I am afraid my kid is becoming a butthead. He is often a self-entitled jerk even though I have not raised him to be that way. I often try to put limits on excessive requests, but I find myself always fighting with him about it. Nothing in my home seems peaceful anymore. We even tried to join a service project this past Christmas, and he wasn’t interested at all. Is there anything I can do?
-A Frustrated Mom
Dear Frustrated Mom,
I HEAR YOU! First, yes, there are things you can do. Second, even though he is being a butthead now, hope is not lost. Things will improve.
BRAVO for already putting limits on excess! For kids that are caught up with “I Wants” or the “Me Mentality,” I find that it is helpful to start with a two-prong approach to begin.
PART ONE: We need to start focusing on teaching him how his behavior affects others.
A great book to start this is: If Everybody Did
The following video shows the power of how kindness ripples. When we are kind to others, research has shown that they continue spreading that kindness action. The opposite is true as well.
PART TWO: Showing Need
Our children are not stupid or heartless. But, what I have found is that many get caught up so much in their own lives that they don’t see the need around them.
This leads to the next part, expose your family to needs around you. It can be as simple as visiting a Habitat for Humanity project OR visiting a homeless shelter OR animal shelter during visiting hours. You don’t need to beat the idea constantly telling your kid he is “lucky” or “has so much compared to others.”
They will see need and respond to the invitation to help when you deliberately show it to them.
Simple experiences exposing our children to the needs of others will broaden their scope and touch their hearts.
Want to hear about a family in a similar situation? Check out: Brad’s Story