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8 Ways To Avoid Raising An Entitled And Rude Child

8 Ways To Avoid Raising An Entitled And Rude Child

If you’re looking to raise a child to be a fully-functional adult, there’s definitely a lot to think about. You might love your kids, but sometimes you have to let them hurt themselves, feel the consequences of their actions, and experience failure. As a parent you will ultimately be there to help them when they’re in need, but you also can’t be their personal “catcher in the rye.”

If you want your children to be ready for the real world when their time comes to leave the nest:

1. Limit their access to pleasure

Yes, childhood is the most carefree time in a person’s life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all fun and games. Put a time limit on the computer, phone, or video games, so your children don’t end up wasting time that could have been spent bettering their lives. I’m not saying that children should be doing hard labor, but they should definitely have responsibilities to take care of before they dive into the world of Minecraft for the evening. Give them age appropriate chores, and make sure they complete their homework to the best of their ability before you let them off the hook.

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2. Don’t cover for them or coddle them

Having worked in school settings, I’ve seen way too many parents complain to teachers after their kid comes home with a failing grade. Newsflash: It’s not the teacher’s fault (unless the entire class is failing, which is highly doubtful). Instead of taking your kid’s side when it comes to their responsibilities, make sure you look at what they could be doing better (and what you could be doing better, for that matter).

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay. But by pretending your child is God’s gift to the world, you set them up for true failure later in life.

3. Make them honest about their shortcomings

Parents need to teach their children to take responsibility when they falter, but this doesn’t mean they should just accept failure, either. Too many children think “I’m not a math person,” and in turn don’t work hard to improve their math skills. Don’t let this happen to your children. Teach them the importance of working hard to overcome weaknesses. It’s one thing to do well in something you’re naturally good at, but it’s a much greater accomplishment to succeed in an area you once failed in. Teach your kids that hard work will always pay off in one way or another.

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4. Set allowance strictly

When I was a child, my mother had a system in which a certain amount of my allowance would go toward short-term savings (for smaller toys and games), long-term savings (like a new video game), and serious savings (to be put into a real savings account). That system worked too well for me, as I am now money-conscious to a fault. Teaching your kids to have realistic appreciation for money from a young age is incredibly important. Don’t waver from whatever system you work with, so your children don’t grow up thinking money just shoots out of the ATM whenever you need it.

5. Teach the value of hard work

That allowance shouldn’t come easy. Make sure they know that money is earned by services rendered. Yes, they might hate mowing the lawn in the summer, or shoveling the driveway in the winter, but the sooner they realize they have to work to earn cash, the better off they’ll be. They’ll also enjoy their games and toys much more when they’ve earned them. They will treat their possessions with respect, remembering how hard they had to work to be able to afford them.

6. Be consistent with rules

As a parent, it’s definitely easier to let rules slide “just this once” here and there, especially when you’re busy with work and other obligations. But all this does is create a slippery slope in which your children will constantly be looking for ways to bend the rules. By being inconsistent, children learn that there are times they’ll be able to get away with something. Make sure they know: The rules are the rules, period. And make sure your spouse follows through, as well. Otherwise, your household turns into a 90’s sitcom where the parents start fighting because one was more lenient than the other!

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7. Teach them to be thankful and grateful

Children can be taught to be giving, hospitable individuals from a very young age. Many children who are deemed wise beyond their years simply have parents who have raised them to be caring and giving people. Model courteousness by saying please and thank you to other adults when they hold the door, or helping them write thank you notes to friends who attended their birthday party. Have them pick out toys they no longer use and bring them to shelters for less fortunate children. Children will grow to be conscientious adults if they learn to have perspective from a young age.

8. Don’t always be their best friend

You love your children unconditionally, but you are the adult who has their best interest in mind. By trying to be their friend, you open up a can of worms that is impossible to close. You should definitely let your young child bring out the kid in you, but don’t be “that parent” who lets their kid watch horror movies or play Call of Duty until midnight on a school night (or ever, for that matter). Be there for them at all times, but don’t just let them have their way because you want to be “cool.”

No parent is cool; you should know this by now!

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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