We’re good moms, right? We want to raise kids to be independent, loving, and positive contributors to society. Lately I’ve seen a few seeds of entitlement in Miss H (3). They’re really simple at this point: a granola bar wrapper tossed haphazardly on the floor, or the refusal to accept that I won’t play this very second.
Before I had children, I was positive that I wouldn’t raise entitled kids. Now I’m realizing that some of the areas where I consider myself a good mom could lead to entitlement. Sometimes our authority as mothers becomes compromised.
Entitlement- Even When You’re A Good Mom
Good moms play with their kids. We want our kids to feel loved, so we play with them as much as we can. After all, we hear that parents often miss playing with their kids as they get older.
But…kids also need to learn how to play independently. Playing with children ALL THE TIME doesn’t allow them to develop important independent play skills. When we scrap other responsibilities to always play with our kids, they learn that they are the only thing that matters. The world revolves around them.
I used this quote in my post on breaks for mommy, but I think it applies here, too.
“The part of mother or teacher in the early years (indeed, all through life) is to sow opportunities, and then to keep in the background, ready with a guiding or restraining hand only when these are badly wanted. Mothers shirk their work and put it, as they would say, into better hands than their own, because they do not recognize that wise letting alone is the chief thing asked of them….” Charlotte Mason, Home Education
Good moms want a peaceful home atmosphere. The atmosphere is so important in the Charlotte Mason philosophy. We try to let love abound, stop arguments that arise, clean up, and guide our kids in learning and maturity.
But…children should learn the important lessons. Constantly cleaning up for our children and solving their problems for the sake of the home atmosphere doesn’t allow them to learn these important skills. They need to learn how to work on chores, problems, lessons, etc.
Good moms let their children make choices. We know that allowing children to make choices helps them develop important decision making skills, and gives them a sense of empowerment. Also, it is a necessary part of Charlotte Mason’s first principle: children are born persons.
But…they shouldn’t be sheltered from the consequences. If we let children make choices, we have to be okay with the fact that their choices might not have great consequences. When we let children make choices, but shelter them from the natural consequences, they don’t learn responsibility for their actions. Instead, they learn that they can make decisions, and mom will save me from whatever is coming my way.
If Miss H doesn’t eat her dinner, then she can’t have a snack before bed. This is something we learned the hard way. She wouldn’t eat her dinner, and then, inevitably right after we brushed her teeth, she’d ask for more food. We eventually realized that we allowed her to choose not to eat her dinner, but then sheltered her from the consequence of being hungry.
Obviously, we need to protect our children from extreme consequences that could affect their physical and mental health. But if they’re somewhat uncomfortable when they choose not to wear shoes or eat their meal? That’s a learning opportunity.
Good moms meet their children’s needs right away. We learn as soon as we become parents that we need to meet our children’s needs for their emotional health. We rush to them when they cry, change their diapers, feed them on schedule, and take care of a plethora of other needs.
But…wants and needs are different. For me, wants and needs started to blur together. I was so focused on meeting my children’s needs that I started answering their every request immediately. Wants DON’T need to be met immediately, and doing this routinely creates an entitled attitude.
Good moms want their children to treat others politely. We give gentle prompts like, “What do you say?” and “How can you ask nicely?” to get them into the habit of politeness.
But…kids should treat their moms politely, too. While I try to get Miss H to use good manners, I sacrifice my personal need for niceties. When I’m not consistent with having H use her best manners, I notice that it creeps into her treatment of others, as well.
How do you protect your children from developing entitled attitudes?