Practically all parents have had that moment of looking around their home, cluttered with toys, devices, and gear, and wondered if they’ve crossed over from providing for to spoiling their kids. But it turns out, that’s less about how many things you buy them than how they react to and feel about those things. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, “It’s about gratitude.”
And we can tell our kiddos about gratitude all day long, but how do we teach it? Experts say the best way for children to learn gratitude is from their parents modeling it for them, like when you say thank you to the person bagging your groceries or when you give back to your community by volunteering.
It’s also important for kids to understand and appreciate all the hard work that goes into you paying for and getting the things you’re buying them. Talk to your kids about your job, how you earn money, what that entails, what your money is used for, and how other people aren’t as fortunate as you are in life.
So how can you tell if your kids are entitled? Catey Hill, author of “The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms,” says there are three red flag phrases that could show they’re not feeling so grateful:
“I deserve X”
“Because other kids at school have it”
“Because I want it” - When this is your kid’s answer to being asked why they want something, that’s a warning sign your kid thinks getting something is a right, not a privilege.