The entitled child believes everything should go his way. He acts like he’s the king of the universe. Justin was such a boy.
Whenever Justin’s younger brother, Seth, wouldn’t play Justin’s video games with him, he’d punch Seth and yell, “I hate you!” When his mom scolded Justin, he’d sass back, “You always take Seth’s side,” then slam his bedroom door.
If Justin was your son, would you want to hit him? Would you yell, “I’m sick and tired of your angry behavior!” and preach the same old lecture?
Consider having a conversation with Justin when both of you are calm.
Teaching the Entitled Child How to Be Realistic
Use yourself as an example. It might go something like this:
Mom: Remember when I arranged a birthday party for Grandpa?
Mom: I was frustrated because only three of our family members came. I really felt mad inside. I wanted to tell those who didn’t come what I thought of them.
Justin: Did you?
Mom: No, because I remembered something Grandpa taught me as a child. He’d say, “Sally, you’re not the Queen of the Universe. Things don’t have to go your way.”
Justin: How did that help you?
Mom: Can you guess?
Mom: Because if I was the queen, I could make everybody do what I want.
Justin: But you’re not the queen so you couldn't force everyone to come to Grandpa's party.
Mom: That’s right. How might that thought help you?
Justin: I’m not the King of the Universe so things don't have to go my way either.
Mom: Right. What about Seth not playing your video games?
Mom: How can we remind ourselves that we’re not the king or queen of the universe?
Justin: Let’s make 2 signs that say, “I’m Not the King,” and “I’m Not the Queen” and post them on the fridge.
Mom: And every time we stop ourselves from losing our tempers let’s make a tally mark on our signs.
Conclusion for Helping Entitled Kids Become Reasonable
Entitled kids need to know that life isn’t fair, doesn’t cater to what they want, and can be disappointing at times. You can teach them with reasonable self-talk how to be more rational about life. None of us is the king or queen of the universe. Things often don't go our way. Sometimes we need to be patient and accept that fact. And sometimes it becomes a challenge to creatively overcome the problem.
As the parent, you are the best one to teach him this lesson by being reasonable yourself and having good discussions with him. Start with a true story about when you were angry and irrational. He won't feel like you're pointing a finger at him and he'll like spending private time with you.
Big Bad Bullies are Critical Judges. They mess with your child's mind. Their constant put-downs harm self-esteem and prevent their victims from liking themselves.
Jack Canfield & Miriam Laundry
In this brand new book, Miriam Laundry teams up with Chicken Soup for the Soul Expert, Jack Canfield. Together they share the story of a girl tormented by a big bad bully who haunted her every move.
One day she found the bully in the school bathroom. Did she stand up to the bully? Or did she run away "like a scared little chicken?"
In the end, your child will learn a method for dealing with the big bad bully.
What My 12 Year-Old Granddaughter Thought:
"It tricked me and I thought it was a real girl who was being bullied and I could relate to it. It turned out it was herself and she was her own worst critic. I criticize myself a lot and it turns out nobody is actually paying attention to what I'm insecure about. I'm going to start doing the author's The Positive Mirror Exercise. I think it's going to help me a lot."
Suggestion for Parents:
I suggest you read this beautifully illustrated book with your child. Discuss and practice The Positive Mirror Exercise together. You'll find 5 other exercises for helping her conquer the bully.
Don't let your child's self-esteem prevent her from liking herself. Pick up this book at Amazon.com now. It will make a great birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or 'just because' present.
Aggressive kids, like Joey aren't liked. He hated waiting in line at the water fountain. He'd shove the kids lined up ahead of him. They'd fall forward like dominoes. The first child always hit his face while drinking. Joey laughed. I visited his parents and had a glimpse into Joey's life at home.
The father put his wife down several times during our conversation. She looked straight into my eyes but said nothing. Tears ran down her face.
When parents model meanness, children pick it up. Joey was mean. He didn't know how to relate to others.
I found out that Joey's dad was too busy to spend time with Joey. Joey didn't feel important. He didn't feel love from his dad. As we ended the meeting, Joey's father promised to spend time with him. He and his wife decided to work on their relationship too.
