April 28, 2017

7 Highly Effective Ways to Raise Lazy and Entitled Children


7 highly effective ways to raise lazy and entitled kids

Thanks for following along with during my 31 Days with a Mentor Mom Series.

As I think back over our two decades of raising children (yes, we just hit that mile marker),  I’ve often shared here on the blog how the journey towards building character in our children is exhausting, difficult, requires consistency, but is so worth it.

For years, I shared a workshop entitled, “Raising Responsible Kids” at various conferences and mom events,  but then our eldest son turned five and all my formulas went out the window. 😉

In an era that desires quick fix solutions and 1.2.3 formulas, we want assurances of amazing children without the years of prayer and hard work.  I find it even more interesting that many might listen to input on child rearing or read books to help them find solutions, but when it comes to actually implementing the tough ideas, yes, the ones that really make the most difference, we find a hundred reasons why we shouldn’t or couldn’t or can’t or won’t.

It’s not that we don’t care; it’s not that we don’t want what’s best for our children, we do, we really, really do, it’s just exhausting and painful and tiring.

Have I mentioned parenting is exhausting?

And here’s the kicker. I am SPEAKING TO MYSELF AS WELL!!!

You’d think that with my background of child psychology, as well as my years as a middle school and high school youth ministries director, I’d have all the solutions.

In fact, I’m a mother of five, with four of them 14-20, I should have this all figured out, right? Well, guess what?

I do!

I have figured out simple, yet highly effective ways to raise lazy and entitled children based on personal experiences with my own children, the shared stories of others and my observations.

Names and situations have been changed to protect the innocent, so if any of you start feeling like I am stepping on your toes, it’s all good. It just means we are in this together.

Please note this is meant to be read with a sarcastic, tongue and cheek tone.

In fact, having me read it out loud might make it more enjoyable because my voice inflection enhances the experience, but the reality of this situation for our next generation can not be stressed more profusely.

As you read this, if there’s a tiny bit of you that shakes your head in understanding and realization that this is happening in your home, identify it. Don’t be afraid to tackle it head on.

There’s no judgement here because statistics speak for themselves. It’s an epidemic so far reaching in our culture and much more prevalent that we care to admit, because really? Who wants to admit that our own child has any lazy tendencies. I mean, they are all perfect, right?

Let me tell you. It’s worth the fight. It’s worth the long term vision as we raise this next generation of leaders and world changers.

7 Highly Effective Ways to Raise Lazy and Entitled Children

(In no particular order of importance.)

Avoid Follow Through

When you ask your child to do something and they promise to do it later, make sure to bribe them into listening to you. When they still don’t follow through, raise the bribe to something more enticing. If that doesn’t happen, just do it yourself because it’s so much easier than training responsibility into their daily habits.

When a child makes a commitment, allow them to quit before that commitment is fulfilled. If they don’t like it, it’s ok, let them dictate their future, even if there is no good reason for not completing what they started.

Encourage Screen Time

Let them watch TV, play video games, and text for hours each day. Don’t waste your time monitoring their online behavior because you have better things to do. While nearly every parent deals with this to some degree,  ignore that deep down pit of your stomach ache. Even though you know changes need to be made because of their poor choices,  do not take away their screen time privileges because you will have to deal with a full blown battle of the wills.

Yes, taking away gaming systems, ipods, ipads, phone, laptops etc will initially make life miserable. It’s just not worth the emotional energy to demand a better use of their time.

FYI: If you do attempt to take away the ipod and they insist that you have no right to take it away because they paid for it, give it back immediately.

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT list all the expenses they are accruing by using said device, including the internet service that parents are paying to give them access. Again, always let them have their way. It’s the only way to guarantee an entitlement mentality.


Set up a workable and realistic system of chores, complete with an adorable chore chart. Make sure the incentives are amazing, but when allowance time comes at the end of the week, and they haven’t completed their chores,  do not hesitate. Give the money to them anyhow because we must always be “fair” and equal and all should make the same amount of money no matter how much they work. I certainly don’t want to deal with a temper tantrum over that.

One of the best tips I have for raising a wonderfully, lazy child is to give them the knowledge and foundation that they do not have to meet expectations in the home.

Place Blame Elsewhere

If we encourage our children to be proactive and show initiative, we might set our children up to fail and they might get their feelings hurt.  Learning from personal mistakes can be a painful process and who really believes that the “iron sharpening iron” process is beneficial?

Instead of taking personal responsibility for their situation, allow kids to place blame on everything around them whether it’s blame on you, their teacher or those in authority over them. Allow them to blame their circumstances such as lack of money or opportunity.

Remember, even though “life is not fair,” we do not want them to know that.

Better yet, model the “This is all their fault’  or “It’s not fair” attitude for them, especially when it comes to frustration with bosses, coaches, referees or teachers/grades.

Help  them understand that they have rights!

Society should cater to them and bring opportunities to them rather than encouraging them to make things happen regardless of difficult circumstances.  Don’t let them fall for the American Dream.

Why try? We certainly don’t want to give false hope that they can create amazing opportunities from their most difficult obstacles and circumstances.

Step In Always

Do not let natural consequence take it’s proper place.

If there is a problem with another child, do  not let them work it out themselves or walk them through how to use peaceful words instead of always tattle tailing to deal with confrontation.

Do not teach them how to apologize because you are admitting they might be wrong. If there is a problem with another mother, coach or teacher, do not make your child go with you to deal with the matter, just step in and never get the other side of the story. Always take your child’s word on what happened at school because they would never give a scewed view of a situation.

