My summer reading list included a book by Kay Wills Wyma entitled,Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her House of Youth Entitlement. It was a wonderful recommendation from a mother of three school-age children. It is a must read that equips a parent with practical, no-nonsense advice on how to raise a child who will be independent and live up to their potential as a responsible citizen without the ravages of entitlement. The book is very instructive.
My interest in the book was peaked after my pastor preached a sermon from the life of a biblical character.
The young man of the story was the youngest of a large family. He was selfish, spoiled, a real momma’s boy and daddy’s wunderkid and disliked by his siblings. The sermon concluded with lessons on “How to raise an entitled child.”
:: Shield them from consequences of bad behavior; wrong choices.
:: Make them the “star” of the family; choose the child above all.
:: Withhold the gifts of responsibility and accountability.
:: Protect them from sacrifice and service; cater to their every need.
:: Treat them as if their happiness is all that matters.
:: Treat them as if they don’t deserve suffering and pain; bail them out and enable them.
:: Treat them as if they must be recognized for everything they do.
I’ve heard enough “wish I knew” stories from a friend of a grown adult who remains in bondage because the mother parented out of guilt. The cries for “Help!” are somewhat too late without severe intervention. We all know or have witnessed an adult who is emotionally crippled and/or socially maladjusted due to parenting that was bent towards entitlement. These adults may have had a chance to change in their early years if only mom and dad had been equipped with good parenting mentors, resources, and advice.
Parenting is a challenge but as parents we must be vigilant! Put out your “Help Wanted!” sign early … before misery overtakes your family.
Kay Wills Wyma was a guest earlier this week on FamilyLife Today. If you missed any of the three broadcasts, you can listen online here: