Picture of Dr. Linda Algazi, Ph.D

Were you also outraged by the story about the “wealthy” teenager who will serve no prison time after getting drunk from stolen beer, and killing four people?

Mostly, on this blog, I write about grownups and the best ways they can love each other. This time, however, I invite you to hear me out about children who are damaged by well-meaning parents who give their kids too much and expect nothing in return.

Picture of kids“Entitled” children are angry, unpleasant to be around, lazy and selfish. They have somehow been raised to believe that there is no need to plan ahead, that there will not be any negative consequences for their actions and that mommy and daddy will rescue them no matter what trouble they get into.

Even, it seems, if they murder and/or injure people.

The Texas boy’s defense was “AFFLUENZA,” which has come to mean “a psychosis of extreme wealth”. On some level, we all know that having too much money, too many privileges and too much stuff may render children incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions.

Apparently, the kid from Texas is also someone, for whom rules don’t often apply. His family was too rich and too connected for him to really worry about going to jail.

So guess where he ended up?

Newport Beach, California. Just in case you haven’t heard, he is “serving his time” in a $450,000 a year rehab in a city, famous for it’s “AFFLUENZA”.

I think it’s a good time to pause with concern for our own kids..

1. Do you believe your children deserve to be happy all the time?
2. Do you believe that you should protect your child from suffering the consequences of his/her actions?
3. That at certain ages, your kids automatically have certain rights and privileges?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, your children may be in jeopardy.

You must allow your kids to struggle some, in order for them to develop resilience.

1. Teach them that it is their behavior which will determine the things that happen to them..
2. Do not automatically provide everything they say they want.
3. Teach by example; encourage them to respect and appreciate the efforts of others.
5. Help them to understand that there really are some things that money can’t buy. Or at least, that there should be.

With that said, I wish you and families everywhere, a happy and healthier 2014!

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