If you knew there was a new, highly contagious, highly destructive disease epidemic being passed around at school, at the play ground, throughout your community and even in your own home, you would make sure to take proper precautions. You would do all you could in your power to keep your children from catching it and if they already had contracted the disease, you would move heaven and earth to help cure your child. Well, there is an epidemic and you can either be part of the problem or the solution.
What is it? Acknowledging and understanding it is the first step to curing it
Don’t worry, this is not a vaccination or anti-vaccination rant. The disease I’m talking about is not a physical illness, but it is an epidemic all the same. I’m talking about the disease of entitlement. Entitlement is a belief that we are inherently deserving and have some built-in right of privilege or special treatment. It’s what makes our 5 year old demand that you buy them a new toy every time you go to the store. Entitlement isn’t an exclusively modern sickness, but just like everything else in our current world, its spread is faster and more viral than ever before. It’s becoming increasingly easier to catch the disease of entitlement in our world where it seems that we have just about anything and everything at our fingertips.
You may be saying, “Epidemic… really?” Is that really the right word? An epidemic is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community. What else should we call it? When we really stop to think about the main problems we face, not only with our kids and our families, but as a society as a whole, much of it can be traced back to a sense of entitlement. The difficulty we face is that almost everything in our current society is infected with the building blocks of the entitlement disease. On the other hand, the great thing is that the precursors of entitlement, the abundance, ease and immediate gratification associated with the modern day luxuries we enjoy can actually help to build our immunity if they are utilized effectively. If there are limits and boundaries, if immediate gratification is delayed and connected with real, genuine hard work, if there are challenges that stretch and grow our children, our kids will develop a resistance to entitlement. That is where you, the parent, come in. The immunization will have to happen at home.
My friend Amy McCready has written an amazing road map for identifying and dealing with the entitlement epidemic in a way that will help our kids to be capable, grateful people that will thrive in the midst of the over entitled world around us.
The Me, Me, Me Epidemic by Amy McCready
Amy McCready is the creator of Positive Parenting Solutions and the Author of the book “If I Have to Tell You One More Time” and now this incredible new book “The Me, Me, Me Epidemic.”
“The Me, Me, Me, Epidemic” takes the disease of entitlement head on and gives practical tools to foster a sense of capability and gratitude in our kids that will serve them and the world around them throughout their lives. The approach and layout of this book is absolute genius. In each chapter Amy identifies…
- Real life problems all parents face in the fight against entitlement.
- She shares a few enlightened insights that help parents to see the problems and solutions more clearly and in a new light. (One of my favorite features is the “Entitle Me Tools” in each chapter that take a fun angle on describing tools and tactics kids might try to use to enhance their own entitlement.)
- She follows these valuable concepts up with specific tools and techniques (Un-Entitlement tools) and how to put them into practice. She even gives you words to say in what she calls “Tips and Scripts.”
- Lastly, she addresses common concerns or objections that parents might have and how to overcome them.
The format of the book is great but the content is the true champion here. Amy starts at the very beginning where entitlement begins. It begins with giving in and overindulgence that can be so easy in our age of “right now” everything. She strikes a great balance of intentional, loving and attentive parenting with a strong understanding of effective limits and boundaries. Some of my favorite suggestions in the first couple chapters illustrate this delicate balance.
Fulfill needs with “Mind, Body and Soul Time”
Right out of the gate Amy suggests “Mind, Body and Soul Time” (MBST) with your child and designates this principle and technique “the single most important tool in the Un-Entitler toolbox.” As you might guess, Mind, Body and Soul time is time devoted to your child. It is about giving the positive attention and love they need in advance. It makes attention seeking behaviors unnecessary because their primary emotional needs are being met proactively. She suggests setting aside 10 minutes once or twice a day to give your undivided attention. Get rid of or ignore other distractions. You could try some interactive play, do a dance, read, be playful and silly together or just have real conversation.
Preventing or making corrective action to un-entitle our kids
After establishing the importance of an attachment rich home and relationship as the foundation for helping to un-entitle our kids, she gives a simple list of 3 steps to help each parent create the perfect inoculation plan for their family. So many of us find ourselves giving in to entitled demands of our children or becoming irritated and angry as a result of these demands. This 3 step framework gives parents solid direction on how to proceed regardless of if you are starting from birth to prevent the entitlement bug or whether you are making more corrective action. The 3 steps include…
- Start Small
- Reveal the Rule
- Stand your ground
Within this simple framework she teaches easy techniques associated with common concerns of money and allowances, chores and household responsibilities, developmental capabilities, cooperation, issues of power and control, praise vs. encouragement, consequences, empathy and serving others as well as many others. One of my favorite tools Amy teaches is the use of family meetings, something that I am very fond of here at TRU Parenting. This becomes a central feature of communicating and solving problems, enjoying time together, building relationships, sharing power with the kids and informing them of limits before we spring them on the kids.
One of my favorite techniques in the book is Amy’s use of the questions, “What is your plan?” and “What can You do?” when a problem arises for them to solve. Alfie Kohn said, “The bottom line is that kids learn to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following instructions. If we want them to take responsibility for making the world a better place, then we need to give them responsibilities.” These questions help our children to hold onto their own responsibility.
The “Me, Me, Me Epidemic” has so many more insights and tools that will help you address this epidemic of entitlement one child at a time. It will also help to make your life as a parent much more pleasant and enjoyable and your children’s lives a whole lot more capable and grateful. As the subtitle of the book says it is, “A Step by Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over Entitled World. For your own sake, for your childrens’s sake, and for the sake of our society as a whole take a look at this wonderful book by Amy McCready and start to apply it’s simple principles and techniques.
Get Your Copy of Amy McCready’s book and a very special offer too.
PreOrder your copy of The Me, Me, Me, Epidemic here and get some special coaching bonuses that Amy has included. Let’s eradicate the disease of entitlement!
Here is some more praise for The Me, Me, Me Epidemic from some other folks you may know…
“This is more than a book—it is a call to action that immediately motivated me to stop doing things for my children that they can do for themselves. The key to unlocking a child’s full potential can be found within these pages. Waste no time getting started—your child’s fulfilling adulthood begins with you.” —Rachel Macy Stafford, New York Times-bestselling author of Hands Free Mama
“Every time Amy McCready has been a guest on Today I have found myself agreeing with absolutely everything she says. She’s a no nonsense, common sense communicator and her new book, “The Me, Me, Me Epidemic” offers parents great wisdom and practical advice.” —Kathie Lee Gifford
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