Thursday, June 23, 2011

Parents Say “Entitlement” is biggest problem of this Generation of Kids

The other night, speaking to a large group of parents, we started off by saying “Nominations are now in order for the toughest parenting problem you face.”

We got a list of 7 Nominations, and then, giving each parent in the audience one vote, we had an election.

The results were quite remarkable! Of the nearly 800 parents who participated on the poll,
a large plurality were most worried about the sense of Entitlement that kids seem to have today. Take a look at the results:

What is the biggest problem facing kids (and their parents) today?
Peer pressure
Excessive technology and gadgets
A sense of entitlement
Drugs and substance abuse
Sexual experimentation
Sibling rivalry

“Entitlement” wins by a wide margin as the biggest problem, with over 41%. But what is REALLY interesting is that the second place finisher (with more than 27%), is “Excessive technology and gadgets” which, when you think about it is really just another way of saying entitlement—kids who think they are entitled to all things electronic.

Combine those top two answers and we have more than two thirds of parents saying that an attitude of Entitlement is the biggest challenge they face with their kids.

We get almost exactly the same results when we ask live audiences of parents the same question. We have been intrigued and surprised by the size of the majority, and we have also been pleased, since the title of our new book, being released by Penguin this Fall is The Entitlement Trap.

Think about it: Two thirds of parents, with no explanation or discussion, voted for Entitlement as the biggest problem of this generation of kids and the biggest worry for this generation of parents.

We ask our audiences why? Their answers are fascinating:

“Entitlement leads to low motivation.”
“Kids they deserve everything and don’t have to earn anything.”
“It makes them disrespectful.”
“They don’t know how to work.”
“They think they have to have everything their friends have.”
“It’s the reason for all the other problems on the list, they think they can do whatever they want.”

This Blog is going to be devoted, week in and week out, to an exploration of this new and HUGE attitude problem of Entitlement. We invite you not only to read it, but to participate in it!

If you have stories or illustrations of an entitlement attitude among kids, send it to us at the “contact us” click on

And if you are one of those parents who votes for Entitlement as a personal parenting challenge and as a trap that your kids are falling into, take comfort, HELP IS ON THE WAY!

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