The holidays can be a tricky time when you have an entitled, badly behaved teen. They expect the world and demand that you give it to them. But if you are honest, looking back over the year you know that they deserve nothing but a lump of coal.
With Christmas right around the corner you may be struggling with deciding how to handle things. On one hand, it is a special time once a year and you don’t want to give them nothing. Yet, they are so bratty that giving them what they want could very quickly become a matter of giving in, further encouraging their behavior and perpetuating a cycle that will carry into adulthood.
So, what do you do? You have a few options.
Realize That Some Entitlement Is Normal
First of all, some entitlement is normal. It doesn’t come from expecting things so much as a general sense of self obsession that is part of their development. Teens have difficulty empathizing and are self absorbed by nature. As their brain grows and forms they gain a greater capacity for thinking of others and keeping things in perspective.
Of course, when things get out of hand it goes beyond just not thinking beyond themselves. That is when it is time to intervene.
Sit Down and Have a Talk
The first step is to sit down and talk to them. Make it clear that they are acting inappropriately. Tell them that if it doesn’t stop right now you are going to start taking away the things they have come to enjoy. That means phones and other electronics, outings, time with friends, money…whatever it is they have begun demanding.
Begin Removing Expectations Early
Be open about the holidays. Make it clear that because of their attitude you are going to be curbing what they receive as a gift. Allow them to decide on one single item and tell them that their behavior over the coming months will dictate whether or not they get it. If they don’t change their attitude they get nothing. It is all within their hands.
Enact Consequences Leading Up To The Holidays
Don’t just give consequences during the holiday itself. If they misbehave, continue their attitude or keep making demands you should enat consequences that include removing privileges. This is the only way to show you are serious. Remain firm…consistency is the key to success.
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