Raising Kids to Want Less and Give More in an Entitled World

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reducing entitlement — bored child

We’ve been having quite the work convos lately…

Even though most of the Hip2Save team works remotely and we don’t physically see each other on a daily basis, our “off-topic” work conversations are filled with personal stories.

One of our more recent chats started with Michelle telling a story about her teenage daughter bringing a huge bag of clothes out of her room with the idea that she would just donate all this stuff she didn’t want so she had room to get lots of new stuff. The bag was full of barely worn clothes purchased in the past six months that still totally fit her.

Michelle asked her daughter where she was planning to get “all these new clothes from” and she responded that it was almost time to go back to school shopping, totally oblivious to the fact that she had a couple of hundred dollars of barely worn items in that bag. Michelle said “All kinds of things were running through my head, like the fact that she was still in her PJs at one in the afternoon while I had been working hard for hours. It was obvious that she has too much stuff and doesn’t value what she has. It was pretty eye-opening.”

This story sparked a WHOLE team conversation about overflowing toy boxes and bedrooms of stuff we’ve worked hard to provide but means nothing to our kiddos. And how so many families (including lots from our own team) have been witnessing entitlement issues in their kids. It opened a whole dialogue about the absurd (though mildly funny) conversations we have with our children daily.

Michelle’s Daughter: “Mom, buy foam soap.” 
Michelle: “No, it’s expensive and doesn’t last very long.”
Michelle’s Daughter: “When I’m rich I’m ONLY using foam soap.”

“I just LOVE when my oldest son (who is now 20) gives me his birthday or Christmas list and it has completely unrealistic items on it like a motorcycle, a car… you know something that is several thousands of dollars. He’s done this for ages! I guess I look like Daddy Warbucks!” — Kimberly

how to reduce entitlement

Seriously, who else can relate?! 🙋Why is it so hard to be a parent? So many of us have good intentions when we give things to our kids.

We want our kids to be happy, and especially with teenagers, so much of their happiness is out of our control as a parent. Giving them things that make them happy is rewarding as a parent, but it is so hard to determine where that line of too much is. It’s honestly shocking when your kids act as if nothing is provided to them, or that what is provided is extremely subpar. That’s entitlement, and it seems to be a common problem these days!

Dan: “Kids, what do you want for dinner?”
Dan’s kids: “What do we have?”
Dan: *lists the entire content of freezer & fridge*
Dan’s kids: “Yucky”

“I will go to Costco and spend $400 and my teens will stand with the fridge door open and say, ‘UGH there is nothing to eat!’” — Michelle

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked hard to make a nice healthy dinner for the family, and my kids look at it and then ask if they can go next door to grandma’s and eat dinner with them. I think it gives my mother-in-law an ego boost. 😉” — Stacy

raising kids to give back in an entitled world — child screaming

We also see entitlement when kids believe certain products or privileges are owed to them, not knowing the cost or time expense that comes to you.

Michelle: Should we go to the water park next week? (costs $30 to get in)
Michelle’s kid: Can we bring friends?
Michelle: No. It’s too expensive for me to pay for everyone.
Michelle’s kid: Never mind. That sounds boring to just go as a family.
Michelle: Well fine then. We’ll just stay home and do nothing.
Michelle’s kid: Can I have that $30 you were going to spend on my ticket?

My son mowed ONE strip of my yard, then the neighbor across the street offered to pay him to do his, so he went and did his, and our yard looked like a reverse Mohawk until I did it. The HOA wasn’t amused! — Angela

Sooo, what the heck can we do about entitlement?

staying organized — clean or delegate cleaning

After taking a few cues from our team and what has worked for them, along with some advice from reputable sources, we rounded up a few ways to approach entitlement head-on so that we can apply them to our daily routines to combat these behaviors. This is a team effort folks and not one of us is perfect at it, but as moms, it’s helpful to learn from one another.

1. Expect more.

Instead of allowing your child to expect more and more from you, expect more of them instead. Make it a point to get them involved in tasks that make your household run smoothly and efficiently, even if it doesn’t reward them with anything afterward. I know! This is easier said than done and it takes a lot more effort as a parent to make this happen than just giving in and letting things slide would.

