Entitlement is when kids expect parents to give them things they haven't earned.  They expect to have everything their friends have for free.  They expect to get a medal or a trophy just for trying. That's entitlement, and it's bad.

The solution to entitlement is ownership.  That's the anecdote.  There's a three way triangle between Ownership, Responsibility, and Work.  When you give a child ownership, they feel like they need to be responsible for it.  That requires work.  The more you invest in effort and sacrifice for something, it makes you feel invested into it -- like you own it.

Chapter 3 is about giving children a sense of belonging.  The ideas I liked in this chapter include creating bedtime stories compiled from real life stories of ancestors. Include photos on ancestors.

Another suggestion was to focus on strong family traditions.  Another that I liked was dinner time games.

The author explained that the best time to teach values and these things to kids is when they are elementary age to middle school age. I'm so glad to have read this book before our oldest son got too old.

Other lessons I learned from the book that I want to incorporate into my family include:

  • Effective FHE weekly. Discuss not only the lesson but make time for scheduling and discuss monthly themes, goals, etc.  Give children a strong sense of belonging.  Have children take turns leading FHE.
  • Give children a sense of ownership by allowing them to earn their own money and buying their own things. The two chapters about the family economy are awesome.  A good lesson in there is about good use of props (visual and tangible clues) to reinforce lessons.  Think about how much you spend every month / week on your kids (clothes, entertainment, etc.) and help kids earn enough money to cover most of these things.  Let them spend it and let them be responsible for the things they buy with their money.  You need buy-in from grandparents too because they'll spoil everything you're trying to teach them.
  • Teach children about sex while before they are too old. Ideal age is around 8 years old, according to the authors. Good resource is here: http://www.valuesparenting.com/talktokids.php .
  • Teaching values. Choose a value and make it a theme for a month. One idea is to talk about it at every family home evening that month.  Another idea is to discuss ways the children and family lived that value during the week.  Have the value displayed prominently in the home.
  • Goal setting.  Teach children how to set and achieve goals.  It made me want to set a few goals myself: learn another language like Spanish, spend more time reading things like Harvard Business Review and case studies to help me be a better business person and provider for my family, and set goals for spending time with children. It's important to teach the difference between a plan and a goal. Practice piano 30 min a day is a plan, the goal is to play a particular piece for a recital flawlessly.  Make charts and visual props to help children with goal setting. Also make sure the children set their own goals. Don't give them goals. If it isn't their own, they're not going to work to achieve them.  It's got to come from the inside out.
  • Memorizing quotes. There's a lot of value to memorizing quotes. Give children an opportunity to make up for lost points on their weekly family economy by memorizing quotes that match the values you're trying to teach them. One that I liked that was mentioned in the book: "Our doubts are traitors,  And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt." -- william shakespear.
  • Choices. Very important topic. Two takeaways: help children realize they can make some choices early on, for examples: I will never experiment with drugs.  I will be worthy and prepare to serve a mission.  I will keep myself morally clean and chaste. The second part is scenarios and case studies.  Give children a scenario and help them come up with the short term and long term consequences of each decision.  Examples in the book are about cheating. