What would you do to make your child happy?
Quite a lot, no doubt.
But are you doing too much?
I know I am.
Not just in material terms, but in running about after them too. And I see that it makes my children happy. But I also see that in other ways it is inhibiting their growth as individuals.
My son is a natural giver. My daughter, more of a taker. No problem in itself- the world has space for all types of personality. It works on balance.
But the more I give, the more she expects. She is starting to feel a sense of entitlement. I see this on some occasions when I do say ‘No’. She looks confused, affronted almost.
And that’s partially my fault. Nature and nurture are coming together here to create the perfect storm.
Of course, there are some things my children are absolutely entitled to – My unconditional love. Nurturing. Respect. Food. Clothes. Shelter. A safe and happy home.
They deserve all of these things and more. I want them to know that they matter. That their contribution to the world matters.
The tricky part is learning where to draw the line between giving enough, and giving too much.
I want my children to understand that the things they are entitled to are merely the foundation of their world. That as they grow, they have a responsibility to themselves, and to others to give as well as take from life.
If they grow up with a sense of entitlement, thinking the world owes them something, then I’m not doing my job well. I’m not preparing them to take their place in life as a responsible, caring individual. And I’m holding them back from being the strong, capable, independent adults they deserve to be.
The entitlement trap is easy to fall into – we all want to make our kids happy. But by making a few simple changes to the way we coach them to conduct themselves in the world can make all the difference and keep the sense of entitlement at bay.