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We used to call this problem “spoiled kids” or “selfish little brats” but today there is a better term to describe what is happening to kids who think they deserve to have everything they want, everything their friends have, and all without any work or effort on their part.

The word is “entitlement” and it is becoming a trap in our society that catches kids in its clutches and squeezes the motivation and incentive right out of them. The entitlement attitude that infests our youth today robs them of gratitude and strips them of any work ethic. If we as parents don’t do something about it, we will send our kids out into the world ill-equipped to compete and to succeed and even to live responsibly.

On the other hand, if we can recognize that chosen, earned ownership is the antidote to entitlement and the prerequisite of responsibility…and if we can find ways to help kids perceive real ownership of everything from their things to their money and from their grades to their choices…then we can give our children the kind of pride of ownership that will motivate them to do their best, to make good decisions, and to take responsibility for everything they have.


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