“I don’t think kids should expect extracurriculars without contributing any extra to the family. I am using the money I earn to pay for these things. I am using my time to drive them there and back. The kids know that means I have less time to do other things on my list.” — Stacy at Hip2Save

“Tonight I asked one of the kids to empty the silverware out of the dishwasher and I got, ‘Why?’ as a reply… So I had to inform them back ‘Because I can’t do it all! We need to help each other, that’s what family does.'” — Kimberly

2. Take a second look, internally.

Get real with yourself for a moment and try to pinpoint thoughts or behaviors that might show that you have a sense of entitlement, like envying the neighbor’s new car or getting jealous over a co-worker’s promotion. Ugh! This is not fun, but it can be eye-opening to see these bad behaviors in yourself. You know the saying “lead by example”? It turns out it’s pretty true.  Give yourself a break (because honestly, NO ONE is perfect!) and focus on what you can do to mediate these behaviors instead of putting yourself down about them.

It’s definitely not easy, but these attitude adjustments will be a showcase for appropriate behavior to your children. It can be a slow and steady change but every step in the right direction is a good one.

3. Learn to say “no”.

While it’s such simple advice, the follow-through can be rough. We all know too well the scenario in the store where a child is begging to have something and throws a fit when you don’t oblige. Yup, we have ALL been there! And when we see other moms dealing with it, we give them a knowing smile. 

Saying no is sometimes the harder option for sure, but it teaches kids realistic expectations in life. A kid who has everything they want can grow up to be an adult who is always unhappy and unsatisfied with what they have. That’s hard to keep in mind when your child is sulking in their room about the things they don’t have that everyone else has, or when you are flying out of the grocery store as fast as humanly possible with a screaming, kicking two year old.

It’s hard to be the parent who says no in the sea of parents who say yes to everything these days but as with so many things – your future adult child will thank you for it later.

“My daughter’s friends asked if we could drive thru Starbucks for Frappuccinos on the way home from gymnastics carpool. They are TEN! 😂I was like, ‘We reserve that for a special treat, not weekday carpool.

My kids come at me with ‘so-and-so has this and so-and-so is going to Disney…’ I always tell them keeping up with the Jones’ is a game you’ll never win.” — Lina

4. Teach your kids about the reality of money.

You don’t need to justify yourself every time you give an answer your child doesn’t like (is that how “Because I said so” got started?), but when you have an opportunity, it doesn’t hurt to open the dialogue about family finances. Talk to your child about how your household brings in money and the important things it needs to be spent on, like having a roof over your head, food on the table, and family activities. Keep it very basic and general, just so you make the point that life isn’t all about buying the wants but rather the needs.

We have conversations on what it takes to earn a living and about them needing to be self-sufficient someday. — Amber

“My son made some comment about something ridiculous he wanted and how all his friends had it (which was a lie), and I realized he had no concept of how much things cost as an adult. I started telling my kids details like ‘our house costs this much, which means we have to work this many days in the month just to pay for the house’, etc. They were shocked when they started realizing how much things cost. I never do it in a way to make them feel stressed about money, just aware and thankful for what they have. My parents never did this when I was growing up and it was alarming when I was finally out on my own.” — Michelle

“I have been trying to declutter and selling some larger items from our home so I take the kids with me to sell it when I meet other moms. Just today, we sold their KidKraft table and chair set (something they truly did love but outgrew) and I had a long talk with them on the way, explaining to them that we can sell stuff that we do not need/use anymore and give it to others that do need it. In return, we are getting more money to buy other things we need for our family, whether we spend it on a necessity, save it for vacation, etc.” — Erica

5. Don’t always run to the rescue.

So your child left their schoolwork at home or their soccer cleats at a friend’s house and they don’t tell you until right before class or their soccer game — yet they expect you to fix the situation at a moment’s notice. If it’s a first-time or rare occurrence and you’re able to make an extra trip, jumping in to help is fine. When it becomes a regular routine, you should start letting the consequences naturally occur.

I know what you’re thinking! What will the other moms think of me? But honestly, we’ve all been in similar situations. Fixing all your child’s mistakes and arranging things around them to alleviate any discomfort is called helicopter parenting and though many on the team admit to doing this, its something we all want to change.

This teaches kids that the world will not drop everything that’s going on just to fix their mistakes and makes them take responsibility for their own actions. Plus, this helps ensure it won’t happen again!

