Privileges vs. Entitlements
Our children want a lot of things, don’t they? They want toys and trips, xboxes and xgames, iTunes and iPhones, apps and accessories, laptops, and luxuries. But, are they entitled to any or all of those things?
If you ask your child, the clear answer would be, “yes.” I mean, “all the other kids have them.” But they’re not. An entitlement is something that is granted to someone without them having to earn it. It is a right.
Our children need to know that many of the things they want are privileges that must be earned and that can be revoked at any time. Just because their friend gets a Facebook account when they are 10 years old doesn’t mean your child gets one. Just because a teen can get their driver’s license when they’re 16, doesn’t mean your child gets one at that age.
Privileges are earned based on several factors:
- child’s track record of handling things responsibly
- the extent to which a parent trusts the child
- how impressionable the child is to certain things
- the child’s maturity level
A child also needs to know that just as quickly as a privilege is earned, that the privilege can be taken away. For example, if the child is granted the privilege to use the Internet, that privilege can be revoked if the Internet contract you agree to is broken by them. If the child is given the privilege of driving, it can be taken away if the driving contract they sign is violated.
How do you handle granting privileges in your home?