Parents Must Model How Children Can Assert Themselves
Teaching children how to assert themselves, speak up with respect, and be friendly starts at home. Parents must model how to communicate well. If they don't know how, they can learn. The following article will show how.
1. An empowering formula for teaching kids assertiveness skills
2. 5 assertive role-plays to practice at the dinner table
3. A fun family activity
4. An assertive poem for kids
How Joey Became Assertive
Joey told me with a big smile that his dad playfully put shaving cream on his face and let him shave it off with an empty razor. It made a real difference. Joey, over a matter of weeks, stopped shoving kids and started making friends. A greater respect developed between Joey's parents. Soon they were ready to learn the Assertiveness Formula within this article:
You can raise assertive children by practicing the formula within your family. Advise your kids to use it with others too. If you do, they'll learn to speak up for themselves, make friends, and become respectful communicators too.
Watch our brief video on assertiveness:
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Do your kids bicker? Is it grating on your nerves? Some quarreling is normal. But if your kids continually fight, it’s a telling sign to “Detour! Danger Ahead!”
My brother and I fought so much that years later my mother told me, “I thought you were going to kill each other.” A slight exaggeration but we did yell, wrestle, and throw some punches. Underneath it all, I really did love him and if anyone criticized him, I ached inside.
When we fought our mother would yell, “Stop!” She’d complain. She’d even lecture. But she had been an only child and never experienced sibling rivalry. She didn’t have a clue how to help us be civil and neither did we.
How Do I Teach My Kids Assertive Skills?
Assertive role-playing can be taught using “Instant Replay.” This parenting technique is assertive because kids must come up with their own answers and then act them out. It uses Time Out.
I remember being sent to bed after many a fight. It often lasted the whole afternoon, but it didn’t work. I just took long naps.
With Instant Replay you separate your kids and send them to different boring places within your home. They come back to you after each child brainstorms 3 good ways they could have handled their disagreement without fighting. Then you tell them, “Act out the best one. When done, they shake hands and are free to go off to play.
I like this strategy because you’re no longer the judge and jury. You don’t choose who’s right and who’s wrong. You don’t even come up with solutions. Your children solve their own problems.
The Assertive Formula
The Assertive Formula Works
This formula includes 5 parts:
The Assertive Voice
The Assertive Face
The Assertive Posture
The Assertive Words
The Assertive Role-Play
The video below shows parents and children several simple suggestions to practice within each part.
Before teaching this formula, I suggest practicing it with your partner first. Why? Because your example is the most powerful way for kids to learn.
Narrow-minded kids might say, "It wasn't my fault."
Narrow-Minded Children Need Open-Minded Parents. Many kids naturally act to gain pleasure and avoid pain (punishment). Open-minded parents can model both calmness and reason. By doing so, they can help their children see both sides of a bigger picture.
In today’s post, we are sharing 3 dinner discussions. They don’t tell your children what to think. That’s not their purpose. The goal is to help your child slow down, think reasonably and see a side other than their own.
Use the dinner discussions to find out what your children really think. Don’t force your ideas. Listen well. Your mission is to open their minds by asking them to give advice to 3 narrow-minded kids.
“It Wasn’t My Fault”
12 year-old Josh had been told many times to pick up his things. Yesterday, his 5 year-old brother Tommy, while running down the hall to the bathroom, tripped on Josh’s bookbag. He sprained his wrist in the fall. Josh blurted out, “It wasn’t my fault.”
Did Josh have any responsibility for Tommy’s sprained wrist? Why?
How could Josh blame Tommy for spraining his own wrist?
By blaming Tommy, what could Josh avoid?
What advice would you give Josh?
If Josh followed your advice how might he have reacted differently?
Narrow-Minded Kids Might Say, "I Forgot."
Whenever 11 year-old Sheila’s mom asked her, “Do you need help with your math homework?” Sheila would answer, “No, it was easy. I did it in school.” Then she’d run out to play.
