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August 17, 2013

Kids entitled to love, not stuff

NORMAN — Q: I have a middle level daughter. Over the summer we have noticed a few instances of entitlement issues.

One example of this is when we were recently shopping for back-to-school items. She became very upset when told that she could not have some of the name brand “sleazy” outfits she wanted. We want to stop this attitude before it spills over into her classes. All we ever get from her is, “'but all my friends are doing it.'” Any suggestions?

Carol, OKC

A: So what if her friends are doing it? You are the parent, and you have to love your kids enough to let them hate you. We hear all the time this is an entitled generation, but we see and know of 100s of kids who don't feel entitled. It's not something that comes from being born in certain years … it comes from good parenting.

Let her know what she's actually entitled to … clothing, food, safety, a roof over her head, love and education. Don't worry about her being mad at you — it happens to all of us! Once again, you are not her friend, you are her parent! Stand by your guns! We assure you not all her friends are getting those clothes or going to that party. What kids need most is consistency and to know their boundaries. If she's acting like this in middle school, you will be so glad you stopped it now and not let it go into her high school years.

We appreciate that you don't want this to spill over into the school day. No student should be entitled to special treatment, whether they are the quarterback of the football team, a cheerleader, or the lead in the drama production.

We certainly wish kids could learn earlier that a good attitude is so essential to success. A favorite quote is “attitude is the mind's paint brush … it can color any situation.” Sometimes talking to friends with kids the same age is very reaffirming, because you are not alone with this situation. Best of luck!

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