is okay for you to spend money, but not okay for them to receive a gift. That is a tough situation indeed. Some of the biggest billionaires of the world like Warren Buffet believe that it is immoral to leave all their wealth to their children because it would just make their lives meaningless. There are values that are bigger than affordability that you want to impart to your children and you want to make sure that they do not grow up expecting things to be handed to them on a platter.

Click here to know how to say explain kids the difference between the good and the bad without scolding them…

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