When that science fair project deadline arrives,  and your child who knows better has procrastinated until the due date, make sure you step in and do all of it for them. Let them go to sleep because they need their sleep and you finish it. Most good teachers will not be able to tell “AT ALL” that your child’s nine foot paper mache project, which mimics one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, had any help from a parent. (We really should give out Best Parent Project Awards.)

Avoid Tough Love

Never consider the “If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat” principal that worked wonders for our early forefathers because you’d hate for anyone to think you were unfair. In fact, if you implement tough love, you may find yourself in court months later being sued, so make sure you give your child anything they ask for, at any time.

 Teach Them to Spend

If there’s one topic I’ve addressed more than any other, it’s finances and saving money.  Statistically, the leading cause of divorce in our country states finances as the top reason for the dissolution of the marriage. What that boils down to is that financial stress permeates our every day lives and that is a fact for everyone. We are spending more than we are taking in and modeling that for our children.

Children do not understand credit cards. They see it as an elusive money tree. As long as credit cards are available, allowing them to purchase to their heart’s content is so much fun. Continue to let them think that is how it works. Model for them financial irresponsibility and continue teaching them how to spend what they can’t afford.

Don’t allow the necessary time to teach children about money or talk through the difference between a need vs. a want.

Instant gratification continues to cement the entitlement mentality with our children, so definitely avoid talking about debt’s ramification. Debt is stressful and such a downer, so just ignore money talk with the kids, especially around birthdays and the holidays. They should be able to get any thing they put on their wish list because good parents buy their kids what they want and everyone else’s children got what they asked for. Make sure that guilt settles in.

Well, I am glad I got that off my chest and to think I am just getting started with all the easy and highly effective ways to raise lazy and entitled children.

I’d love for you to add to the list in the comments.

Do you have any great suggestions for raising lazy children?

Yes, for someone who never writes sarcastically due to the overwhelming fear that online miscommunication will occur, I let it all out here. It’s just so much easier to give simple tips on how to raise entitled children than it is to point my finger , wave my magic wand and share how to raise responsible ones, especially when our own children are still a work in process.

Just when I think “I’ve arrived” or my kids have arrived, I’m humbled and kicked a few, giant steps backwards.

We understand that all children are different and our parenting style reflects varying backgrounds and experiences. How I parent one child varies greatly on how I might parent the other based on their personalities, but I know one thing to be true, we all struggle with at least a few of the above, whether we will ever admit it publicly or not.

We are in this together and once I stop chuckling at my audacious list, I’ll get going on some of the proactive ways we have attempted to tackle each of these issues, but for now, if you want a little encouragement reading, check out the start of my Mentor Mom series.

Is your child reading on spring break

FYI: One of our college age sons brought home friends for spring break. For a few hours, the house was quiet. QUIET!!

I looked around and they were reading!! READING on SPRING BREAK! Not just any books, but these book. HARD BOOKS!! BY CHOICE!!  (So, personally speaking? It’s worth it. It’s worth the battle. It really is and I am going to continue to remind myself of that for the next decade.)

Do HARD Things! Don’t give up, sweet mommas. You can do this!


We recently purchased The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide. While I have not read it yet, I can’t wait. I wanted to write this post first before reviewing it to see how my opinions lined up with his. I’ll let you know. ;0

Again, enjoy adding to the list!

Continue following along: 31 Days with a Mentor Mom

31 Days with a Mentor Mom


  1. Great tips! I’m definitely guilty of these at some points…and it’s a good reminder that I need to keep fighting the fight. I have 2 boys (10 and 7), and I love reading your tips and ideas as a mom who has some kids closer to the end of the child-rearing journey. Thanks for sharing!


  2. {Kathy} What an awesome post! When we look at raising children from this viewpoint we can see things so much more clearly. I have 4 ages 10-20. You would think I should have a view things figured out too. Yet, I get curve balls every day. Every. Single. Day. Thank you for your encouragement. Sharing this one on our wall.


  3. LOL. I’m so glad you don’t have it all figured out because anyone that says they do is in for a rude awakening! I feel like we learn something new at parenting every single day and even though I’m relatively new at this and only been parenting for a few years I can see that no day is going to be easy, no day is ever going to do like I plan it to go, and we will be all learning along the way!


  4. Haha, aww. From what I can tell of your kids, I’m sure I’d love mine to be exactly like them even on their lazy and entitled moments. You clearly put a lot of intentional work into them, so keeo up the good fight. I love how you are so open and thanks for the entertainment (aka warnings ;))


  5. Love it. Thanks for the reminders! Good to know we’re not in this alone; there are other parents out there who do say “no” and mean it!