Sheila received a poor grade in math because she rarely handed-in her homework. When her mother saw the report, she said, “You’re supposed to ask for help when you need it. Why didn’t you?” Sheila said, “I forgot.”
Do you think Sheila was open to getting help? Why?
Did anything stop Sheila’s from doing her homework? If so, what?
If you were Sheila’s mom, would you accept, “I forgot,” for an answer? Why?
What advice would you give Sheila? Why?
If Sheila opened her mind and listened to you, what might she do?
Narrow-Minded Kids Might Tell a Parent,
"You're So Mean!"
“You’re So Mean.”
13 year-old Jerry begged his dad for an expensive new bike. His father asked, “Are you willing to work for it?”
“Do I have to?”, asked Jerry.
“If you really want a bike, you’ll need to keep your room clean, do your chores without complaining, and cut the grass every week this summer. Are you willing to do that?”
Jerry stared at his dad and yelled, “You’re so mean!”
Why did Jerry yell that his dad was mean?
What do you think stopped Jerry from working for a new bike?
If you were Jerry’s Dad, would you give him a bike without expecting anything in return? Why?
How open-minded do you think Jerry was about taking responsible?
Is manipulating others with insults a good strategy? Why?
If you gave Jerry advice, what would you suggest?
Getting children to think reasonably helps them see the bigger picture. Open-minded thinking can slow down their pleasure seeking and speed up accepting responsibility. They might even think before they act.
Becoming reasonable and open-minded won’t happen overnight. Using dinner discussions can start the process.
PARENTS CAN TEACH CHILDREN EMPATHY WITH SIMPLE DISCUSSIONS. Today you and your child will find a childhood behavior to discuss, what mindsets to avoid, and 7 easy steps for teaching empathy. Use it to help your child grow into a caring person who understands others.
Ask your youngster to analyze this situation by asking, “What don’t we know?”
Sarah gave her friend, Jane, a friendly punch. Jane yelled, “Stop it!” and hit Sarah hard.
Ask your child, "What don't we know?"
Hopefully, she answered, “We don’t know why Jane hit Sarah back so hard.”
Many kids might judge Jane and call her names. But that would put Jane on the defensive and make her mad because no one wants to be judged harshly.
Rather than being a critical judge, ask your child to think of some positive reasons why Jane may have hit Sarah. Why positive?
Usually, when someone does something, even if it’s negative, it’s for a positive reason. We call it the ‘positive intent.’ This is because the doer, (Jane) is getting something positive out of her behavior.
What Positive Reasons Do Kids Have for Acting Badly?
Here are some sample reasons:
Maybe Sarah told her class a big secret about Jane's family and Jane found out. Now Jane’s breaking off the friendship.
Maybe Sarah has given Jane too many friendly punches that have bruised her in the past. Now Jane’s showing her what it feels like to stop Sarah from punching her again.
Maybe Jane was ridiculed by her class for a wrong answer and she thought Sarah’s friendly punch was intended to tease her for it. Jane’s hitting tells Sarah her teasing isn’t funny.
Who knows why Jane reacted the way she did? We’re not mind readers. Only Jane really knows.
But stepping into Jane’s shoes and trying to see the situation from her point of view, your child is on the path to understanding and empathy.
Tell your child, “It’s hard to feel empathy for Jane or anyone else if you’re judging with a mean critical mind.”
Your Child CAN Switch Her Critical Judgments to
Rather than judge, teach your child to:
Switch your critical thoughts to exploring positive reasons why she did what she did.
Avoid calling names or making accusations.
Ask don't tell. "Why did you...? rather than, "You did it because..."
Listen without judgment.
Try to see her point of view.
Show empathy with understanding comments like, "I can see why you felt that way."
Suggest she apologize, if appropriate.
If you do, she just might follow your suggestion. All because you asked, listened and cared.
Another important point, when someone acts poorly and you understand why they did it, doesn't mean you agree with their negative behavior. It does mean you chose to understand it.
Use these steps, whenever your child tells you about another child’s negative behaviors. Your discussions will be interesting, and you’ll be teaching her to be an empathic person with an understanding character.