“To keep everyone organized, I set up a landing pad just inside the front door. Keys, backpacks, cell phones, and wallets are hard to lose when they’re expected to be in the same spot.” — Jamie 

6. Try creating and following an allowance system.

The details of an allowance system vary between households but they all stem around giving your children duties, expecting a job well done, and giving a reward for their hard work. Instead of being handed everything they want, they learn to earn it instead.

Letting your kids work for what they want gives them the opportunity to work hard for something and feel proud when they achieve their goal. It makes them more self-confident and starts preparing them for real life.

The Hip2Save moms could talk for hours about this and recently we shared some of our favorite tips about allowance, but it’s for sure something we are all working on and trying to be consistent at.

“I really think that having your kids experience what it is like to earn something, even if it’s not money, is super helpful. My kiddos have to get their chores done during the day in order to “earn” a trip to the community pool.” — Amber

“We use a program called Accountable Kids. It’s basically a peg chore system with a few cool added features. Their typical daily routine includes chores that are not paid because they are part of being a family unit, like dishes, folding clothes, etc. However, we have additional chores though that do earn money like pulling weeds for $1, cleaning guest bathroom earns $5, etc. This money is generally used to pay for the extracurriculars they choose like gymnastics.

This system accomplishes both agendas for us: kids earn their extracurricular tuition/fees and it takes work off my plate so that I have the extra time needed to get them there. — Stacy

7. Encourage and participate in volunteering or donating.

Giving back shows children that all people are unique in their needs and different experiences. By sacrificing some of their time, toys, clothes, or allowance, kids learn that even a small contribution can have a large impact on another’s life. Giving back also affirms that while the world doesn’t revolve around them, real change begins with them. And that’s not such a bad thing, is it?

I know we’ve all had those moments as adults when we are feeling ungrateful and then we see someone who is struggling more than us and we are overcome with humility and gratitude for what we do have. It’s important to give your kids that same experience.

Back in 2011, Collin and her family set out on the Hip2Help Tour with a truckload of donated goods (from the amazing Hip2Save community!). Bringing her kids along helped shape their view of just how important it is to help those in need. That’s an experience they’ll remember for a lifetime.

“I believe teaching ‘goodwill’ will help. Each year, my kiddos pick a child off of the ‘giving tree’ at the mall to help another child in need have Christmas. My kids have seen peers go without lunch in school and have shared theirs OR used their lunch money account to purchase a lunch for a friend.” — Amber

“I recently went to clean out our toy room (yes, a room just full of toys, toys, and more toys) and when the kids saw my husband and I take out lots of toys in bags, they both started to FREAK OUT, crying hysterically. I understand they are young and something like this is a big deal for little ones, but it honestly made me sick to my stomach. I felt like they were being so rude especially since they didn’t really care when I told them that this was going to other kids that do not have any toys.

This was such an eye-opener and really impacted me and since then I have really tried to teach/show them how much fun it is to be a GIVER.” — Erica

I try and create situations for my children to serve and see the light of gratitude in other people’s eyes for what they are given or how they are served. Experiences like these are something they don’t forget! — Michelle

Parenting is tough stuff and none of us are perfect parents, so we need to cut ourselves some slack when it comes to raising “perfect children”. In a world full of stuff, it’s all too easy to become distracted from what really matters. By keeping these straightforward solutions in mind, we can help ourselves AND our children become more fulfilled, less entitled, and overall happier humans.

What do you do in your own home to combat entitlement?

Join The Discussion

Comments 63

  1. Melissa

    As a high school teacher, I see this too much. Scenario in point, I did nothing all semester and now I want extra credit to pass. Or I didn’t bring a pencil to class and expects the teacher to hand one over. Last school year, we had students go into the teacher’s fridge and take drinks because they were thirsty. They saw nothing wrong with it. Urg!

    • LC

      As a fellow teacher, I second this completely! This entitlement trickles into the classroom too. Imagine having 30 entitled kiddos when it’s clean up time 😞

    • laurahuisman

      you took the words out of my mouth!! my high school students are the same. so frustrating.

  2. Chelsea

    I love that you took time to compile this! This is an issue I see haunting many families (including my own) they dont know what it is like to go without, to really be hungry (which I’m so thankful for). it’s a constant struggle to make sure they don’t grow up to be brats!

  3. berrylandnow

    This is so true. And so current for my life. I have been trying really hard to pay attn to this lately as I notice my child becoming less appreciative of things. We have been assigning more chores. Making sure he knows they are his responsibility. Constantly trying to teach that he has to work for what he gets because no one is going to do that for him as an adult. He an only child. It’s hard for us now but will be well worth it to see him because a productive citizen. And I think he’ll be happier because it won’t be a shock to grow up.