  6. Lora Cotton says:

    OMG!!! I’m STILL chuckling, and I’ve read it twice!!! First time I read it my husband kept interrupting wanting to know what was so stinkin funny, so I had to end up reading it again, to him!!! We both were rolling!!! We’re both in our 50’s and our kids are all grown, but it was still funny to take a trip down memory lane!!! My only “critic” of your 7 ways, is that while you want your children to learn how to deal with confrontation themselves, you also must make them aware that you will ALWAYS be there for back up. Two incidents from my son’s experience: The first when he was very young (pre-pre-school age.) I allowed him to “walk” around to a friends house on the cul-de-sac our home backed up to. He took a brand new set of “golf clubs” (the plastic ones you see around Easter time) with him. Approximately 45 mins later, my (roughly) 4 yr old son comes walking thru the door (he had been told to holler for me from the other child’s back yard -our back yards “touched” and I would walk 1/2 to meet him on the way home) dragging the bag by the now broken strap. He was in tears!!! When I asked what was wrong, he told me how the other boy (they were the same age!) had decided he wanted to play with some other friends (other kids on the cul-de-sac) and so when the other kids started making fun of my son, this other boy joined in. It ended up that the other kids pressured the other boy into breaking 3 of the 4 golf clubs, and using the last one to literally BEAT my son like a dog!!! (He had raised welts for DAYS after this!) Given his age, there was NO WAY my child could have known how to deal with this situation. I called the police and had them come out to deal with this child and his parents. The officer was APPALLED by what they had done to my son, but despite my acknowledging that I realize I was getting only one side of the story, the officer re-iterated that he’d have to see what the other boy said. I wasn’t upset about the fact that the boys had a disagreement/whatever, I was ENRAGED that the boy had been physical with my son.
    The 2nd instance, was when my son was in 7-8th grade. My son had been “teased” about being homosexual (which he wasn’t) by other boys for at least two years at this time. I had encouraged him to simply ignore these boys when they started this kinda of “teasing”. My son did an extremely good job of this for a good while, then came the incident in the locker room. Class had ended, but the period had not, so the boys were sitting in the locker room waiting to be released. My son was completely re-dressed and was simply sitting on the bench staring “into space”. One of the other boys decided that my son was staring at him (the other boy wasn’t finished getting re-dressed) and an altercation occurred. Both boys were suspended for 3 days for “fighting.” My son was shoved into the lockers by the other boy for “being a “perve” and “wanting” his junk.” Despite the fact that my son had told the kid that he hadn’t been staring AT him, but rather thru him, the other kid used physical force, but because some of the other boy’s friends said my son “started it”, the school was required to suspend both of the boys. Given the fact that I had secretly contacted the school administration after some of the more perverse “gay” hazing episodes, and the fact that the other boy in this incident was a “known” bully, I went to the school admin and managed to get my son’s suspension lifted.
    We did have a couple of situations where my son wanted me to “deal with it” while he stood back, but each time he would try this, I would INSIST that HE HIMSELF try to resolve it first! Then, if it couldn’t be resolved, I would see what I could do.
    Since my son went on to become a US Marine and be honored to be appointed to “Presidential Support” (aka Presidential guard)in his first assignment, I would say that I didn’t do too bad a job.


    Leah Reply:

    @Lora Cotton, You sound like a concerned mom who took appropriate action given the circumstances. We need to be vigilant in the lives of our children so they know we care and support them. We just don’t smother them. It sounds like you did a great job! : )


    Jen Reply:

    Absolutely! I whole heartedly agree!


  7. OMGoodness I swear you were just in my house last night. I dealt with the whole he skipped doing a chore so when he came home I told him to hand over ALL electronics and I got the whole “it’s mine, I bought it” speech so I quickly walked over to my computer and unplugged it. Fine, don’t give me it and the WIFI is off. Needless to say he got the hint rather quickly, handed all over to me and did his chores. I love this post. Thank you so much for writing it, I actually debated writing something like this, no where near as beautifully written as you have done. Love it! 16 yr olds can definitely test ya.


  8. Great article and so very true! I am the mother of but one child, who is 17, and totally fits your description of lazy and entitled. It’s all my fault, I know. I think this child-raising thing might be harder on the Type A’s but that could be just a cop out, too. LOL. My favorite quote from your article is “It’s just not worth the emotional energy to demand a better use of their time.” I have SO BEEN THERE. This is something that I definitely need to get better at. After all, she’s about to head out in the world and Heaven help them/us if I fail now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing so I know I’m not all alone.


  9. Good grief….I am guilty of at least 2 of these at one time or another.

    I have 2 very athletic kids, so I spend pots and pots of hard earned money on equipment, fees, gas and travel. Not too mention the time I put in… So my parenting tips is, ‘when your kids tell you they want to try out for a sports team, tell them they will never make it and if they do they will hate it. Then buy them another game for the xbox.’


  10. Love this. Great points; I totally agree as I work on my 4, ages 8-16.


  11. Lori Fast says:

    This is so my house some days. It is just too much to stay on top of all 4, every day, with all the added stresses of anything other than parenting!! I keep reminding myself that it isn’t each day that has to be perfect, but I am working for a long-term goal of teaching our children respect, love, kindness, responsibility, etc etc etc etc!! I thought it was hard when they were babies, but that was just physical labor! This emotional and social and intellectual and character stuff is way harder.


    Jen Reply:

    Isn’t that so true? Your long term vision (and mine) are intertwined. We take it day by day and know that in the long run, WE CAN FINISH STRONG!!


  12. LOVED this! You brought a smile to my face. As a mom of over 2 decades, I, too, have learned to raise lazy and entitled children. But most of the time, my kids are great, and I love ’em.


    Jen Reply:

    We are definitely in it together. 🙂


  13. With one married, one getting married in 2 months and two teenagers in the middle of driving, I can echo every one of these. It’s hard. It’s beyond exhausting, but it’s worth every single tear (mine) and grumble (theirs). Love this post, Jen!


  14. This was great! My kids are ages 6–22 years. You did forget one more item – allow your children to emotionally blackmail you into whatever they want 🙂


  15. Sounds like all the extra effort paid off. I know the road less traveled is always harder but often reaps amazing rewards.


  16. Amen!! Every one is true and I have been there! As everyone else has stated, it is an emotional draining effort, but it does pay off eventually. I’m still in the trenches with DD 18, who just emailed me her “birthday list”. Too bad she’s not getting everything she listed, but we will still have birthday cake!


  17. I think you must have been spying on me raising my children!! Lol
    I am so so guilty of these things! Thank you for the laughs. I am now going to attempt to find all your parenting goodies to help out with my the kiddos (8,10 and 13).

