By Alison Bowen
No one wants to be the parent of a child going viral in a video, screaming in a restaurant or throwing a tantrum in the cereal aisle. So how can parents form a foundation that fights back against a culture in which it seems kids are entitled to anything?
Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of “The ‘Me, Me, Me’ Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World,” talked to us about tamping down the scourge of entitlement. This is an edited transcript.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: Most of my work has been around teaching parents how to bring out the best in their kids. Over the years, this topic of entitlement kept coming up. Parents told me about kids not being able to take “no” for an answer, expecting bribes or rewards for expected behavior, kids who were not willing to help out at home, not taking personal responsibility.
The one thing I have found with all of these parents is that no one intends to raise an entitled child. It happens out of love. And it happens when we’re sort of doing things for our kids that they’re actually perfectly capable of doing for themselves. Or we don’t want them to experience disappointment, so we step in and rescue.
Q: What can parents do to curb this, for all ages?
A: There are actually 35 tools in the book. That is not to sound overwhelming, just to let parents know there are different ways. The most important thing that we have to do is give our kids what they are truly entitled to: our one-on-one time and attention. If you’re giving kids that time and attention, they’re much less likely to throw a fit in the grocery store. They’re much less likely to pull these antics.