It can be a hard moment for parents when they realize that the precious child they've worked so hard to raise has become a spoiled and selfish teen. This can happen for many reasons and can be so slow to develop that you don't notice right away. Parents sometimes work so hard to make sure their child wants for nothing that it can backfire. Luckily, there are ways to turn a spoiled teen around.
Make teens pay for some of their own expenses, such as by getting a part-time job to pay for excessive clothing costs or his own car insurance. If he's paying for his own shoes, he may start to realize how crazy $200 for sneakers really is. If your teen is engaged in sports or other extracurricular activities that make working a part-time job difficult or impossible, consider setting an allowance instead. Make him pay for certain expenses from his allowance to encourage him to learn money management, suggests the International Child and Youth Care Network.
Increase your teen's chores and responsibilities at home. Not only will this make a bit less work for you, but it will teach your teen valuable lessons about home management and the need for everyone in a family to work together and contribute in some way. Make your teen responsible for all the laundry in the home, or for all the yard work. Have her take over meal preparation one evening a week, or be responsible for picking her younger sister up from soccer practice on certain days. It's harder to be spoiled if you're not being treated like a prince or princess all the time.
Encourage volunteering. Talk to your teen about using some of his time and skills to help others who are less fortunate. Whether it's helping out in a local soup kitchen or food bank, volunteering at a center for disadvantaged kids, doing community events like town clean ups -- learning to think of others and see how people who have less live should make a big impression. Whenever possible, make this a family event. Spending a few hours together volunteering at a soup kitchen is a nice Thanksgiving tradition before you go home for your own meal.
Tips & Warnings
- Remember that teens often learn more from the way parents behave than from what they say. This means that if you don't want your kids to act spoiled, it helps if you don't act spoiled yourself. If you expect others to do everything for you or must have every new gadget that comes on the market or a new pair of shoes every week, it's going to be hard to convince your teen that she needs less material things or should do things on her own.
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