    Great, fun article!! 🙂


  18. One of the best articles on this I have read yet. I can hear my own sarcastic tone while reading it. Thank You for taking the time to write this. Tough love isn’t easy, but will be worth it someday I hope. While of course I knew all of this like most moms do, it’s nice to be reminded. We all slack every now and again :/ (guilty). Glad we are in this together and have a great support group and possibly a hidden bottle of wine in the back of the fridge for backup. Amanda


    Jen Reply:

    Thanks so much, Amanada! We ARE in this together!! (And we’ll make it :))


  19. Excellent post, Jen, and delivered with just the right amount of humor! I think we can all relate to some level of this post. Thanks for the encouragement to keep persevering.


  20. Ooh. Good stuff. It IS hard to do a good job of parenting. I’d rather take a nap. Or watch Downton Abbey re-runs. But if I don’t train my children to take care of me when I’m old, who will? 😉 Seriously, this was well-written with enough humor to soften the edge.


  21. Let’s not forget-dont ever remind your kids to use “please” and “thank you” ….entitlement goes so much better with words like “gimmie that” in a snotty tone of voice. And never ever encourage the use of kind words. Never.

    great article


  22. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for highlighting the modern challenges mothers are facing today, and thank you for having the bravery to be HONEST! I feel as though everyone is do darn scared of being honest with themselves or to have an honest conversation about our kids, after all, this is in pursuit to raise independent and caring adults who are contributing to society right? And by the way defensive moms, actually it IS sort of my business when your children will be living in society next to my children and grandchildren. We do have a tough job ahead of us and most of it is trial and error, a lot of going back to the drawing board, consulting with those who have reached the “finish line” successfully, and maybe even putting into place those rules we swore we’d never impose on our own children. How many moms can confidently say to themselves as they go to rest at night “Boy, I sure got this parenting thing licked! Every decision I made today will surely make for an outstanding kid, I need to pat myself in the back !” Every night I would bet most of us fall into bed at night and obsess over the day’s events with guilt, worry, and maybe even a little bit of fear. Some moms that are fighting the good fight with tooth and nail surely aren’t celebrating either, so I thank you for your uplifting and motivating words, and please keep being honest and encouraging all of us to be honest.


  23. Great, great list. Even as I laughed, I was cringing because I’ve definitely fallen into some of these traps.


  24. Oh, and what about “Let your children run wild in public places. They’re entitled to do that, even if it disturbs others.”


    Jen Reply:

    HA – seriously!! Yes, that is definitely one to add. 🙂


  25. Your seven suggestions were powerful. The scary part is that I have used way too many of them as I am raising my three grandchildren!!! (three teenage girls!) My prayer is, LORD, HELP ME!!! How do I reverse so much bad behavior on my part? Only God can show me and I need to take one situation at a time and listen carefully and obey God’s leading. Thanks for sharing your insight!


    Jen Reply:

    Oh friend – I am right there with you and BLESS YOU for raising your grandchildren. What a legacy gift forever!! I wrote this because there just aren’t enough of us writing from that teen parenting/grandparenting stand point. They are exhausting, aren’t they, but we just keep on loving and loving and praying for His wisdom AND STRENGTH because it’s so worth it in the end. 🙂 xoxo


  26. VICTORIA JAGER says:

    think that your children will not be affluent & stunted if they have to spend vacations at home playing outside & camping in the backyard.. instead of traveling the world & DisneyLand vacations. More important than saving for that college tuition…


  27. Melissa Holgate says:

    This was such a great post! I shared a couple with my husband and we laughed together. We have 5 kids, ages 13, 12, 11, 10 & 8. I love your blog because it is so encouraging to hear from someone who has been through the season that I am headed into. 🙂


    Melissa Holgate Reply:

    @Melissa Holgate, I forgot… I wanted to add one…
    Do not under any circumstances give your child a bedtime, or a curfew. They deserve to stay up as late as they want and be out doing whatever they want because who needs sleep anyway, right?

    (We still have a strict bedtime for our kids btw. Especially on school nights.)


    Sarah Reply:

    OMG I know! That is sooo frustrating! I find my stepdaughter still up some nights at 1-2 in the morning… and she’s TEN. I just got married a little over a month ago and we only get her every other weekend, but I am already appalled at her behavior. I’m beginning to wonder if her mother isn’t actually missing and the situation at her mom’s house isn’t something more along the lines of the Lord of the Flies type scenario. She’s practically FERAL!


  28. Loved this post! Thankfully, I feel like I’m doing it pretty good so far.. my daughter is elementary school aged. I made the cute chore chart! But she doesn’t get a dollar if she didn’t do the chores. We have a bigger issue with my husband’s kids from his previous marriage- at their mom’s house (where they spend most of their time,) they have computers, iPods, phones, iPads, all kinds of gaming consoles, and tablets. They’re both in elementary school, and when they come over, they want our WiFi password so that they can be on the internet and on YouTube. Sorry, but I think anyone under the age of 13 shouldn’t be on YouTube without a parent sitting there. Even if there’s a mature content filter on, they could still manage to find stuff they shouldn’t be seeing! We don’t allow that. We allow them one movie a day and 45 minutes of tablet time a day during the weekends they’re with us. Just as a test one weekend when they first brought their tablets over, we left them unchecked just to see how much time they’d spend on their screens. It was virtually ALL DAY. They didn’t go outside once. It was sickening and sad all at the same time. My 7 year old doesn’t have the same type of screen addiction because we didn’t start her out on computers and whatnot. She asks to use my computer to play games maybe once or twice a week. I’d like to see more kids outside in the fresh air like when we were kids!


