How To Teach Your Children The Difference Between Rights & Privilege So They Can Be More Grateful: Best Life Parenting Lesson
Teaching children to be grateful and appreciative is important, but we also have to address the underlying issues of entitlement and ingratitude.
Teaching your children the difference between ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ is the first step in starting to counteract the sense of entitlement and ingratitude that seems to be everywhere these days.
Our children have the ‘right’ to food, clothing and shelter. Cell phones, cable tv, the internet, sports, designer jeans, video games, piano lessons, summer camp, or a birthday party are all ‘privileges.’ It’s when our children think they have a ‘right’ to a birthday party or designer jeans that the entitlement and ingratitude often rears its ugly head. But when we, and our children, begin to see the difference, we can also begin to feel more grateful for these things.
There is a difference between rights and privileges, and teaching our children the difference, will help them ultimately be more grateful and appreciative.
Hi, Cheri Fogarty here, author of How to Get Happier & More Grateful Children in Just 21 Days and Founder of The Habit Gratitude Blueprint for Busy Moms and Families where we show you how to get happier and more grateful children and to be happier and more grateful yourself and you’re here, so I know that you’re interested in teaching your children to be more grateful.
And we have all sorts of tools, tips and ideas for how to do that at cherifogarty.com and probably where you are right now, but one of the things we have to do, in addition to affirmatively teaching our children to be more grateful, is that we have to do some things to counteract the entitlement and materialism and ingratitude and lack of appreciation and unhappiness we see, and our children are exposed to, on a daily basis, from reality tv, to celebrities, to the news, to politicians to the soccer field. Entitlement and ingratitude is rampant.
So we have to, as parents, not only teach our children to be more grateful by doing certain things to teach them to be more grateful, but we also have to counteract some of this entitlement and ingratitude that’s just become part of the modern world, or society these days and in part it’s because of some of these things we’re going to stop doing.
And we’re all guilty to some extent or another of perpetuating these because it’s just human nature. So we’re going to deal with one in each video and in this video, the one thing you can do this week to help counteract the sense of entitlement and ingratitude everywhere out there and sometimes in our own homes, is to talk to you kids about the difference between rights and privileges. Because the problem is, not only in the country these days, but in our very own homes, there is a blurred line, and a lack of understanding that there’s a difference between rights and privileges.
Now in law school we talked about that in terms of constitutional rights but in the home it comes down to, like I always tell my kids, you have a right to food, clothing and shelter. You do not have a right to designer jeans and a car and a cell phone. Those are privileges, and there’s a difference.
Rights, yes, I have to give you food, clothing and shelter, but privileges are earned because if they’re not earned, do you know what happens? We take them for granted. We don’t appreciate them, and again we’re all guilty of this. We do better on some things than others. But in general, we need to talk to our children about the difference between rights and privileges.
And you can talk to them, again, you can use the clothing versus designer jeans. You can use the fact that it’s a privilege to have a cell phone. It’s a privilege to have cable tv. It’s a privilege to have a bedroom. Shelter does not include necessarily, a big beautiful house. Shelter means, you know, shelter.
So, if our kids start to see the difference, and again this is subtle, but if they start to see the difference, and we start looking at the things that are privileges in particular, and we should appreciate and be grateful for everything, but we start, counteracting at least, the entitlement and ingratitude that’s permeating society these days, if we start talking and training our children to think about things that they have as privileges and things to be grateful for, it changes their mindset, it change show they view things, so that when they do get things, they appreciate them more. Because for most of us we don’t appreciate what we’ve always had, we take these things for granted, it’s human nature, the things we’ve always had. And we do this as adults too. I mean, we have a lot of privileges in this country that we all take for granted. So we can all use a little focusing on the difference between rights and privileges, and once your kids start to see the difference, then we move towards being appreciative for those things.
But this is one way to stop, and start counteracting entitlement and ingratitude right now, is to explain the difference to your children and to really work on it on a daily basis, this week and beyond.
So that’s it. That’s just one super simple thing you can do this week to stop the entitlement and ingratitude, or at least start stopping it. And of course if you want to know exactly how to teach your children to be more grateful, to create the habit of gratitude in addition to counteracting the entitlement and ingratitude be sure to head over to CheriFogarty.com after the episode if you’re not already there because we have all sorts of tips, tools, ideas and strategies for real moms and families in the real world to get happier and more grateful children in a super simple and fun way. So if you’re ready to start doing that we hope to see you there.
Now it’s your turn. In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you and let me know what you think of this – this difference between rights and privileges. Have you given it much thought and what do you think of it. And of course come back and let us know how it goes with your kids. How did they respond to that conversation.
And remember, when we’re first teaching our children something, or we’re learning it ourselves, there can be bumps in the road. It takes time to learn anything new. So while you may tell this to your kids now, they may roll their eyes and say ‘whatever’, but you’re planting the seeds of this and of course we have to do other things as well, but this is just one step in the process and hopefully because there is so much entitlement and ingratitude, this is just one simple thing we can do to start counteracting it.
So that’s it. Thank you so much for being here, for being a mom or dad and for everything you do each and every day to be the bets one you can be, including wanting more grateful children and to be more grateful yourself.
And remember, we can have happier and more grateful children, we really can, no matter what’s going on in the world and we can be happier and more grateful ourselves, and in fact, that’s how we change the world; we no longer have to accept the sense of entitlement and ingratitude that seems to be everywhere, but we change it one child and one family at a time, starting with our own. That’s where we make the change. That’s where we make things better. That’s where we teach our children to be grateful.
Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you next time.
Here are the links I discussed in the video: