More and more I'm seeing parents struggling with children who expect a lot for little in return. T.V., cable, video games, cell phone, unlimited calling and texting, money when they want, and the list goes on with nothing in return. Parents report feeling powerless, helpless and afraid of taking things away because they don't want their children to be angry at them. The kids are in the driver's seat and when mom and dad want them to do something like take out the trash, they balking, sulk, whine, complain and refuse.
As a result parents often felt defeated in their home and powerless to address their children's behavior. Often a sense of entitlement was fostered by the parents wanting their children to have things they didn't and to feel good about providing for them, or to keep the kids occupied, or because they were comfortable not addressing their childrens' developmental need to learn responsibility and the importance of supporting community (family), contributing and working to earn things they want.
There are simply changes that can be made later in the game (teens) and things you can start with little ones (including toddlers). What are your child's responsibilities and the privileges they earn for completing them? Chores and homework come before t.v. time or other electronics for example. If they refuse then they CHOOSE to go without their privileges. This is not a power struggle, it's just a statement of the system you create.
For more information on how to create something that works for your family from the beginning or to modify what's happening in your home with your teens email me at firstname.lastname@example.org