  4. krystal

    I love this article, I try really hard to raise responsible level headed kids. now granted we have 3 (almost 4) and my oldest is only 8 but it became apparent to me early on my dream of raising kids wasn’t going to fit reality. first, I grew up in a single parent household extremely paycheck to paycheck (I wont say poor because we didn’t have cable but we always had electricity) and at first I was determined to never discuss money or financial struggles with or in front of my kids. however my husband grew up in 2 working parent household and was handed everything (including a near new car his parents paid for when he was 17) and had no idea the cost of living until we were living together. second, after our 2nd child we made the tough decision for me to become a stay home parent and my husband works very hard and we sacrifice to make that a reality. So it didn’t take too long before I realized we needed a way to do things that would make our children understand that money and things come through hard work and that even maintaining a home takes work. my kids have normal chores they are expected to do every week in which they do not earn money but instead they are contributing to the household. they can also do extra chores from time to time to earn money. and when our kids ask for something I say “that is $20, how long will it take you to earn $20? do you still think you might want it?” my kids totally think American girl dolls are way too expensive and they’re only 8 and 5! they have learned to love and appreciate more of what we give them and they appreciate how much mom and dad both work. I think for me the hardest part is not actually being able to afford everything I want to give them. we live in the smallest house in a richer neighborhood in order to get our kids in the best school district and so they are safe. often they come home with tales of all the things their friends did or got for holidays and I have to remind myself we do just fine and I shouldn’t need to feel like I’m failing by not giving them what all their friends have. hopefully I’m giving them a strong foundation for a successful future instead.

  5. Laurie m Villotta

    I could have written the first paragraph about Michelle’s daughter. I too have a 14 y/o that does the same thing. We even have tags still on the clothes. It burns me up. We literally have had screaming and yelling matches over this. I finally said enough was enough. I am no longer buying your clothes. You will pay for them yourself if you want expensive stuff or I will help pay if things are from TJ Maxx or Marshalls. My DD thinks she is too good to shop at those stores. I do not know where she gets this attitude from since I have had my same clothes for over 10 years. Her friends she runs with have way less than we do. So she had bought most of her stuff. They style these days is hanging off the shoulder and cropped at the waist. I see entitlement everywhere. But my observation is this. More and more parents are dual income households. If both parents have careers that are very demanding and they are gone all the time, they make up for lost time with money. Money to buy the kids whatever they need since they are never home. I see this with my sister who is wealthy and her kids get anything need brand new from Scheels sporting goods and a million other places. It is not unusual for them to spend $30-40,000 a year on clothes and shoes. This would include all sport teams they are on. The list is never ending. My kids are not entitled. We live paycheck to paycheck. My kids knew from a very young ago that we are a family an we work together to make it all work out. There shoes were bought at Payless with coupons. Clothes from Target, Wal-mart, Sams club. They would have a nice dress for church etc, but that was it. We have a little more wiggle room now, but not much. They understand what it is to serve in the church and go on mission trips to serve. My oldest DD volunteers and will be working next summer. We are serving people. We get back far more from doing that than anything else.

    • lmleaman

      This is great! Thanks for sharing !

  6. Amanda

    this is a great post. Thanks for all the great ideas.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re so welcome, Amanda!

  7. sarahmw07

    Love this post! These are things that we are working on daily in our own household. Not easy, but so needed in this day and age!

  8. Bekah

    Thank you! Great article!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome! SO happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback!

  9. Tema

    I’ve couponed with my little boy since he was a baby. He’s now 5 and through the years caught on to what items are expensive, what’s a need and want, etc.

    We recently took a trip to Hawaii and told him that us saving in other ways helped us pay for the trip.

  10. Foggogs

    We have a budget to start with, my kids know I am not spending more than we have, we also make our kids pay all or a portion of big ticket items, like phones, cars and college, that way they have skin in the game and understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. I always here about great vacations friends are going on and amazing cars they drive, but I am constantly reminding my kids to be content with what they have. Teen years are hard.

