A Parent’s Guide to Teen Entitlement

Entitlement Behaviors Start Early

Entitlement happens when the parents treat their child as an honored guest in their home, and they act as service providers rather than parents. As the years go by, this strips the child of the ability to act responsibly. These parents fail to set limits for behavior and fail to establish the difference between a want and a need. Entitled teens believe that it is their birthright to have whatever they want, whenever they want it. And they are never satisfied.

As a reaction to their parent’s over-giving, the child develops the belief that their happiness depends on how well others provide for them, rather than on their own effort. This belief places her as an eternal victim – always dependent on others for her well-being.

Entitlement is a belief, and an attitude about yourself, others, and the world. It is not a mental health illness or a symptom. We find that by addressing entitled beliefs, we can support teens in developing more resilience, self-love, and other traits that do support someone in navigating a mental illness.

Entitlement in teens and young adults

Entitled teens and young adults often…

  • Have a high need for services and goods (designer clothing, technology, cars, etc.)
  • Feel no pressure to hold down a job or to succeed in life.
  • Have very high expectations of others.
  • Have very low ambitions for themselves.
  • Resent people who ask them to put in effort.
  • Do not have an appreciation for opportunities.
  • Demand excitement and adrenaline.
  • Have low awareness of sacrifices made by their parents, friends, or others in their life.
  • Have very little respect for adults or authority.

If your teen is acting entitled, there are three things you need to do:

  1. Hold tight to the belief that kids need to learn how to get what they want through their own volition and effort. This is the only way they’ll build self-esteem
  2. Acquire skills for setting and enforcing limits and boundaries.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded friends so you don’t have to listen to the mistaken beliefs of others who are raising entitled children.

We live in a culture of self-indulgence and it can be challenging to overcome. However, parents can dramatically influence entitlement behaviors in their teens. The earlier you address your child’s entitlement, the easier it is to support them in outgrowing entitled behaviors and to live a truly empowered life. Your teen is capable of so much!

Antelope Recovery teaches teens necessary life skills

Addressing entitlement behaviors in your teenager is a crucial part of their personal growth and development. As we’ve discussed throughout this guide, entitlement behaviors can begin at an early age and continue into the teen years and beyond. By understanding the root causes and following the three essential steps outlined in this guide, you can empower your teenager to become more responsible, empathetic, and self-reliant. At Antelope Recovery, we understand the complexities of parenting and offer resources and support to help you navigate this challenging journey. If you find that your teenager’s entitlement issues persist or have questions about how our programs can assist, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can work towards a brighter and more balanced future for your teen.