Entitled Kids: 7 Things to Stop Spoiling & Raise Self-Sufficient Kids

Entitled Kids - how to build self reliance and sufficiency

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Is it possible that our good intentions and generosity could end up entitling our kids? No parent intentionally sets out to create dependent children who expect to be given everything they desire.

If you want to raise kids who aren’t entitled but are empowered – keep reading. We have 7 ways we helped our kids to become Financially strong, fit and independent.

Kids are kind of funny. If we offer to pay for something, they’ll gladly let us do it . . . forever and ever. If we don’t pay, they’ll carry on about how “mean” and out of touch with reality we are.

Despite their pleas, parents need to be PARENTS and learn to say NO.

They may initially feel like you’re depriving them or “ripping them off,” but eventually they’ll be grateful that you stood your ground.

Here are a few ways you can cause your kids to understand the true costs of their wants—which will lead them to become less entitled and financially dependent on you and more self-reliant.

Here are 7 ways that stopped Entitling Our Kids

And helped them become responsible, financially independent young adults.

1)    Earning Spending Money

Payday with the Moneysmart kids system

Despite our financial ability, we didn’t buy them everything they wanted. We let them earn it, wait for it or do without. We set up a payday system where they learned to work at home and earn money from us. It wasn’t an allowance, it was getting paid for what they did.

Some of their friends chided them and called them deprived. But now that our kids are grown, they have done things financially that their peers still can’t do.

Things like paying cash for cars, graduating from college and masters programs without debt. These are amazing financial accomplishments. 

2)    Teens Clothes

We didn’t pay full price at the mall or retail stores for our kids to wear designer clothes. We took them to thrift stores to shop.

Joe Economides holding a price tag and dressed in thrift store clothes with a shirt that says "Joe Cool."

This is where they learned to spend money they earned from our MoneySmart Kids system. They paid for their own clothes. And they did buy designer brand names, but they paid 10 cents on the dollar for them.

The funny thing is that their friends couldn’t tell the difference between thrift store jeans and retail distressed jeans.

We saved thousands of dollars by letting our kids earn the money we would have spent on their clothes. The kids felt empowered. And their friends never knew they were wearing thrift store clothes.

When our kids got older, they realized that a $200 pair of blue jeans simply don’t fit with earnings from a minimum wage job.

And now that they are blessed with more income, they don’t see the value in spending that much money. They focus on building savings, buying homes and giving to charitable organizations!

3)    Financial Limits

If your kids want an expensive toy, game, clothes or techno-gadget, set a reasonable limit. Say $20 and anything above that amount, they can pay for themselves.

They may grumble, but the more “skin they have in the game” the more they’ll appreciate their purchase.

If they have trouble earning the extra money, give them the opportunity to do extra tasks around the house for pay.


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4)    Car Insurance

A Gold Toyota Tacoma parked in a cul de sac.
This is our daughter Becky’s first “car”. She drove it for 3 years and then sold it for more than she paid for it.

Don’t pay for their auto insurance. It’s a privilege to drive and an even greater privilege to be responsible for your driving habits.

Speeding tickets and increased insurance premiums have a way of teaching responsibility that most parents simply can’t duplicate. If you have teens, start with weekly payments, so they understand the need to start earning their own money.

5)    Owning Cars

Don’t buy them a car. Their friends may say you’re denying them the American right-of-passage. They will survive if they wake on their 16th birthday and they don’t see a red bow on a brand new car in the driveway.

Yes, your kids may feel disadvantaged, but they’ll also feel incredibly proud when they finally save enough money to buy their first car. Sure it may be an older car, but it will be theirs.

And it will be bought with money they’ve toiled for and squirreled away. They’ll be so proud and take much better care of their vehicle than anything you could possibly give them.

6)    Funding College

Don’t pay for all of their college expenses. Let them flip burgers, deliver pizza, work retail or work some other part-time job while earning their degree. They’ll graduate sooner. They’ll graduate with less debt. And you’ll watch them graduate, knowing that you have money left in your bank account and don’t have to work 2 jobs to get them there!

7)    Co-Signing Loans

Don’t co-sign for college loans. Loans are not the only option for funding higher education. And school counselors/advisors are more than happy to sign your kids up for loans. This makes their job easier.

Instead encourage your kids to go after college scholarships, grant money, and financial aid. There is so much college money out there just waiting to be given out. We have so many more article about this subject on our website.

By “Ripping Off” your kids when they are younger, you’ll be empowering them to become financially responsible as they grow older.

We know that the culture and advertisers may be promoting a completely opposite message, but as MoneySmart parents, we’ve got to stand firm and confident. We also know that when the topic of kids and money is discussed, folks feel like they are being told how to “parent”.

And most folks don’t like their parenting meddled with. Your kids will be stronger, more confident and wiser if you let them struggle, strain, and wait to reach the financial goals they set.

Parents Have Two Choices

1) Pay for everything, give them anything and bail them out whenever they encounter difficulties and your kids will become financially weak and continually dependent on you. Or . . .

2) Coach them, financially educate them, encourage them and empower them, then stand by and cheer them on. They’ll grow financially fit and able to handle whatever challenges come their way.

Entitled Kids - how to build self reliance and sufficiency

So go ahead “Rip ‘em off,” they’ll appreciate it.

Read our book, The MoneySmart Family System to learn hundreds of ways that we have empowered our kids to become financially independent.

The MoneySmart Family System was awarded the Family Choice Award for Best Parenting Resource!

Consider visiting our kids/teens/babies board on our Pinterest Page.

How have you helped your kids to become financially responsible? Post your comments below so we all can learn.

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