  11. Kelly

    My kids are not allowed to have a cell phone till they are 15 and can pay for a used phone off of ebay ($300) and the service for a year from tracphone $(120). Many fast food places hire 15 year olds and they can make this money very quickly and then do not have a monthly cell phone bill since the year is paid up. They are not happy about this and are always one of the last in their grade to have a phone but have an ipod that works like a phone in WIFI which is what they are usually in anyway.

  12. Rockstar

    Sending this to myself to review in depth later (especially the accountable kids link). My kids have no concept of money and they literally think that every time we leave the house, they are owed something material, even if we spent the whole day having fun together. They are young, but it’s so infuriating. I was not raised this way and i get mad at myself for obviously having done something wrong for them to think or behave this way.

  13. StarPrincess

    Forget the kids-it’s the adults I can’t take anymore! I work at a movie theatre where you can not bring ANY outside foo, drinks or water in. I argue with adults all the time who believe that they are ENTITLED to bring in drinks, pizza, burger king, food, etc. Believe me you can survive 1 1/2 to 2 hours without food or water!

  14. Jenna

    I have 5 kiddos and we went through this same thing. My kids don’t get an allowance, they need to do daily chores to contribute to the household. If they want extra money then they have jobs they can pick from and I will pay them a commission. When we go shopping and they pick out items they want, we discuss the do you need this, what are you going to do with it, where are you putting it, etc. I always say yes or no, unless it is their money. Then, I give them the cash to pay. That way they can see how much money they are actually spending……a lot of times they rethink there purchase. Just seeing the cash leave their hands, gives them enough pause to go wait maybe I don’t need this….. I also make my college aged kids go to the admissions office and write the check out for the tuition that isn’t covered from scholarships and financial aide. I put the money into the account, but that makes them think whoa this is a lot of money mom is spending on me and I better take things a little serious 🙂

  15. susan

    We are so cheap, sometimes I feel the opposite, that my kids are going to resent me, and end up spending more money when they are older to compensate. The other day I had my son going through trash cans at the mall with me looking for receipts. They had a promotion that if you turned in $250 of receipts you get a $25 gift card. We found them and I let him keep the gift card, because he was working WAY harder than I was, but still he is going to have this memory of going through the trash with me.

    • laura

      Susan that’s awesome!!

    • mom2two

      wow, that’s dedication 🤢

    • AZ


  16. Patti Smith

    I am probably old enough to be most of you gals Mom. I am 57. My husband and I never had kids, but I can share from my experience growing up in a family that did not have a lot of money. We were expected to do chores around the house and we did not get paid for it. Taught us a good work ethic. We could have one special toy on our birthday and at Christmas we got at the most 5 presents each. We were always taught to enjoy our family and the time we spent together. I started working at 14, paid for my own college(while working two jobs), and my husband and I paid for our wedding. My folks always told us if we did not go to college, we had to get out and get a job. No excuses, that is just the way it was. I may not have had a lot of material things, but we had a lot of love and my folks put me and my three brothers through parochial grade school and high school because that is something they believed in. I know times are so different now, but kids are the same. They need a steady hand to stay on the right road. Good luck to all you Moms.

    • Kelly

      I am 51 and this sounds so much like me and our family – we also paid for all of our own college while working at a young age. My parents also sacrificed to send us to Catholic schools but that was all they paid for. You wanted Nike shoes, go get a babysitting job! Thanks so much for sharing – I would not trade my 4 siblings for all the money in the world!

    • krystal

      thank you both for sharing your experience, we are currently expecting baby 4 and while we know it will mean even less stuff for our kids overall we made the decision to have 4 kids because we believe the love our family shares is so much greater then the extra things we could have provided just 2 children.

  17. BreB

    We really like the Busy Kid app. It allows them to earn money weekly. They can save it (and purchase stocks), donate it, or transfer a portion to their own debit card (if over age 12).

  18. April

    The fact this post only has 18 comments speaks volumes.

  19. Jill

    I just recently took a Parenting with Love and Logic class. If you can take the class or read the book – there are great teaching methods to that will help eliminate or at least decrease entitlement. I definitely learned a lot from it.

  20. AllMyKidsAreTwins

    Thank you for posting this!! So true.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome! 😉

  21. Karen

    This is SO true. I have 2 grown kids and they are frugal, however, they were entitled as teens. My 2 younger ones think that the store means they get a treat, I am trying to fix this but it is HARD! Thank you for this article, it reopened my eyes!

  22. Marie

    Thanks for this post! We’ve been working on this too. If you have little ones, I recommend the book and website called simplicity parenting. It has brought gratefulness, imagination, and easy clean up back into our lives.

