Tag Archives: entitlement

Finally! A cure for entitlement!

Wow! I loved this book on entitlement, which as you know, is a hot topic with me. Townsend nails the problem and the solution in his latest book, The Entitlement Cure: finding success in doing hard things the right way by Dr. John Townsend (Zondervan, 2015). I highly recommend reading it!

_200_360_Book.1753.coverAnother practical and thought-provoking book by the author of bestselling book Boundaries challenges readers to consider the existence and extent of entitlement on their lives. Chronic entitlement has dramatically affected our country, on a corporate as well as personal level. By sharing hundreds of cases from his
experience as a leadership consultant and psychologist, Townsend lays out a plan for overcoming entitlement in your own life or helping someone you know beat the self-absorbed mindset that is causing them to damage their relationship and performance at home and work. This is a must-read for parents, teachers, and managers.

How to raise an entitled child

Entitlement is the cultural buzzword for the millennial generation. But I’m not sure people really know what that means. They just know they’re annoyed when a young person won’t say thank you. The dictionary definition of entitlement is “to give a right or legal title to; to qualify (a person to do something)”. That doesn’t sound so bad. What exactly, are we qualifying our children to do?

Great Storm Ahead Warning Sign for a Blizzard or Big Snow Storm

Be happy, confident adults with secure self-images? To grow up without emotional baggage or incurable heartache? To form strong family connections and know how to love and marry someone for life? To be satisfied in a career that makes the world a better place? To put other people’s needs first; to value kindness and servanthood?

Hmm. Sounds refreshing, but not typical.

Or has our generation, in desperate pursuit to feel special ourselves, wrecked our homes, unraveled our children’s security, and offered them an array of hobbies and educational choices to fill the void?

From my years of parenting and teaching children and teenagers, I’ve come up with 12 tips for raising an entitled child. I hope you will do the opposite.

  1. Present them with any array of choices, from age 2 on up
  2. Help them to focus on externals (style, clothes, popularity, money, etc.)
  3. Provide enough entertainment, so they are never bored
  4. Pay them to help you do chores around the house
  5. Keep them insulated against diverse economic and ethnic environments
  6. Solve their problems and keep track of their responsibilities for them
  7. Worship their success and criticize their failures
  8. Allow them to make excuses and blame others for their wrong choices
  9. Give up all your free time to carpool and watch their activities
  10. Use manipulation and reverse psychology to get them to behave
  11. Give them the best of everything, or at least enough money to buy what they want
  12. Never tell them “no”

I’m sure you have opinions about my list, or you have a list of your own, so please share your perspective with us! Thank you!



Definition from Webster’s New World Dictionary, 2nd Ed., 467. image from http://www.crestock.com

Re-considering my excessive life

I’m reading the book 7 (an experimental mutiny against excess) by Jen Hatmaker. I highly recommend it, but you should know:  it’s wrecking me. And even more frightening, it may wreck my family and my life as I know it. (But in a good way.)

I’m tinkering with the idea of radical reduction. This idea has been rolling around in my head for a few years, usually after Shane and I read a Francis Chan book or visit an underdeveloped country.

I reduce. I do.

I clean my closets and my atticattic-090. I sell stuff. I even pray about reduction. My personal theme for last year was “Simplify.”

My family has reduced on purpose many times, twice leaving the cushy world of outside sales for a blistering life in church ministry. I keep my work hours low to reduce stress and scheduling chaos in my home. I live in an old house in constant need of upkeep (which it rarely gets). I almost never see the inside of a mall or a department store; I shop clearance, with coupons, at already-discounted venues. I hire out almost nothing, not even my nails.

And yet, I have an excessive life by the world’s standards and even most Americans (whom I don’t know, but it’s still true).

I need a spring-cleaning of all things wasteful and self-indulgent in my life. I call my lavish middle-class living “normal” on a good day and “unfair” on a bad day. I want more, even though I have the spiritual maturity to know that “more” never ends and will never satisfy.  What follows these realizations is typically the good Christian mom approach–I decide that being better organized, setting better boundaries, re-adjusting my priorities, and guarding my family time will provide the structure and results I’m craving.

Unfortunately, that mindset also reeks of a self-absorbed, middle-class Westerner who feels guilty about having too much, but doesn’t want to live like the rest of world does. After all, choices and variety comprise the mantra of the  privileged. In case you didn’t realize it, that’s us. You’re privileged, and so am I. You’re sitting at a computer right now reading a blog. That’s what privileged people do. The underprivileged are scouring their countrysides for food and water. (That’s about 95% of the world.)

Even with this knowledge, I’m afraid to make any serious commitment to this idea of eliminating excess because I’m a conservative excessive. That seems like an oxymoron, but it’s true–I’m not a radical, trend-setting, follow-the-latest-trend kind of person. I hate that stuff. I’d prefer to plod along, always mindful of the perimeters around me. A little old-fashioned, if you will. Let me do my conservative artist/teacher thing and don’t make me try anything dangerous. I can’t even accept a new fashion trend until it’s no longer trendy. Like right now, I finally have a great supply of scarves, but last year, the infinity scarf thing hit the market. Really? Can’t I just keep wrapping my old scarves around my neck? (I do.)

I don’t have the personality of someone who reduces her food variety to only 7 healthy foods or discontinues clothes-buying for an entire year. That doesn’t sound fun to me, however conservative I may be. That challenge does not excite me to change myself. If I truly want a change, I will re-arrange the furniture or paint the walls. (You can always move stuff back or re-paint!)

Hence, the reason I am musing.  I’m trying to work up the nerve to really reduce. And I’m not talking about streamlining our kids down to one sport so we have more breathing room, because often that’s just a euphemism for grooming a super-star (extra trainers and coaches are in the future). Here’s the question of the day: Do I really have the courage to live simply and give away the excess? Could I extricate myself from the rat race completely, without tip-toeing back onto the racetrack?

As I re-consider my excessive lifestyle, I’m struck with a new thought. Perhaps intentional reduction is a re-interpretation of freedom.

Am I free? Or am I shackled by my emotional connection to having more?

I don’t like the answer.