Category Archives: expectation

The Problem with Entitlement

The daughter of a friend of mine told her children that they could go to riding camp this summer. Because of unexpected financial setbacks, she can’t afford to send them.

Instead of explaining to her children about her true economic situation,  the daughter approached my friend and suggested she provide the money for her grandchildren to go to camp instead of taking her own long planned cruise. When my friend said she wouldn’t cancel her own plans, her daughter accused her of not caring about the welfare of her grandchildren.

This is an example of how entitlement obscures reality. It is a one-way mindset, a pattern of focusing on what we think we are owed in relationship without awareness of our own obligations. Children raised with entitlement, rather than learning a sense of personal responsibility, believe the world revolves around them.

Children and grandchildren need to learn the meaning of the words “We can’t afford it.” When you can’t afford, on your own, to do something, you explain to your children  that they can’t have something until you can afford it, or until they earn the money to do it. Children can handle disappointment if you’re straight with them.

How else can you prepare children for the real world? Why should a grandparent give up a planned trip to send her grandchildren to horseback riding camp? Why would a daughter expect her to do so and accuse her of not caring when she refuses to give up her own trip?