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How to Deal With An Entitled Teen

My Teen is Entitled!

The current generation of teenagers feel like the world owes them everything and parents exist to please and meet their teenagers every desire and whim. These entitled teenagers are resistant to parental authority, demanding, and often unable to manage failure or disappointment.

The very process of adolescence means teens are always prone to adopt an entitled view of the world.

Are you frustrated with your teenager’s attitude? Is it all demands and no appreciation? If you’re wondering how to deal with an entitled teenager, you’re not alone!

Despite the years of teaching them how to say thank you, you can still end up battling entitlement. Even so, don’t give up hope! It’s not too late to turn around an ungrateful teenager.

5 Signs Your Teen is Entitled:

  • They can’t handle being told “no.” They melt down, pout, or put a battle every time you turn down a request. An immediate “yes” is the only way to avoid a battle.
  • They show no signs of sincere gratitude. Why should they be grateful for what they believe they are “owed”? You’re lucky to hear a forced “thanks.”
  • They have a long list of never-ending demands. If you don’t expect to walk through a store without getting barraged with demands for nearly everything you walk by, you probably have an entitled teenager.
  • They’ve got a “no can do” attitude. Make their own sandwich themselves? Pick up their room? It’s asking too much.
  • They’re constantly comparing.  And it’s nearly always “not fair.” They’re not afraid to ask for the best and the first.

If three or more of these sound like your kid, you are dealing an entitled teenager.  Being entitled will not serve them or you well, so the next question is…

How Do You Change Entitled Behavior?

The very first step towards successfully fighting entitlement is looking into what may be driving the behavior. Usually there is some misinformation or false beliefs driving the feelings that are feeding the entitled attitudes and behaviors. In addition, teenagers are developmentally inclined to be more wrapped up in self.

As far as false beliefs, it could be that they have bought into the message that their value is based on what they own and how they look. If your sense of personal worth is on the line, non-essentials can start to look like essentials. Those $100 jeans aren’t just expensive stuff, getting them becomes tied to how loved and lovable you believe you are.

Feeling unequipped or unable to get what you want or need can drive entitled behavior. If you think that the only way you can get those jeans is to demand them, that’s what you’re going to do.

Developmentally, the science shows that teenage brains begin to revolve more intensely around self as they begin preparing for independence.

Consequently, teens need extra help during this time to think about others and empathize. Chances are that they are not thinking about how much work or money someone else spent to give them something.

Battling Entitlement

It seems like entitlement is all around us, especially among teenagers. You can’t be complacent if you want your teen to break free from entitlement. It requires effort and intention.

Teach Your Teen Gratitude

The number one enemy of entitlement is gratitude. Gratitude isn’t just being thankful or appreciative, but also recognizing the effort of the giver. Explicitly teaching your self-focused teen how to be grateful will help them develop gratitude more quickly and fully.

  1. Identify a gift when it comes. This means being able to tell the difference between what’s owed, what’s earned, and what’s given as an act of kindness. If you didn’t earn it and no one owes you, it’s a gift.
  2. Appreciate what you have. This means considering the worth & value of what was given.
  3. Recognize the kindness of the giver. Someone had to work and pay and be thoughtful of the recipient – when giving the gift.

Fight Comparison

Pay the extra $2 a month for commercial free Hulu.
Get rid of magazines.
Set time limits or ditch social media all together.

Help them interpret what they’re seeing. Remind them that all of these things are meant to sell, even their friend on social media is selling something – “I’ve got it all together” or “You should admire me.” These are all half-stories at best, but more often outright lies.

Never compare your teen to others. Conversely, do remind your teen that their value is in who they are and not in what they have or how they compare to someone else.

Source: Finally Family Homes

Are you struggling with an entitled teenager? At your wit’s end? Do you feel like you’re a hostage in your home? Is your teen defiant when they don’t get their own way? Do they go into a rage when you remove their devices? Have you tried talking to them and they completely turn you off?

Have you tried therapy? They shut-down, or won’t engage.
Are they refusing to go to school? Skipping classes.
Smart teen, now failing or underachieving?

Exhausted your local resources? Contact us for more information on residential therapy.

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