An entitle child will:
- immediately lash out "with accusations or insults" when they are told no
- is shocked when told no
- not take turns well
- be impatient
- generally put themselves first
- throw a temper tantrums when they don't get what they want
- not say "please" and "thank you"
Now, every child, especially a toddler or preschooler, will behave these ways from time to time. This list is meant to reflect a consistent behavior over time.
Not every child fits in the "box", some children actually have a social delay, which causes huge problems with flexibility. This is not because of your parenting style, it is because of their delay. The child is not trying to be bad to ruin your day, they just don't have the tools yet to deal with it. If you are not sure wether of not your child has a delay, read the first few chapters in The Explosive Child by Ross W. Green, chapter 3 has the checklist. I am sure your library has a copy. Just would like to add, these children do things that all children do, but it is just on a whole other level. You could also take your child to a councilor or psychologist who specializes in children. Now, just because they have a delay, it does not mean the behavior is acceptable. Occupational Therapy, play therapy with a councilor and other resources can help you get your child's behavior to be with in the proper boundaries. It is not an excuse, but it is a very good reason to show them grace and not to think of them as a spoiled child and yourself as a bad parent!
Here are some things you can to to reverse an entitled child:
- start saying no more often, but not always
- make them do things for themselves
- require a "no please" and a "yes, thank you"
- make them wait
- give them less
- if it is extended family giving too much, try to control that as much as possible
- put some of their items away - less clothes, less toys ( you don't have to throw them out, just put them out of site)
- requirer them to do some basic chores for no money and give them the opportunity to earn money doing jobs around for money
- have many heart to heart talks with them about thinking of others, the universe does not revolve around them, and they have to work for what they want
- if they lose a toy or brake one, don't buy them a new one
- they do not always have to be happy, so lessons in life are painful, that is they only way we learn our lesson