our everyday life

Raising a Spoiled Teenager

by Angeliki Coconi, studioD

When faced with a spoiled teenager, parents are dealing with a child who has already been spoiled, and that can happen in affluent families and poorer families -- just to different extents. When it comes to children of richer families, those parents might believe that a spoiled child is inevitable because money has played such a vital role in influencing their child’s life.

The Right Direction

Wealthy parents can use their money to push their child toward cultural, geographical and social awareness as opposed to the mere desire for material objects and unearned privilege, according to Jim Taylor, associate psychology professor at Denver University. If a child grows up in a household that is geared toward education, experience and philanthropy, he is more likely to develop more selflessly and with a better grasp of values. This idea can also be applied to poorer families, bearing in mind the difference in means.

Sense of Entitlement

Moving your teenager away from “the world is my oyster” mentality isn’t as difficult as you might think, and it's never too late to start, according to author and psychologist Carl Pickardht in Austin, Texas. However, be aware that the teenage years are bound to be self-centered because many adolescents treat their own needs as being paramount. This isn’t helped by parents who provide special treatment and exceptions at every moment -- the teenager’s sense of entitlement and self-importance will rocket.

Teaching Reciprocity

To curve your teenager’s feelings away from his own world, stress reciprocity. This is the act of acknowledging what he’s been given, and returning it in the same way or in another way. Tell your teenager, “We try to contribute to your well-being as best we can, so try to show us that you appreciate this.” This could be through tidying his room to getting a part-time job.

Teaching Compromise

It is infinitely important to try and instill a sense of compromise in your teenager. Spoiled teenagers usually don’t have an understanding of compromise -- they might ask you for a new car, with total disregard for your financial situation. Tell him, “Just as we are giving up our time and money to do something nice for you, we expect you to sacrifice some of your needs to accommodate us.”

About the Author

Angeliki Coconi started writing in 1999 with the theater comedy "Loop," produced in Athens. In 2001 she wrote and produced another comedy, "Modern Cinderella." In 2006 she was awarded a Master of Science in literature from the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 Coconi obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Screenwriting from Napier University of Edinburgh.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images