  23. Sarah

    thanks for this! it’s something I think about a lot, though my kids are only 2 and 3. I think living in the era of “plastic” makes it easier for kids to misrepresent value, too. When I was at Target my son wanted a toy and I explained we didn’t need one right now, and he asked me why I didn’t just put my card in so he could get it? 😂 It’s something I consciously try to work on, but at their level. Also, the Costco comment made me laugh because my husband does the same thing, lol.

  24. Molly

    Great post to get us all thinking. I honestly see this as a problem with society. Everyone thinks they are entitled to so many things that many of us work hard for or simply do without. I think we are letting down many Americans that lived through the Great Depression…World War II…
    Thank you to the parents that are teaching your kiddos the value of a dollar and hard work!! You are raising great humans!!

  25. laura

    my kids see me recycling and upcycling so many items that they start to think if they give one thing up then they may be able to help pay for the new item. I sell a lots of hings on a facebook community page, sometimes its only a few dollars, the most I’ve sold was $50 for an item. I don’t only sell it but I buy stuff through the page also, a book I’ve wanted to read, a new to us fitbit because the last one somehow disappeared, new bedside lamps, etc. They always are looking in our bin to see what’s going and it’s fun to pick up something for us too. Sure, we could donate everytthing, but in order to replace things sometimes we need to sell stuff to help with the cost. It helps us keep the clutter at bay and they are always scouting for things that they want. They realize that can’t have everything, however my 10 year old thinks I need to get a Lamborghini suv….who knew they even made those?! hahaha

  26. Michelle

    I think every highschooler should be required to do real service in a Third World country for three months before being allowed to graduate. A little perspective in that area would go a long way in our culture against entitlement.

    • kuyuke

      This. While I have never gone on a mission trip, I volunteered as a child with Easter seals helping habitat for humanity and I have never forgotten the experience. Kids need to do some sort of volunteer work to keep them humble and appreciate what they have.

  27. L

    Am I the only one who finds the timing of this post on Prime Day just a little ironic? I mean, we are on a deal site to get the best prices on “stuff” (mostly stuff we don’t need, but stuff we want). Not a real stretch to see where the kids get it from. We are the odd ones in our area because we don’t give our kids much of anything except for birthday and Christmas. Even then, it is very much a budgeted item. Anything else, they find a way to pay for it or do without. Lots of good lessons there.

  28. Katie

    Thanks so much for for sharing this post. You all read my mind! I am really struggling with my kiddos about this right now. It is my fault as I would shop secondhand and yard sales and get great deals on things. I gave them more and more toys that I only bought bc it was a good deal. I am trying to get them all purged and sorted out. I have stopped buying stuff for them and myself just bc it’s a good deal!

  29. Margie

    For helping kids understand money, I got this idea from a book I read. I took the amount of money my husband and I get paid in a month (from our paychecks) and cashed it in getting small bills. We had my son at the table with us to see how much we get a month. It looks like a lot when small bills are all put together, but then we started listing each bill and taking out of the earnings pile the amount that bill costs, it didn’t look like so much. Bill after bill he saw the money quickly be removed to represent a bill paid. Then in the end he saw how little was left over.

    At that point we talked about things that could come up that would be an extra bill for that month (vet bill, car repair, field trip, etc.) and how we need to be prepared for those types of scenarios. It helped him to really understand why we said we couldn’t afford something or it wasn’t something our household needed.

    • hirawn83

      Great idea!

  30. 50ShadesofLipstick

    We never got paid an allowance for doing housework (I don’t even call them “chores” b/c that obviously has a negative connotation) and my kids don’t get paid one either. Housework is your responsibility no matter what and you don’t get rewarded for contributing to keeping your own house clean. We keep a very minimalist home, do all of the home improvement/maintenance on our own, cook our meals from scratch (we only eat out on special occasions), and grow a lot of our own produce. All of these things teach my kids to work hard, be independent, and value developing their skills and knowledge over amassing material goods and being lazy. Also I don’t buy my kids designer or brand name anything unless it is deeply discounted and worth the investment.

    You can’t expect kids not to be entitled when we live in a materialist, uber-capitalist society where we have instant gratification all the time and we feed that by giving them every single thing that they want when they want it!

