Ifyoure looking to raise a child to be a fully-functional adult, theres definitely a lot to think about. You might love your kids, but sometimes you have to let them hurt themselves, feel the consequences of their actions, and experience failure. As a parent you will ultimately be there to help them when theyre in need, but you also cant be their personal catcher in the rye.
8 Ways To Avoid Raising An Entitled And Rude Child
If you want your children to be ready for the real world when their time comes to leave the nest:
1. Limit their access to pleasure
Yes, childhood is the most carefree time in a persons life, but that doesnt mean it has to be all fun and games. Put a time limit on the computer, phone, or video games, so your children dont end up wasting time that could have been spent bettering their lives. Im not saying that children should be doing hard labor, but they should definitely have responsibilities to take care of before they dive into the world of Minecraft for the evening. Give them age appropriate chores, and make sure they complete their homework to the best of their ability before you let them off the hook.
2. Dont cover for them or coddle them
Having worked in school settings, Ive seen way too many parents complain to teachers after their kid comes home with a failing grade. Newsflash: Its not the teachers fault (unless the entire class is failing, which is highly doubtful). Instead of taking your kids side when it comes to their responsibilities, make sure you look at what they could be doing better (and what you could be doing better, for that matter).
Nobodys perfect, and thats okay. But by pretending your child is Gods gift to the world, you set them up for true failure later in life.
3. Make them honest about their shortcomings
Parentsneed to teach their children to take responsibility when they falter, but this doesnt mean they should just accept failure, either. Too many children think Im not a math person, and in turn dont work hard to improve their math skills. Dont let this happen to your children. Teach them the importance of working hard to overcome weaknesses. Its one thing to do well in something youre naturally good at, but its a much greateraccomplishment to succeed in an area you once failed in. Teach your kids that hard work will always pay off in one way or another.
4. Set allowance strictly
When I was a child, my mother had a system in which a certain amount of my allowance would go toward short-term savings (for smaller toys and games), long-term savings (like a new video game), and serious savings (to be put into a real savings account). That system worked too well for me, as I am now money-conscious to a fault. Teaching your kids to have realistic appreciation for money from a young age is incredibly important. Dont waver from whatever system you work with, so your children dont grow up thinking money just shoots out of the ATM whenever you need it.
5. Teach the value of hard work
That allowance shouldnt come easy.Make sure they know that money is earned by services rendered. Yes, they might hate mowing the lawn in the summer, or shoveling the driveway in the winter, but the sooner they realize they have to work to earn cash, the better off theyll be. Theyll also enjoy their games and toys much more when theyve earned them. They will treat their possessions with respect, remembering how hard they had to work to be able to afford them.
6. Be consistent with rules
As a parent, its definitely easier to let rules slide just this once here and there, especially when youre busy with work and other obligations. But all this does is create a slippery slope in which your children will constantly be looking for ways to bend the rules. By being inconsistent, children learn that there are times theyll be able to get away with something. Make sure they know: The rules are the rules, period. And make sure your spouse follows through, as well. Otherwise, yourhousehold turns into a 90s sitcom where the parents start fighting because one was more lenient than the other!
7. Teach them to be thankful and grateful
Children can be taught to be giving, hospitable individuals from a very young age. Many children who are deemed wise beyond their years simply have parents who have raised them to be caring and giving people. Model courteousness by saying please and thank you to other adults when they hold the door, or helping them write thank you notes to friends who attended their birthday party. Have them pick out toys they no longer use and bring them to shelters for less fortunate children. Children will grow to be conscientious adults if they learn to have perspective from a young age.
8. Dont always be their best friend
Youlove your childrenunconditionally, but you are the adult who has their best interest in mind. By trying to be their friend, you open up a can of worms that is impossible to close. You should definitely let your young child bring out the kid in you, but dont be that parent who lets their kid watch horror movies or play Call of Duty until midnight on a school night (or ever, for that matter). Be there for them at all times, but dont just let them have their way because you want to be cool.
No parent is cool; you should know this by now!