Sunday, July 13, 2014

My 5 Parenting Rules to Raising Independent, Nonentitled Children

Just like with education, there is always a new philosophy on how to parent. Even though through two degrees I've taken a decent number of psychology and human development classes that actually look at the variety of ways to raise and teach children, I have my own nonpsychological rules of 5 that is my personal parenting philosophy for trying to raise independent, nonentitled children.

1. Tell them no. I understand some parents want to give their children everything because they think it shows them how much they love them. But even if I had all the money and the means in the world to give them everything I wanted, the frequent answer would still be no. No matter our social economic statuses, backgrounds, luck, or connections, we can't have everything we want and the sooner they see that as a reality the better.

2. Make them choose. Life is full of choices so they better get use to that now by deciding which do they want more and which are they willing to forego. Right now the choices are simple but as my husband and I often argue about larger adult choices like money vs time at home, they will soon realize again, they can't have everything they want. Many things they'll learn later are one or the other and some come at the sacrifice of another.

3. Make them wait. Nothing irritates me more than a student that expects me to be at their assistance immediately even though I'm busy helping another student. With so much immediate gratification with current technology I make it a habit to teach my children to wait and not be at their beck and call as soon as they need something. Patience is needed for many things in life so they might as well learn it now.

4. Make them work for it and don't clean up their messes. As a parent it's our natural instinct to want to swoop in and help them or make things all better. As a control and neat freak this one is hard for me at times as sometimes I just want to clean up after them myself rather than the sometimes long drawn out battle of holding them accountable for cleaning up their messes. But as they get older their teachers, their bosses, their spouses, and life in general is going to require them to work for what they want or earn and no one will appreciate having to clean up their messes-figuratively or literally-behind them.

5. Don't entertain them for the sake of entertaining them.  We do go do stuff outside of the house with our kids often, but that's who we were before kids and now it's just who we are as a family and even though I do let them entertain me with their "shows" (singing, dancing, gymnastics, whatever the sisterly performance of the night is), I have never been a parent that felt the need to entertain them. They problem solve their boredom by finding their own source of entertainment without my input. I spend quality time with my children every day, but it is completely okay for them to go off and play on their own and even get into a little mischief along the way. They can't learn their way around this world if they're not permitted to explore and problem solve on their own.

In today's parenting world there's a lot of criticism that parents of my generation are raising dependent, entitled children. One piece I read recently also labeled our children as future rude adults because of this dependent and entitled upbringing. For me personally these are my rules for myself as a parent to enforce upon my children and hold myself accountable for in hopes of raising independent, willing to work for what they want, grateful children. To some maybe these seem like some harsh rules to live by, but I don't think I'm doing them any favors by giving in to their every whim or hovering over them, waiting to swoop in to save the day for them. What are your parenting rules to raise independent, nonentitled children?

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  1. Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes!! I completely agree with every single point and strive to be that parent every day. I now have two teenagers who are grateful for everything that they have and say thank you for everything right down to the meal that I put in front of them each evening. They are independent thinkers who don't run to me to solve every little thing.

  2. Sometimes it's hard to be vigilant, but it's so important to be consistent. Thanks for sharing! Hello from Wake Up Wednesday.

  3. so many great tips. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  4. Love this! Just posted on Twitter!

  5. Great tips! I want to let you know that I will be featuring this post on Tuesday's with a Twist so please stop by for a peek. Have a great day.