  29. The single most important strategy to raising lazy and self-entitled kids is to ALWAYS take the path of least resistance. Never ‘stick to your guns’, impose consequences or expectations, or set limits. You only create a source of emotional turmoil and, honestly, who wants to deal with that? Tantrums are to be avoided at all costs and ended in the most expedient manner.


  30. LOL!! This cracked me up! Not because I have kids & I can relate… I’m 30, newly married, no kids of my own…no experience. All I could think of/imagine the entire time I was reading this was my 10 yr old stepdaughter (whose behavior I’ll get to later) being raised by my parents- the only frame of reference I have for parenting. That mental picture was both scary & hilarious. The first one in your list, “Avoid follow through”, confused me at first. I read the rest of the entire list & came back to it, realizing I was only confused because it didn’t exist in our house. My parents never “asked” us to do anything. We were “told”… & when we were told to do something, it wasn’t when we felt like it…it was right now lol! There was no “in a minute, Mom”, or “I’ll do it later.” In our house, slow obedience was no obedience. If we were in the middle of something we wanted to finish up first, we needed to *respectfully* ask first, but if it was something mom or dad needed us to do right then we had to drop it &do what we were told with absolutely no back-talking. Growing up, what stuck with me the most about house rules were the ‘3 deadliest sins’ as I called them. The 3 things my dad hated the worst were 1) Lying 2) deliberate disobedience & 3) disrespect, sassing/back-talking our mother, or having a ‘bullheaded attitude’
    Anyway…back to my step daughter. She’s really cute, funny, sassy, & I love her. She’s a sweetheart inside & wants to please you, but she’s also terrifying & practically feral! She frustrates me to tears for the tiny amount of time we have her every other weekend & I literally get a splitting headache EVERY time she comes over. I’ve begun to DREAD it and I don’t want to, & I DON’T want her to sense that. I want to like children lol! I basically have no idea how to respond to her because she was raised pretty much *opposite* of how I was raised, & many things I take for granted kids should just ‘know’ is common sense… I realize she DOESN’T. And it horrifies me! She has no common courtesy; no respect for her own or other people’s property; no inside voice…she yells at the top of her lungs for everything she says, & she *never* stops talking; she CONSTANTLY interrupts; refuses to eat what is served-only eats junk; eats in front of the TV/tablet while chewing/smacking like a cow; doesn’t knock on doors, lies- especially when it comes to whether or not she has brushed her teeth; effectively tells me the equivalent of ‘no thanks’ when I ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do- or she’ll flat out ignore me- or immediately go to her father & see if she really has to. She’s also whiny, does zero chores, a tattler, & always fights with half siblings, cousins, & other kids. That’s nothing to say of the music, movies, or TV shows her mother thinks is OK for a 10yr old to listen to/view! NO WONDER she displays this kind of behavior. I mean, where do you start with a kid that doesn’t even view you as an authority figure/adult that should be respected? She doesn’t even respond to her father with adequate respect. This is just the beginning of a long list. It literally boggles my mind how out of control she is! My father would have bent her over his knee in a heartbeat were she his child!
    ***I realize this biblical parenting method is not popular in today’s society, & I myself am torn on the issue, because kids have gotten worse & worse as society produces more & more parenting books that seem to do no good. I’ve seen some of the teenagers today & I don’t know if I could handle that. I do.not. respond well to disrespectful ungrateful lazy entitled brats. Teens have told me from their own mouths that they know they can ‘run’ their parents because if their parents even touch them, they can call the cops and have them arrested….”And take away my tablet?! OH NO! How lame!” as they roll their eyes. At that point I’m hit with nausea, fear & anger… and wonder if I even want kids if it will be like this. *sobs*
    I made a teensy mention about her behavior to my husband once & he got a little defensive & acted like I thought he was a bad father, raised her wrong, it’s his fault, & she’s ruined. I told him of course not, it’s mostly her mother- who let’s her do whatever, eat whatever, & has the same basic lazy entitled view of life. She also has ADHD but only takes meds on school days so she can concentrate on schoolwork. My husband refuses to “keep his child drugged up just so she’ll be more convenient to handle”, which I understand. I don’t even have a kid, so where do I get off telling him how to raise his little girl? I’m completely at my wits end & I feel so bad for her. She NEEDS structure &I need PEACE! lol
    Mom’s out there…help! I’m at a loss! I just got married to the most wonderful man ever. Tomorrow I find out if I’m pregnant, & I’m just freaking out!! I know I’m a grown woman & I need to just pull up my big-girl panties, but right now I feel like a helpless little girl. It’s so overwhelming. I’ve always been terrified of having kids. They always annoyed me growing up, & I’ve always been afraid that I’d be an impatient, horrible mother. It’s hormones. Just hormones. Now go have a *thin* slice of that salted dark chocolate caramel Oreo pie you just made.

    Wow. Good grief! Sorry that’s so long! =0/


  31. Let your child dictate what they eat. So what if you just spent a lot of time and energy fixing a balanced meal for you family – what they don’t eat just leaves more for you. So go ahead and push aside the veggies; it won’t take long to fix one child cereal and grilled cheese for another. You’d never want your child to miss a meal – they might starve before they learn their lesson!


  32. OMG!
    I think a few of the parents of my students follow this model. I hope when I share this, people see the tongue -in-cheek truthfulness to it.


  33. Big Sky Lisa says:

    How about making sure your kids know that it is all about WINNING! And if they don’t win, to make sure they let everyone know of their disappointment by acting like POOR LOSERS! Let them know that the only thing that is important is to WIN…at all costs! Along with this, they should be entitled to everything! A spot on the team, a medal, an award, etc. Because, of course, it couldn’t possibly be good to let a child know that they’re NOT GOOD at something and need to either work harder or try something else!

