Caretaking Parents, Entitled Kids

Demanding children ? children who have entitlement issues ? seem to be common these days. Like the obnoxious child, Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, who was constantly demanding that her father get her whatever she wanted ("I want an Umpa Lumpa! Get it for me NOW!"), we hear many children today uttering the fairly constant refrain, "I want ?.! Give it to me! Get it for me, now!" They seem to be masters at instilling guilt in their parents through phrases such as "It's not fair!" or "You don't love me!" or "What about what I want?", or by getting angry, shutting down or crying piteously.

Why are there so many demanding children?

Olivia grew up with a self-centered demanding critical mother who never let her have her feelings. Olivia learned early to take responsibility for her mother's feelings by being a good girl. Now, as a parent herself, and not wanting to do to her children what her mother did to her, she has gone the other way. Rather than being demanding and self-centered, she is compliant and self-sacrificing. Rather than being an authoritarian parent like her mother was, she is a permissive parent, giving in to her children's demands rather than setting appropriate limits.

Olivia tends to give much to much credence to her children's feelings. All they need to do is be upset about something and she stops what she is doing to attend to them. They have learned to use their feelings of hurt, irritation and anger as a means of control. Olivia thinks she is being loving when she makes it "safe" for her children to express their feelings. The problem is she is not discerning the difference between having feelings and using feelings as a means of control. Because she gives her children's feelings so much importance, her children have learned to use their feelings against her.

Olivia's children need to learn to care about Olivia instead of just trying to get her to give herself up to meet their demands. The only way they will learn to care about her is if she learns to care about herself.

Demanding children are difficult to be around. They have a hard time keeping friends and as adults they create chaotic relationships. So let's take a hard look at what we need to do to support caring in children rather than self-centeredness. Authoritarian parenting often creates compliant/caretaking children, while permissive parenting seems to create narcissistic children. Neither authoritarian nor permissive parenting is loving parenting ? parenting that supports the highest good of both children and parents. Let's break the cycle of creating caretakers and takers. As parents, we need to learn to:

  • Take loving care of ourselves rather than constantly give ourselves up to our children's needs and feelings.

  • Set appropriate limits rather than always complying with our children's demands.

  • Care about our own feelings as much as we care about our children's feelings.

  • Not allow our feelings and needs to be invisible to our family.

  • Accept rejection from our children rather than give in to them to avoid being rejected.

  • Learn to discern the difference between children's feelings that need to be attended to and feelings that are being used to manipulate.

  • Expect to be appreciated and respected rather than accept being taken for granted.

It is not a matter of swinging back to authoritarian parenting. It is a matter of expecting to be treated with respect and caring. Your children will learn to treat you the way you treat yourself. If you allow your feelings and needs to be invisible because you are not attending to them or making them important to you, your children will learn to see you and others as invisible. Children who see themselves as important and others as invisible because this is what their parents are role-modeling may become narcissistic, self-centered, demanding children.

It is not easy to move out of caretaking and into caring about yourself and others. Caretaking others was likely a form of survival when you were growing up. Yet to truly be a loving parent, you need to have the courage to behave in a way that fosters caring and consideration in your children, and this will never happen if you consistently put yourself aside for others.

About The Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:[email protected]. Phone sessions available.

[email protected]

In The News:


WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

Parenting to raise healthy, happy eaters
WTNH Connecticut News (press release)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Many parents are unaware that their parenting style has implications for their child's diet quality and weight. But depending on the style, their child is five times as likely to become overweight or obese. This morning Susie ...


AL.com

Bo knows parenting
AL.com
The featured speaker for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation's eighth annual fundraiser on Thursday night couldn't speak about drug court from personal experience, saying, "That's something I never had to go through." But the folks who gathered at ...


Mashable

Youtuber solves all your parenting problems with a really bad idea ...
Mashable
We live in a digital age, so forget about the struggles of a stroller or carrier. Let your baby reach for the stars and discover new heights...literally. Youtuber ...

and more »

Co-parenting after divorce is possible
The Hillsdale Daily News
As a combat veteran who served our nation for 10-years in the United States Army, Sept. 11 means many things to me. I typically spend a majority of my day on Sept. 11 every year watching documentaries about the tragedies that unfolded on that day in ...


