The Reluctant Missionary

Authentic stories from the travels of Michael Smalley.

FLQ - Breaking the teenager

friday listener questions marriage parenting Dec 14, 2018

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How do you break a teenager from entitlement? This Friday Listener Question has a teenage daughter who thinks she’s entitled for everything. "We are going crazy." Amy and I want to help this listener and you feel less crazy about dealing with teenage entitlement.

Mark Gregston: “At this point, I realized I was talking with a young lady that was somewhat entitled. Entitled. So, I decided to give her a principle that I have shared with many other kids and their parents.  “Sweetheart, I owe you nothing, but I want to give you everything.” I really don’t think she realized that her efforts (a display of her entitled perspective of life) were not drawing me to her; the display was actually pushing me away. I wanted her to learn that she didn’t have to demand, that she doesn’t have to “push” to get her way, and that my purpose that day was not to “bend” to her every need. I wanted her to know that her entitled mindset just doesn’t work with me and to the bigger issue, I wanted her to know that she was worth spending time with. I wanted to. But I didn’t want to out of obligation; I wanted to because she was valuable enough to spend time with. Again, my comment of “I owe you nothing, but want to give you everything” was to stop her entitlement, and begin her feeling valued.”

  1. Resist the urge of rescuing them
  2. Serve others
  3. Travel

Gregston: “It’s important to sit down with your teen and communicate what you will do and what you will not do for them going forward. “Son, you’re 28 years old. It’s time you did your own laundry!” Or maybe, “You’re at an age where you can get up for school on your own. I’m not going to come in and wake you up anymore.” Also, it’s okay to enact a compromise. “Honey, if you pay for the car insurance, I’ll handle the gas.” Every year, wean your teen from some of their reliance on mom and dad, and put them on a path to independence and personal responsibility. Break your teen’s sense of entitlement by stopping it at its source.”


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