    Thanks for sharing the ‘lighter side’ of parenting!


  34. Erica Groen says:

    You forgot to mention the whining.

    Please ensure your children understand that the true method to get what they want is whining. Ensure they have learned the proper technique by upping the pitch of their voice, and stomping their feet.

    To really up the game for maximum effectiveness, be inconsistent with the amount of time you will allow whining before you give in. If you allow five minutes today before acquiescing, tomorrow make it 20 minutes to really teach your child that “Hey, I will always get my way eventually”

    Sorry, soapbox, on my own… need to be more consistent.. And Say no.


  35. As a father of four (22-10 age range), a former law enforcent officer, youth minister, counselor and coach I agree with everything you’ve said.

    I’d like to add one thing:

    Parents will often raise their children until they can “take care of themselves” and then start taking their lives back.

    Around junior high parenting gets tough, and parents will often ignore bad behavior because it’s too much trouble.

    They often pretend it’s about making the child happy, but it’s really about their own.


  36. Love the picture of the books your son and friends were reading. That’s some heady stuff. Where does he go to college? Is it Hillsdale by any chance?


    Jen Reply:

    Very similar to Hillsdale. Grove City College in PA (Hillsdale and Grove City are the only two that don’t take any government funding, so they line up in a lot of ways.)


  37. Great article, but sorry Jen, you misspelled “tattle tailing”. No wonder our kids don’t learn how to look up and use words correctly. It should be “tattletaling”. It means a child tells tales on another child. It seems you should have one of those who reads Pascal proof read for you. As a professional teller of tales, you should know about tale tellers.

    Tattletale: a child who tells a parent, teacher, etc., about something bad or wrong that another child has done : a child who tattles on another child. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tattletale


  38. Maria Rivera says:

    I don’t even know how I stumbled upon your post but I thank GOD I did. I also have 14-20 year olds and my eldest has always been very focused and independent but yhe 14yr old we are really stuggling with. I got him The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and I am so glad he is reading it and reflecting on it. I will continue following along your Mentor Mom series. Because even though we think we’ve already been there and done that, every child is different, and there is help out there and a wealth of information from other moms like you that can really make the difference. Keep up the great work!!


  39. I’m 29 and so eager to have kids of my own.

    This is awesome!

    You are awesome!

    Thanks for this.

    = )


  40. Katy Masterson says:

    I love this! I have 4 children that I’m raising alone because thier father made poor choices that landed him in prison. Shocker, he was raised like this article discribes & we often disagreed about how I parented our children. Needless to say I am now dealing with a totally out of control teenage son who has fuzzy perfect case workers attacking me because I won’t agree to raise my child as you sarcastically discribed. FYI… It’s NEGLECT that after a month of (God forbid) asking him to clean up after himself I took everything I found & told him let me know when he was willing to earn back the things I work to provide & show some respect for that. Maybe if I gave him his video game system back he wouldn’t be smoking weed, another brilliant point made by CPS. Oh, and my personal favorite, they un-enrolled my son from first period against my wishes (and court orders that he bebin full time school which is also state law) because he was failing & not attending and they thought it would make him feel “better” to not fail (do they plan to take him out of the other 3 classes he is failing as well, maybe!) Whatever he needs to feel good right? We wouldnt want him to experience the natural consequences of not graduating on time or limiting his oppurtunies for college. Not sure how they plan to make those things happen under thee circumstances lol! I was told my expectations were too high because my 15 year old has been through alot so he just can’t possibly be expected to do exactly the same things as his younger 13, 11 & 9 year old siblings or his single mother who is working & putting myself through school with straight As so that we can maybe have the life style we once enjoyed! You nailed it on the head when you said expect to be in a court if you don’t raise an entitled child, because I am & it’s a joke. Entitlement is a plague and I really wish more parents would stand up to the idiots perpelling the blue ribbons for everyone mentality. Love love love this! Can you be our family therapist pretty please?


    Jen Reply:

    oh my – I am so sorry that you are going through this. I am actually in shock (although why should I be). You keep up the good work, mom, even when it feels like everyone is against you. He will realize how much you care in the long run and even though it definitely might not feel like it now, hard work and natural consequences is a great thing. xoxo


  41. AlienAi says:

    I really enjoyed reading your list and had to post to my FB page for others to read. I am known to be sarcastic and at times to truthful for those who do not know me. I decided when I was really young that I had places to go, things to do, and so many things to be. As I grew, I knew that if I did not have a child by age 21, I was not having any as whatever I had chosen to do was going to take all my quality time and I did not want to slight my child any love and attention if I had to work late nights, or fly off for days to far off places. As the years have gone by, my friends have had children and they now have Grandchildren or a few Great Grandchildren that I have enjoyed watching grow up and being an Auntie to them. I love them all, but seeing my Bffs raise these children, I am glad I did not have any, and its ok not to have children. I was raised with rules, I was spanked, grounded and had chores that WERE done no if and or buts. And no allowance as we all chipped into the household chores because it was the responsible things to do. would have raised my children just as i was raised with manners, respect for All Elders, if you want it Earn It, and take care of your things as you may never have another one. Made me a good person and I am proud to be who I am today. I have seen the children change over the years, and seen strict raised grown ups raise their kids a little less stringent and there were some mild disagrrements but most kids were good kids. Until the day someone decided to tell all the children they have rights and you can now call the Police if your parents spank you . And even if the child needed to be and your hand hurt worse than their bottom, You get in trouble for being a parent. Like the lady in a post who’s son is a turkey and she is in court for cleaning up his room for him by removing everything. I’d have some sort of record for reprimanding my child in public and never allowing them to disrespect me or questioning why they do what I say in my our home. At 18 you can do what you want and you can leave the home but until then you do what I ask you to do. Don’t make me tell you, just do. Rules are to teach you boundries. If you choose to overstep the boundries, then you suffer the circumstances for it. All in all your article was right on and seeing lazy and entitled teens who will be the workforce when I am 65 – 70 scares the heck out of me. Being a parent is a hard job and I appreciate those parents who keep going the distance to turn out a wonderful mannered respectful child that is nice to be around. HANG TOUGH Moms!


