If you've been a parent for quite a while now, you'll know just how awfully selfish children can be. Yes, they're cute, adorable, funny, and of course we love them unconditionally. But deep inside them is a wretched sinner with the ability to be extremely entitled at times.
If your child is a sinner, welcome to the club. We all have sinful children, just as we are all sinners ourselves. The Bible reminds us in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
But that doesn't mean we should just accept them as they are. As parents, we have a God-given role to guide, correct, and nurture our children.
The sense of entitlement is one big enemy that parents can face in children. From the time they open their eyes, children will have one thing on their mind—the self. This sense of entitlement can lead to huge relationship, career, and even spiritual problems if not addressed at an early age.
Here are four ways to break the sense of entitlement in your kids today.
1. Remind them who's in charge
The big question behind every battle for entitlement, whether in adults or children, is this: "Who's the boss?"
While our children may have control and ownership over certain areas, there are other areas that they might feel they have a say over when they actually don't. In situations like this, it's good to reinforce and remind them who's in charge.
Many times it might be you, it might be a teacher or a guardian, it might be an older sibling, or it might be God. Whoever is in charge, we must teach our children to submit to authority.
2. Expose them to harsh realities
The desire to shield children from the harsh realities of the world is innate in every parent. However, we have to allow them to face the harsh realities of life at a non-dangerous and tolerable level.
It's when our children learn to fail, to process a loss, and to have to work for something they want that they learn the values of humility and diligence.
3. Teach your children to earn some things
Many of the things our children receive from us are things that they need not have to earn—like a roof over their heads and food in their tummies. But there are things they want that they have to earn to get—like a video game, toy, gadget or vacation. When our children learn how to earn some things, their sense of entitlement is challenged.
4. Allow your children to be of help to others
There's nothing that breaks the sense of entitlement more than generosity. "It's more blessed to give than to receive" as the Bible tells us in Acts 20:35. When we allow our children to experience the grace of giving, it challenges their pride and sense of entitlement by allowing them to see and appreciate the value in others apart from themselves.