    • Dawn

      Sorry, I guess I can’t delete my above comment! I apologize for my rant. For whatever reason this post just makes me sad and upset. Because I only “wish” my kids could ask for more and I could just say no because I don’t want too—I say no because we absolutely canNOT at all afford it. And they usually know that now. I don’t even WANT anything spent on myself because all that crap is just a complete waste of $$$ because no one needs it! I just feel like yuck because even with my hubbys good job and mine, we just cannot Get ahead in life. No ones fault but our own, so no need to take pity on us. I know we aren’t the only ones that “look” like we’re doing ok to family, the few friends we have and neighbors. But literally we are barely making it. Thx for letting me vent. And sorry. I fee better now.

      • sfc_abby

        Dawn, be encouraged today. We are not perfect, I am not perfect. We (families) strive to be live and feel better and we will have our challenging moments. Please know, you are not alone. It’s OK to vent, it’s a topic that as parents we know too well of nowadays. I appreciate your honesty and transparency and it makes me realize, I am not alone. Day by day we need to keep chugging it along. You continue to strive to do better and continue being you.

  31. Dawn

    I completely agree with everything you said in this post. However, I do have to point out that in spite of al the hard work and jobs both my husband and I have, we are barely making it month to month and so to hear people who DO have some extra $$ saying these things just makes it tougher. I sacrifice SO much (my own clothing, haircuts, NO jewelry, no nails or ANYTHING) and we are renting our house. It totally sucks. I am not feeling entiltled myself, just worn out and sick of doing all I can to get through life for my family having something while I have nothing! 3 of my teens are working and they know the value of the dollar. The younger 3 know I have to say “no” a lot, and birthdays are tough now because I don’t want to waste money on a “toy” just because, but many experiences are so expensive! I can’t even put my kids in soccer or anything. (I teach them piano myself but don’t have time to teach others). So…sorry for the random tangent. Your entitled kids are different from mine in a way because mine know how far they can go, if at all because we just don’t have money. I know you all work hard too on you blog, but I also know you get lots of freebies for promoting items. My custodial job doesn’t provide anything extra . I guess I need to find a better job

  32. Rachael

    Yes! I taught 2 college classes for a semester and it was enough to help me decide I didn’t want to teach entitled children at college. I sent them reminders and they never did their stuff… expecting a passing grade. I didn’t even read my end of semester reviews because I knew there would be some pretty nasty responses.

  33. Michelle

    This is exactly why I started making “birthday bags” for our local food bank… due to all these deal sites I was able to buy or get free so many toys that (and other items) that I wanted a way to spread joy to others… I never want my kids to feel like they should just “get” things… we don’t do allowances but they work hard around the house because they are part of the family. My son has been to 2 camps and on 2 vacations with friends and he has had to work for us and grandparents to get extra money for these trips… he even “owes” his grandpa a few more choirs because he was only home one day between these last 2 trips… he actually didn’t any of his money last week in Chicago because he knew he was going to Branson this week… the sooner they learn they have to “work” for what they want the easier it is… my 16 year old has friends who get paid $100 for every “A” they get on their report card… really?!? My kids get straight A’s I would be in trouble 😜😜😜

  34. Michelle

    Well how about husbands… we are a one income family so I know he works hard… but he always wants things we don’t need!!! Like a new TV when we have one that works or any new electronic gadget… and when he does get something new and expensive it often sits unused… he is by far worse than the rest of us combined at our house… lol

    • hirawn83

      YES!!! thank you for pointing this out. And you cant argue much with them since they did actually earn it . My husband is lazy at spending money on his clothing ( he is literally wearing 20 year old shirts) and will spend money on new technology that we don’t need. Frustrates me like crazy. I believe you should have proper clothes (without holes) and food on the table and other things don’t matter as much. One of the biggest causes of our arguments.

  35. hirawn83

    Thank you for the article!

  36. Cleo

    We took our son to the Philippines when he was younger to meet his cousins for the first time. It was a very powerful and eye opening experience. He got to witness first hand what true poverty looks like. Houses made out of bamboo, dirt floors, eating food with your hands. Whenever he gets unrealistic with his wants and demands, I always remind him what his cousins have and what he already has. It definitely puts things in perspective for him!

