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We are excited about our new book, set for world wide release from Penguin next year. It is called THE ENTITLEMENT TRAP, How to Rescue Your Child with a new Family System of Earning, Owning and Choosing.

Every parent who even hears the title seems to want this book, and want it now! The sense of entitlement that our kids today are growing up with is the biggest threat to their happiness—and to ours!

As valuesparenting members and followers, we want your feedback on the book even as we write it, in fact, we want even more than that. We want you towrite part of it! The book will open with some little everyday vignettes showing how entitled our kids are feeling these days.

Let us give you a few excerpts from early in the book, just to give you a feel, and then show you a little series of brief everyday stories of entitlement. We would love to have you add an incident or two by sending a comment to this blog entry. We will include some of those we receive in the book.


“Just as the Eyres’ brilliant #1 bestseller Teaching Your Children Values provided a roadmap for a whole generation of parents in the 90s, their new work The Entitlement Trap gives today’s parents a warning about the trap of indulgence and instant gratification they may be creating for their children. Then it offers families a compass on the directions they need today and shines breakthrough clarity on what kids will need to cope with our new and unpredictable economic realities.”

——Stephen R. Covey

Sports figures and celebrities think they are entitled to whatever they want; bankers think they’re entitled to huge bonuses; and our own children think they’re entitled to the latest cell phone. The old mentality of working for things and waiting for a reward seems to have disappeared. Without the sense of responsibility engendered by the work of earning and the pride of ownership, kids grow up thinking the world owes them a living, and with that attitude, they have little chance to develop the motivation and will-power that will allow them to be happy and to succeed.

What today’s kids need is to be sprung from the trap of entitlement and indulgence. They need to own their choices, to own up to their mistakes, and to earn and own all their stuff rather than getting it handed to them.

Are you letting your kids fall into a trap that can make their lives (and yours) miserable?

Instead of giving our kids a sense of responsibility, are you giving them the exact opposite—a sense of entitlement?

Are you setting your kids up for disaster by not teaching them how to handle money?

Is your home a little microcosm of a bad economy and a sick society….built on wants rather than needs, and on bail outs, debt, and instant gratification?

Are yesterday’s parenting methods completely unsuited for today’s world?

And are some of the old reliables like allowances and withholding of privileges just not helpful anymore and even becoming counterproductive in raising responsible kids?

Is the technology that surrounds and suffocates our kids sapping them of real world experience and taking away their chances to make good choices and become responsible?


What is it doing to us?

We will leave the speculation on its macro effects on society to the economists, the politicians, and the media analysts.

Our focus is the micro effects on our children!

And on that level, there is no speculation about it. Entitlement is killing us! It’s trapping our kids and setting them up for failure.

And it is impacting (and ensnaring) children from all geographic locales, all economic and educational levels, and all philosophical, religious and political persuasions.

A sense of entitlement (which is the polar opposite of a sense of responsibility) is endemic among children today.

A pre-school class with fifteen three and four year olds on the Upper East Side in Manhattan were seated crossed legged on the carpet in front of their bright and cheerful teacher who announced, “Today we are going to talk about the seasons.”

“Who can tell me anything about the four seasons?” she asked with a big smile. One four-year-old shot his hand up immediately and with perfect confidence announced, “It’s the very best hotel in Hawaii!”

A forty-something professional from the Midwest who had been gone from her family for a week was greeted by her nine year old son Tyler with a big hug. That night at dinner after a catch-up session about things that had happened while she was gone, Tyler quietly brought up something he had obviously planned quite carefully. “Mom, you’ve been gone a long time and you missed my band concert. How about buying me the new Wii game to make up for it?”

A hard-working, service oriented twenty four year old named Amy decided that for a year her time would best be spent helping young women in the projects in Atlanta They had all had hard lives and had been raised on the dole. None could remember ever sitting around a dinner table with their families but of course every one had a cell phone with a bazillion different ring tones.

One day she was helping them sort out their lives when one of them said, “Hey I like your shoes! They’re so cute! How about you give ‘em to me?” Stunned, she realized this girl was serious. “Hey, I worked hard for these shoes, “ Amy declared as she realized she was looking straight into the face of ‘entitlement’!

A Sunday school class of hard working parents were asked if they thought their children felt as entitled as their peers who were not particularly religious. Almost like a chorus they declared, “Of course they are! They all think they need cell phones like their friends! They claim they don’t have time to clean the bathroom because they’re so busy texting and doing their “homework” on the Internet.”

Some of the parents thought entitlement was worse in faith centered families where kids felt they deserved special blessings in reward for their rightiousness.

An eight year old boy was aghast when his mother suggested he might have to work to earn some money to replace the neighbor’s window that he had broken while throwing rocks. “You’re my mom, that’s the kind of thing you are supposed to take care of!”


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