Entitlement is a difficult mindset to change, and it may be that the stepchildren in question will never truly understand or appreciate what they have. However, there are several ways one can approach this problem to ensure good relations between everyone involved.
Dealing with entitled stepchildren first requires you to be patient and calm. The misunderstandings may stem from different values. It is important to help them gain perspective by encouraging appreciation, spending family time, volunteering, and setting boundaries. Lastly, it is important for both parents to present a unified front by being on the same page.
This article will talk about how to deal with entitled stepchildren.
How to Deal with Entitled Stepchildren?
The first step in dealing with entitled stepchildren is staying calm. When a parent gets upset or angry at their children for not appreciating what they have, the situation only worsens. This may be hard when your emotions are high, but if you can manage to stay patient throughout this process, then things will go much more smoothly over time.
It’s important that parents do not take out their frustrations on an innocent child who has no means of understanding what is going on between adults. The next time your kids blame you for all of life’s problems or complain about something trivial like getting stuck with doing dishes because it makes them “sick,” take a deep breath and count to ten before responding.
If you can manage it, try not to say anything at all until they are finished with the conversation because, by the time their complaints have ended, there is bound to be more of them waiting in line behind them. Remember that this behavior may never stop completely, but if you remain calm about it, then your stepchildren will eventually see what little sense talking back has for themselves.
Expect That They Have Different Values
An entitled stepchild may come from a background that you don’t understand at all, and they might never embrace the same values as you. Perhaps their biological parent was very laid back and did not place much worth on punctuality or planning ahead; these may be things that happen to be important in your family life, but it’s possible that everyone else could see them differently.
This does not mean there is anything wrong with either of your opinions since every household has different standards for what makes someone “responsible.” Just remember when such differences arise between yourself and an entitled stepchild about how best to deal with this problem: by respecting one another despite the differences.
If children often push boundaries or get away with everything because mom or dad didn’t care enough, it’s a good bet that they will continue this behavior when in the presence of someone who does. So, if you want to instill better values into your stepchildren, don’t expect them to change overnight but instead focus on creating new boundaries and establishing consequences for their choices.
One reason children might feel entitled is simply because they have been allowed to do whatever they please with no regard for how it affects others or themselves later down the road. It may be hard at first since we all know what it feels like as an adult not getting our way but try treating kids more like adults by expecting them to behave responsibly on their own.
Encourage Appreciation of What They Have
Another way of dealing with entitled stepchildren is encouraging appreciation towards what they already have rather than always wanting something new or better. This mindset comes from focusing on needs over wants, which involves making sure everyone stays fed and sheltered first while also considering luxuries like entertainment and travel.
Put yourself in your stepchildren’s shoes and imagine what you would want if you were them, but also consider how much money the whole family has to work with before making big decisions like having a pool installed or taking an expensive vacation. If they need new clothes, then take them shopping and let them pick out something that fits their personality while being reasonably priced.
In many cases, it isn’t material things that make someone happy, so try not to judge based on spending habits alone because everyone is different when it comes down to it. The point of this exercise is for your stepchildren to learn about budgeting which will benefit them financially later on in life, as well as build character towards becoming more responsible adults who don’t rely on others to do everything for them.
Spend Quality Family Time Together
Spending time as a family is another important factor to consider when dealing with entitled stepchildren because it helps them learn about their place in society and how they can be an asset to others. Many kids want the newest gadgets or designer clothes but don’t realize that there are people out there who go without these things, which makes them appreciate what they have even more.
Studies show that regular family outings like camping trips or weekend barbecues not only help children connect with one another by building lifelong relationships but also make for happier memories between everyone involved. The next time your stepchildren complain about having to take part in something you enjoy doing together, remind them of the times spent at school where they complained about homework instead and ask them if they’d rather do that.
This will help them realize that maybe their attitude isn’t as justified as it seems and also put things into perspective so they can enjoy life a bit more instead of focusing on the negative all the time. Even if there is an argument or two along the way, at least everyone knows where each person stands now and will be able to work through things together as a team.
Volunteer as a Family
When children feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, it helps them feel less entitled to everything around them. Volunteering as a family is also an excellent way for stepchildren to learn about giving back and contributing towards making the world a better place.
Even if you don’t have much money or time on your hands, there are still plenty of volunteer options available that can be done together with everyone involved. For example, join up with Habitat for Humanity which not only allows kids to help build homes for those in need but provides free transportation too, so no one has any excuses about being unable to make it work.
If this sounds like too big of a commitment, then try smaller tasks like helping out at animal shelters or soup kitchens to get your stepchildren used to volunteering at places that can benefit others. Since children are more likely to listen when they feel like their opinions matter, ask them what sort of things they would enjoy doing before taking part in anything, so everyone is happy about the end result.
No family is perfect, and it takes time for new relationships to form between people. Even though some things might be difficult at first, if you can set aside your differences and focus on what’s important, then it won’t take long for everyone to get used to one another. And if all else fails, remember that patience is a virtue worth having by anyone’s standards.
Be on the Same Page with Your Spouse
Even if you feel like your stepchildren are testing the boundaries, it’s important to remember that they only act this way because there is some sort of disconnect between everyone involved.
If your partner doesn’t work with you on dealing with things, then nothing will ever change, and both parties will continue feeling frustrated about one another, which might lead to resentment in the future. So instead, try setting aside time after dinner or before bed for just the two of you so no interruptions can get in the way.
By making sure everyone knows what the next steps are when problems arise means there won’t be any more confusion over who does what and how anything should go down either. If neither parent has a problem with their stepchildren misbehaving, then there shouldn’t be a problem to begin with.
When you finally feel like your family is beginning to fall into place, then communication becomes the key ingredient in ensuring everyone stays on the same page and knows what’s expected of them. After all, this is supposed to be a team effort. If both parents are willing to put their differences aside and work as one unit instead of two separate parts, everything will always turn out for the best, no matter how difficult things may seem at first.
In cases when nothing else works, it’s important to set boundaries with your stepchildren in order for everyone involved to be happy – or at least civil. Even though the word “boundaries” might make you think of limiting someone from having fun or doing what they want because you’re too strict, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Setting boundaries is all about respect and showing that you value one another enough to put your foot down when things get out of hand, which can happen a lot if open communication isn’t an option between both parties. So instead, try using phrases like:
- I understand where you’re coming from, but…
- How would you feel if someone did ____?
- I know how much work has gone into____, but it’s not fair to ignore everyone else.
- I know you want ____, but we need to be realistic about the situation.
These phrases will help your stepchildren understand that you’re on their side and just as frustrated as they are, but at least now there is a plan in place which allows for things to move forward instead of feeling like nothing is ever going to change.
With time, everyone will get used to one another and appreciate each other’s differences which helps foster stronger relationships that can withstand anything life throws at them. When you feel like your stepchildren are holding more cards than they should be or their attitude needs an adjustment, then remember these seven simple ways for resolving things and stick with them.