Home > relationships > What to do with my “me, me me, mine, mine, mine” child?!

What to do with my “me, me me, mine, mine, mine” child?!

We often say; “I wish parenting had a manual”.   Well, I think I may have found the closest thing to it!  Before I share it, let me take you through a couple of current scenes  around our house;


Scene: we’re at the mall and my son doesn’t get his way, so he responds with arms crossed, and saying; “That’s it, I’m just not going to love you anymore.  I’m going to run away from home”.


Scene: at the dollar store buying items for his birthday party loot bags and my son asks; “Can we buy a toy?”.  I reply by saying he already got his birthday presents.  For his response, see scene above…..


As of late, a whole chapter on similar scenes can be written.  “Where did he get this from??”, I ask myself.  I felt numb, wondering if every Christmas and birthday (and every other day of the year!) would be filled with ME ME ME, MINE MINE MINE!!  I wondered where we’ve gone wrong??  We’re a pretty modest family, fighting consumerism, giving our sons learning opportunities about those less fortunate, and our mission on earth.  So where is this sense of entitlement coming from?!


Then I ran into this book; “The Entitlement-Free Child” while reading Jennifer Grant’s book, “Love You More”.   It only took me seconds to get onto amazon and it was ordered.  I dove right in when it came in the mail!  One of the first things I read in the book stated:


“The entitlement child gets everything he asks for…. now.  He can’t wait.  A parent saying no doesn’t mean no; it means “Maybe, if you keep bugging me” or “I don’t really want to, but….”  The entitlement child doesn’t accept “enough” because he’s afraid he might miss out on “more”.  Driven by immediate gratification, the entitlement child gets what he wants; he just doesn’t get what he needs.  He gets what he wants today but is unsatisfied tomorrow.  His happiness is temporal and conditional.”


“The entitlement free child on the other hand, gets much more.  He trusts that his needs will be met, because he has learned that he can count on other people today and tomorrow.  Life is ok even when he is frustrated, confused or upset.  He has skills.  The entitlement free child learns to see things from another’s point of view, accept limits from others, and delay personal gratification, and he can handle age-appropriate problems.”


“Wow! Where do I get me one of those?”, I thought!   Jokes aside, I longed for my son to adopt these beautiful traits of an entitlement-free child.  I wrestled for a whole day with these questions burning in the back of my mind.  Then it all came clear to me where he may have learned this from…..


We were hitting up our local McDonald’s for our daily summer routine of dollar drinks.    Then it hit me.  My son has no idea that these drinks are only a dollar!   All he knows is he’s been getting a “special drink” almost every day this summer!  Yike-o-rama!  My mind started to race, recalling many other innocent scenarios that may not have been so “innocent”.  And who was instigating all these harmless indulgences?  ME!!  I wanted a special drink,  I wanted….


I’m an entitlement child trying to raise an entitlement-free child!!


Talk about eating humble pie.   In order to see my son’s behavior change, I’VE got to change.  He’s just following my lead.   Needless to say, I have a whole new outlook on our daily outtings.   Are they feeding my cravings?  Are they to indulge mommy?  Needless to say, I’ve starving my flesh and my wants this past while so I can pass on something greater to my boys than what I’ve been giving.


Pick up the book.  It’s a close to the manual we all long for.


The Entitlement Child by Karen Deerwester.  “Raising confident and responsible kids in a ‘Me, Mine, Now!’ Culture”


Categories: relationships
  1. Beth
    September 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    love this!!! I am going to share this book with my Preschool families this year!! I think that they would enjoy this read. thank you for the heads up. Too many of our kids are growing up with entitlement issues and perhaps it is because we as parents are doing things to provoke it!! Love it!!! thanks Connie.

  2. Maria
    September 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Awesome. That is a fabulous post :0)

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