  37. maggie

    I see this with my childrens friends about college. They HAVE to go to their dream college and their lives will be forever ruined if they don’t get to go and their parents don’t sign away their retirement to get them there!! We are 3 for 4 with our kids getting (almost full) scholarships for college and I really believe it’s because we have always talked realistically with them about their options. We have helped them save their money but there are no college funds or rich grammy to help out. We have a great community college just up the road that their dad and I went to and they can live at home and work part time while they go .And hopefully save some money to transfer and explore different classes and see what they may like. We have talked that up lots since they were little . Our two oldest kids had other plans (for a 4 year school) and figured out how to make it happen (worked their little butts off in high school to get good grades and/or sports scholarships) but made the choices of the college that would enable them to graduate with the least debt). Our third kid is going to community college and won a scholarship that pays for the full 2 years 🙂
    It’s sad to see the kids that had no idea what college costs or how or who was going to pay for it. They could maybe scrape up enough for the first year then transfer back to the community college the second year ( and already be heavily in debt). More sad are parents that are stuck with loans because they co-signed and the kids wasn’t really serious about their education.
    Just talk to your kids !!

    • Paige

      I see this all the time. The parents working 2 jobs to send the kids straight to a university. Pay for the school and apartment and the kids aren’t even working. No way!! We’ve already been talking to my 13 yr old daughter about college. She know she will be going to community college first, and that she will more than likely have to pay for anything beyond that.

  38. cmeibe

    This post reminds me of a book a read. The Gift of Failure, its a good read and gives lots of advice on this subject.

  39. HBee

    A lot of you have great ideas. We didn’t pay our kids allowances for the day to day, but if it was something “extra” (helping haul wood, for example) we would give them some money. Both of my kids worked young and pay for their phones (yes, they have better phones than I!). One thing we did was read to the kids chapter books about kids that didn’t have so much or made due (Little House books, Anne of Green Gables etc.), and missionary stories. These helped open my kids eyes to the real world and how we have it really cushy compared to any time in history. We all get the gimmies once in a while, but now I have two hard working teen daughters that know the value of a buck.

  40. Marcy

    As a mom of 6 kids, teach them to,use hip2save :). If they can’t find a coupon for it, mom isnt buying it!! Kids love it

  41. sfc_abby

    Wow, this is an eye opener. We have one daughter (will turn 10 in September). My husband does not award her for her chores, he says it’s her responsibility. If she does do extra things around the house or help others, we will give her a little bit of $. At the age of 4 we had our yard sale and she earned her money with a lemonade stand. I sat with her, she gave $ to the church, $ to the neighbor who helped her and the rest she put in an envelope. Since then, she uses the envelope system. At the age of 3 when she started coming with me to stores, I would tell her no….and even now, I put limits. She knows I coupon and save, if I buy her something it will be one item or sometimes she will bring her own money. It changes her mindset when she has to spend her own $. It was tough in the beginning and we have our challenges sometimes, but we have to be persistent and consistent. It’s still a learning process. Surveys are good for children to make extra $. Good luck to everyone..thank you hip2save for posting this and building a support system. I love the ideas and am open to try them myself.

  42. Rae

    My elementary age daughter isn’t like this at all, she is very generous expecting nothing in return. So when she does get something she really appreciates it. She gives her belongs to needy and enjoys finding hand me downs for loved ones. She never has tantrums for souvenirs, or gifts or anything like many of the other children do. She helps counsel friends who cry when they aren’t allowed to get a toy. She has never had a sharing problem even as a toddler. If she’s wanted to give away a toy I don’t stop her though! I don’t even know how this happened but I feel blessed in this aspect and pray it continues through adolescence and into adulthood.

  43. Jamie

    I don’t have kids but I still love reading all the posts. I have a hard enough time saying no to myself so I can’t imagine having to say no to an adorable tiny human. If you worry about your kids & you try to do the right thing, you are doing an amazing job. Raising kids is hard work!

  44. Beth

    Kids should not expect money or a reward for every good thing that they do. They should learn to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in the act alone. Also I think that parents should volunteer time to help other people of all socioeconomic groups and bring the kids along. I think it helps kids seeing their parents and peers involved as well.

  45. breezyjw

    This is so thorough and well-put! It makes me think of a magazine on jw.org I just read about keys to family happiness? It brings out the importance of identity, trustworthiness, and goals to teach children to make wise choices and avoid problems. I really loved it and your article is perfectly in sync but with more practical tips from the parent’s point of view.

  46. Kevin Spalding

    Excellent article.
    We always make two things for dinner each night, take it or leave it!


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