  42. Robin Francis says:

    I can so relate on this, I have 5 kids total ranging from Oldest to youngest 25,22,16,11,8 and they were all so very different, however my kids I dont think, think they are entitled but they have tried to test the waters several times. Ive seen many other kids out there that believe they are entitled to such things, and wow I know that has to be tough. But all parents struggle with these things daily Im certain of it. I read it twice as well, cause I know you put your words in a sarcastic way, the first time around I was like What?! HUH> the second time around I had to read it sarcastically and I just laughed and shook my head!!


  43. Such a funny article! All of this is SO true and it seems like a fad going on in parenting. What’s the easiest solution? Screen time and fast food of course! Thanks for posting this. Maybe it will start sinking in with some parents!


  44. This a fantastic article! You covered everything, I believe!


  45. Don’t forget the divorce kids and parenting for popularity!


    Jen Reply:

    Yes, so true.


  46. It us best to make sure your children know that they are your kids even after they turn 18 and switch out of engineering majors and take 5 plus years to finish a 4 year degree. Make sure they have a nice comfy place at your home, complete with food, internet, cell phones and a car. Call all your friends and try to get them “internships” in thier chosen career path and please make sure they do not know how to “make themselves valuable to thier employer” by continously educating themselves and learning unique skills like algorithm design for artificial intelligence and if they do make sure they know how to rely on past performance and never continously learn. Make sure they feel entitled to lifetime employment without them continously learning new valuable intrucate skills and making themselves an asset to thier employer


    Jen Reply:

    oh yes, yes, yes!!!! We are actually having to address this with one of ours right now. 😉


