Greedy Kids to Grateful Adults

Every parent wants to make their children happy. But you also want to raise them to grow up to be appreciative and grateful adults. Find the perfect balance with our expert tips.

Parents can give in for all kinds of well-meaning reasons. We enjoy making our kids happy and creating fond memories. Every parent wants a visit to store or restaurant to be pleasant and tantrum-free. Plus, giving in can often be less exhausting than saying no. Many parents tend to feel a bit guilty for the time they spend away from the kids, either because of work, running other errands, or even for just a few minutes of quiet alone time. “When you only have a few hours a day to be with your kids, you don’t want to ruin the fun,” says Louis J. Lichtman, Ph.D., author of A Practical Guide for Raising a Self-Directed and Caring Child.

While many agree there is nothing wrong with the occasional small trinket during an outing or taking him to the movies as a special treat, there is the potential for creating a spoiled brat if you do these things in response to his constant begging. A parent’s job is to reinforce positive behavior, not bad.

But it is easier said than done. In a Parents poll, 42% of readers conceded that their kid is spoiled and 80% think spoiling children now will have adverse effects on them down the road. “You do your kids a terrible disservice if they go out into the world thinking it revolves around them,” says Dr. Lichtman. If your child behaves like they are entitled, it’s not too late to correct this attitude using these attitude-adjusting tactics.


Don’t Apologize for Disappointments – apologies have their place in every relationship, but there is never a need to apologize for making parenting decisions.


House Rules Are Not Up for Debate –  You are the parent, you set the rules and it is your job to stick to them.


Tackle the Tantrum – The main reason a kid will continue to have meltdowns is that they’re successful. It’s difficult, but don’t give in.


Patience Is an Art Form – Today is an age of instant gratification which can set unrealistic expectations.


Encouragement as A Reward – Praise can be very rewarding and a great confidence booster.


By: Jennifer Sharp