Are you frustrated with the way your teen responds to the word 'no'? Have you been giving in to all of your child's demands just to avoid an argument? Do you often find yourself wanting them to change their attitude when they don't get what they want? If this sounds like you, then you're probably dealing with a teenager who feels entitled.
Caroline came to this realization when her 16 year old daughter Emma reacted negatively after she told her 'no' to a designer hand bag that cost $300. Usually, Emma's demands were fairly reasonable and required little effort to fulfill. But, when Emma asked for a designer item costing a few hundred dollars, Caroline decided to draw the line by saying 'no'. This caused Emma to react with a nasty attitude, yelling at her mom and being totally disrespectful to her. Caroline was so hurt by her daughter's aggressive response since she gives her daughter practically everything she asks for.
Most parents find themselves in a cycle of constantly giving into their child's demands, simply to avoid the impending argument that always follows the word 'no'. It can be a struggle to handle a child who is never satisfied, yet constantly asks for more, and handling this bad case of an 'entitled teenager' is never an easy task. It requires patience, dedication and understanding. Applying these five tips may help the process:
1.) Sit them down and set your expectations for them. Let them know that all you want to do is make them happy but in life, but it isn't realistic to expect to get everything they ask for, and you expect their attitude to change. Sometimes certain things are simply unattainable, or maybe don't make sense to have. Breaking this idea down can help change their perspective and could open their eyes to see outside of themselves. If this doesn't work, explain the consequences of their bad behavior and attitude. If they continue to pitch a tantrum every time you say no, they will have certain privileges taken away. They need to learn to prioritize what is actually important to them.
2.) View the situation from a logical point of view. By taking their harsh words and attitude personally, you bring your own set of emotions to an argument. Avoid a fight by not taking things on a personal level and recognizing that this is more about a battle within themselves that is being taken out on you for saying 'no'. Try removing yourself from the disagreement if you find this is too difficult, and revisiting it when you have had time to cool off.
3.) Being able to say 'no' is a learning process. Feeling confident in saying 'no' to your teenager isn't something that will happen overnight. Of course, no parent wants to deny their child something that they are asking for, especially if it's something that will make them happy. But the answer can't be 'yes' all the time, and it's important to learn when those times are and aren't, and how to feel confident in that decision.
4.) Praise/reward their good behavior and attitude. It's easy to only notice your child's behavior when it is negative. Pay attention to your child being good. Give your child credit when they react well to you saying 'no', letting them know that you appreciate the way they handled not getting what they wanted. This reinforces good behavior as the praise makes them feel good about themselves.
5.) Accept that arguments happen, and are sometimes inevitable. Disagreements amongst family members, especially parents and children, are just something that happens that you move on from it just like any other conflict in life. Keeping these few steps in mind should help lessen them, or at least make it more bearable. Arguments become an issue if they are constant and everyday, or if they cause constant tension between you and your teenager. If this is the case and nothing changes for an extended period of time, it may be helpful to consider seeking professional help on how to help your relationship.
Handling an entitled teenager is complicated, but very possible. You should always be mindful of how you treat them and handle situations, yet also true to yourself and what's right.
If you need help handling your entitled teenager we are always here to help!