Rural Parenting: Opioid addiction more prevalent in rural areas
The Daily News Online
This month marks National Opioid Recovery Month. As a country, we are in the midst of a terrible opioid epidemic. Both in my position as a social worker, working with exploited and vulnerable women and families, and in my personal experiences, I have ...


HuffPost

Bill Murray's Parenting Wisdom Is Spot On
HuffPost
The actor and comedian has six sons ― 35-year-old Homer, 32-year-old Luke, 24-year-old Cal, 21-year-old Jackson, 20-year-old Cooper and 16-year-old Lincoln. In honor of his birthday on Thursday, we've rounded up some of his best parenting tips and ...


Axios

New parenting trend: texting kids from inside the house
Axios
New parenting trend: texting kids from inside the house. A mother and daughter prefer to text each other inside the home. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP. "Some parents, spouses, teenagers ... are finding that texting [each other inside the same house ...


Washington Post

Parenting books won't end your anxiety. Here's what to do instead ...
Washington Post
Q: As a general rule, I manage my parenting anxiety by not reading parenting books. It's too much contradictory information, and I get nuts about it. I've found that ...

and more »

HuffPost

Mom's Hilarious Saga Of A Forgotten Poster Board Sums Up ...
HuffPost
In parenting, sometimes it's the tiniest moments that sum up the joys of having children ... or how much they make you want to bang your head against the wall.

and more »

U.S. News & World Report

What Parenting Can – and Cannot – Do
U.S. News & World Report
The dangers of abusive and neglectful parenting are now well-known. Children who don't experience unconditional love nor have their needs met on a consistent basis are likely to struggle with relationships. Such deprivation affects the development of ...

Google News

Your Kids Career - Whose Choice?

A strange thing happened to me today. Or more precisely,... Read More

Ten Ways To Become Your Teenagers Best Friend

Best friends! It may seem impossible to believe, but today's... Read More

Featured Article on Parenting: The Power of Belonging

Search for Assurance: The Power of BelongingThe job hunt is... Read More

Gaining a Child?s Trust

My daughters and I went to the beach several weeks... Read More

Labor of Love

The small, lilac colored hexagonal box, with Winnie the Pooh... Read More

If at First They Dont Succeed - What a Great Opportunity!

When kids try new things, sometimes it's a 'fit' and... Read More

Help My Preteen/Teenager is Driving Me Nuts!

Do you feel like someone has abducted your sweet, innocent... Read More

15 New Years and Holiday Resolutions For Parents

Have you made your usual New Year resolutions? You know... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: 7 Tips for Back to School Success

Blink. That's all we did, blink, and summer is ending... Read More

Children - Blessing or Curse

You're trying to catch up on some sleep on a... Read More

Picky Eater - Fighting the Good Fight

Often, the struggle at dinnertime with your picky eater is... Read More

Your Checking Account

Checking accounts are an absolute necessity these days. You can... Read More

Twin and Multiple Births are on the Rise

Did you know that the number of twin births have... Read More

How to Prepare for Labor

Although nothing anybody says can ever completely prepare a woman... Read More

Nanny 911 and Disciplining Your Child

Nanny 911 Interview with Montel WilliamsI saw an interview with... Read More

CAMP INJURIES- 7 Things You Must Know

WHEN AN INJURY HAPPENS AT CAMP, HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED... Read More

How to Set Healthy Limits at Work

Back in college, I wrote for a five-day-a-week, award-winning campus... Read More

Picky Eater Syndrome

'Picky Eater' is a label coined to describe the phenomenon... Read More

Bullies

Bullies are an ugly but very real part of childhood.... Read More

Simple Indulgences for September

As the kids go back to school, you can go... Read More

Children, Entitlement and God

"Setting the alarm on Sunday mornings is inhuman?..God should know... Read More

10 Secrets To Know You?re A Good Working Parent To Your Kids!

How are parents to know they are doing the right... Read More

Is Your Teen Stressed? Teach Them How to Manage Their Time, Schoolwork, and Leisure Activities

I hear from many parents that their child is stressed... Read More

Promoting Your Childs Heart Health

Cardiovascular endurance is one of the five health-related components of... Read More

Challenges for Our Children

Researchers have estimated that 25-35% of children in the United... Read More