Watch this 2 minute video with 5 questions to help your child turn from criticism to empathy.
Parents Can Teach Children to Disagree with Respect
Any parent can teach kids to be open and respectful. But it takes practice. Today we'll share:
9 simple rules for open-minded disagreements
1 practice example about a sleepover
A 90 second video with 5 reasons why children love confiding in you
9 Rules for Conducting Open-Minded Arguments
Have you and your child ever yelled at each other? Did you feel guilty and wish it hadn't happened? I know the feeling.
Respectful Disagreements Take Practice
If you're like most parents, you'll have many disagreements with your kids. Now you can turn them into opportunities for open-minded discussions. If you do, you'll be teaching your child an important life skill.
How to teach your child 9 simple rules for open-minded respectful disagreements:
Both speak in a calm voice.
Both hear and repeat each other's words or ideas.
Both take time to find the good points in each other's thoughts.
Discuss each other's good points.
Create a compromise in which each side wins. at least, a little.
Avoid arguing, yelling, walking away, or being sarcastic.
If either side is disrespectful, make a future date to discuss the issue.
Keep that date and stay calm.
Praise your child for her respectful openness during the argument.
Use This Sleepover Example to Role-play:
Your 12 year-old son, George, is begging you to stay overnight with a friend you've never met. He says he doesn't know his mom's name or number. You want to introduce yourself and checkout the sleepover with her.
Teach Your Child to Think Clearly and Stay Calm
Use the 9 rules for staying open-minded and come to a consensus. In the end, remember you are still the parent and have the responsibility to make sure your child is safe. The final decision is yours even if your child is unhappy.
OPEN-MINDED KIDS ARE SKILLED THINKERS. They learn to see more than one side of issues, problems, and discussions. They think bigger than one-sided kids.
How Sophie Opened Her Mind
I spoke with a 4th grade girl, named Sophie, (Identity concealed) who told me how she changed her mind. Her teacher asked, “Should school be year-round?” Sophie said a loud, “No!”
But the teacher told the class to study both sides. Sophie did her research. This is what she found that could happen if school was year-round:
The school day would be shorter.
There would be more but shorter vacations.
There would be fun after-school programs.
Daycare wouldn’t cost parents so much because of the after-school programs. The 3-month summer vacation would be eliminated so no need for daycare then either.
Teachers wouldn’t need to waste time reviewing what the children forgot due to the summer vacations.
Sophie opened her mind to these new ideas. She decided “Yes,” school should be year-round.
Sophie had an open-minded teacher who asked open-minded questions. She taught kids to see issues from both sides. Each child was free to come up with their own conclusions.
The Difference between Open Minds and Closed Minds
Close-Minded Thinkers Won't Listen to New Ideas
Open-minded children don’t try to win arguments. They avoid stubbornly sticking to their own viewpoint. They are willing to change their opinions with new information.
Closed-minded kids won’t listen to others’ ideas. They believe they already know what’s best.
How Parents Raise Kids with Open-Minded Discussions
Sample Question: Should Parents Make Kids Try
Be the parent who uses discussions to open your kids’ minds. Discuss topics that interest them. Get them to consider both the side they favor and the one they disagree with. When they have enough information, ask them what they favor now and why. If you do, they'll become BIGGER thinkers.
For more parenting strategies and stories to raise your children's consciousness, read full article at:
Closed-minded children, like adults, only want things their way. They won’t consider opposing evidence. They won’t admit when they're wrong. How do parents open kids' minds to other points of view?
Parents CAN Open Kids Minds
Today’s brand new video shows you how to raise open-minded thinkers. You’ll find out exactly what parents can do.
For example, discuss topics kids can relate to, like:
Make questions out of the topics and ask children to give two sides. The side they agree with and the side they oppose. They must give good reasons for each side. Finally, they must decide which side is best. They are free to compromise by blending the best ideas from each side.
Open-Minded Kids Consider Different Viewpoints
One huge goal is to help children understand why people think differently. Could appreciating opposing views be one way to learn cooperation, collaboration, and preserve freedom of expression? You be the judge.