  47. Disappointed beyond belief says:


    ****warning as it’s a long message, sorry****

    Wow just wow & I know the tone of your blog on here is humorous and fun, but somehow it all hid not one chord but all chords with me 😢 I was & am THAT mother & growing up in a chaotic household where my own mother wasn’t very nurturing or gave me hugs or told me she loved me, so when I became an adult myself, I VOWED I would never ever treat my daughter if and when I had any to feel that way & I would dream of treating her like a princess as she’d deserve. So, I got married, had 2 beautiful daughters, 2 years & 1 month apart to the day. After getting divorced due to mental and physical abuse by my ex, I became what I dreaded, a SINGLE MOTHER 😢 But I was not going to let that defeat me. I thought I had to overcompensate due to the absence of their father, in addition to my own personal struggles where I THOUGHT if only I could give my girls the life I used to wish for, they will absolutely love me and with my unconditional support and love, they surely to turn out two amazing & responsible young women BUT because I had done everything in my power to provide them with the best of everything even though I went without and never felt bad, because I thought I was letting them live the life that every girl should experience, meaning, since I could remember, I had to step in and not have chores, but BE the adult at a very young age to help care for my youngest siblings as our mother was absent. I didn’t want my girls to have to stress at the age of 6, 7 or 8 or 9 you name it about cleaning or chores, simply because I didn’t want them to grow up feeling so resentful towards me, SOOO I spoiled them rotten. I did try to here and there attempt to get them to let’s say pick up their toys, or clean their room, but it would backfire in my face and their room would end up way worse then if I had just picked it up myself and avoided the extra stress. I AM THAT MOTHER YOU DESCRIBED, I was exhausted between working full time, college full time & mommy full time and a single parent at that, I didn’t have the energy to fight the fight. By me overcompensating, it meant, exactly what you said, they literally will get whatever they wrote Santa for Christmas & regardless if I felt they earned it or not, I always would end up feeling guilty and guess what ladies? I would not only buy all they asked for, I would get them more gifts as if I had done something wrong to them and was asking for forgiveness. My oldest caught on pretty early on in life, and she literally would flip out on me if I ever took her phone away from her as a result of misbehaving or missing school or low grades because she would miss school. I felt burnt out, I felt sad and disappointed that how is it possible that I was treated so poorly daily by own mother & got beaten and I mean beaten with high heel shoes on my head & I become a mom and give them the world and always tell them I love them several times a day, let them know how proud I was of them even with the tiniest thing they might accomplish, how is that possible? How is that fair? I never used my poor quality childhood as an excuse, I started working at the age of 15 and have not stopped and I am 48 now. When my daughter would mess up in school, I always told her I trusted her and as long as she tells me the truth, I will always have her back and even if she made a mistake, its better to tell me the whole truthful story then me finding out from the school principle. It was always everyone else’s fault, to the point, they got me to believe that it’s whoever was involved, it’s their fault, they started it, and why would ny daughter ever lie to me, right? I have been the ideal mother and did everything perfect to display great examples for both girls. I taught them to respect their elders, I showed them hard work pays off, I showed them that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, you just need to put your full efforts in. I never smoked, drank alcohol, or did any drugs, and simply DID NOT DATE OR BRING MEN HOME as I thought that’s their haven, and one day, they will show me the same respect in return and not just bring random guys home. Today, my oldest is 22, my youngest is 20, and my oldest took off few years ago and came back in 2014, so you do the math. She dropped out of high school in her 11th year 😢 Which completely devastated me & since I was raised in my early childhood in a foreign country, we didn’t have prom or school dances at all, so you can imagine my excitement waiting for those days and the peek would have been watching her walk the stage to get her diploma. She never experienced either of those important mile stones of her life. I thought if they watched me walk the stage and accept my college degree then it will teach and show them how important getting your education is, but somehow that didn’t take any positive affect on either daughters. My youngest sis graduate HS, but barely, still until today I have no idea how she managed to graduate her high school, BUT I WAS STILL PROUD OF HER and kept encouraging her to pursue her education in order to secure herself a good job later in life. My youngest, decided not to get ready for her prom at home, knowing how extremely excited I was to help her get ready, mind you I paid for it all, dress, make up, hair, you get my drift. She decided to stay at her friend’s house and LET HIS MOM DO HER HAIR AND HELP HER GET READY while I waited alone at home. I was so hurt and disappointed but it wasn’t my day, it is not about me, this is about her and her prom. I only found out from another parent where they were getting their pictures taken, and due to how hurt I felt and more like betrayed, I could not bring myself to go and pretend to smile and cheer her on as they pose for their pics. I pay for all of our bills, from cell phones, to clothes, makeup, hygiene products, rent, food basically everything and this is not including the ” side money” they ask me for like for my oldest, for her nails or hair color or pocket spending money. I had threatened many many times and kept my word by suspending their phones but then somehow they magically will get hurt or be in trouble where I would regret suspending the line as I had gotten them as means of security for them to call 911 and me and everything else was supposed to be secondary. I now had become a loner, nothing that anyone would guess when meeting me as I spend 99% of my time alone at home with my cats if not at work. My plan failed miserably, and royally. My kind words worked against me. My hugs caused me the deepest pain I had ever experienced. The ” I love you mom” cost me my all, my whole existence, my whole being. I read this I would say at least 3-4 times, no really I did, only because I was shocked as if you had been in my brain and my heart describing how my life had been with my daughters and what caused them to become so self centered, selfish, inconsiderate adults, disrespectful but then regretfull and only after the fact of name calling 😢 I even used to joke around and say to other adults” they have child protective services, they really oughta have parent protective services”. Today, I am tired, disappointed to the max, I have no expectations anymore of either of them, and if they stay out of jail or pregnant, then that’s a good deal. I was so considerate of them as I raise them, I read books and played games and advised them endlessly. Others always say ” Oh you have such nice girls, you should be so proud” but I don’t feel that way, even though I lie with my fake smile pretending that yes, that’s true they are wonderful, but the truth is, they are amazing and thoughtful and helpful, giving, generous BUT WITH COMPLETE STRANGERS AND NOT THEIR OWN MOTHER. They are too old to ground, or suspend their lines or take away their curfew and make them stay home. I watch other parents who honestly were awful to their kids, never doing anything nice for them or even giving them the basics, and THOSE KIDS ARE THRIVING and some have already bought their own houses, yet mine sleeps all day, up all night, lazy, no ambitions & last time i atmepted to parent her, she took off and after few months when she ran out of options and got in legal trouble it’s when she came back home & still no change, no improvement even with therapy, I SIMPLY FAILED AS A PARENT. I feel guilty that due to my inexperience and lack of family support toward myself, I caused my girls to be lazy adults that are basically waiting for some miracle to happen and bring them money. My youngest is half disappointing but the other half is due to her weed habits. Everything and anything I am not, my kids are. Nobody can fix my situation, I can’t fix it, UNLESS I step on my heart and kick them out and let them fend for themselves, but they just don’t and won’t leave. I don’t know how you basically knew every step I took even though you DID THE OPPOSITE since was written in a humorous manner. I have had police, neighbors, burglaries, wild parties, home damages all while I am at work. It felt good to simply let all that out to complete strangers as I had hoped none would throw any judgment on me but in all fairness I deserve it because I now have created two lazy adults that solely rely on me financially and contribute ZERO to our home or society in whole.


    Jen Reply:

    First. I wish you were here right now so I could give you a big huge hug and then we could sit over some coffee and cry over how darn, tough this mothering thing is because even if we do everything right, our kids still make their own choices. Isn’t it something how we can love them so fiercely and yet have our hearts smooshed at the same time?

    Know this!! YOU ARE THE BEST mothering for your children and regardless of what you did or didn’t do, the Lord gave them to you for a reason. You have modeled for them unconditional love and a hard work ethic and right now, even if they’re making poor choices, they WILL KNOW how much you love them and how much you sacrificed for them.

    While I wrote this with a humorous tone, I absolutely have done many of the things I wrote about and most parents have – if they deny that they’ve never done any of these, they’re fibbing, so know that we are all in this together.

    Especially as a single mom, I wish you had some support there right now for you (or more when you were raising them) because I can’t even imagine how difficult it’s been and I have the utmost respect for moms doing it on their own.

    It’s not too late for you to make changes now. Your kids have many more years to learn and if you feel that changes need to be made, you know them best and it may be in their long term best interest to switch things up. I’m not saying kick them out, but when you mentioned that you give them all their pocket change, pay for nails etc, they are both legal adults who should be paying for those things by themselves.

    It’s amazing how motivated our kids can get when all of a sudden they don’t get the “fun” things they want. We had to do this for our 19 year old and it’s hard and he was frustrated with us, but once he had no money, it was amazing how quickly he found some work when he realized that we weren’t giving him any. Just a thought to let you know that regardless of what they might say, I know that years from now, they will look back and understand you did the right thing, even though they don’t feel it now.

    Much love to you!!!! We are on this parenting journey together.



  1. […] at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam wrote an article on 7 highly effective ways to raise lazy and entitled children. It’s sarcastic but true. I especially like the point to pass blame to others. Not a good […]

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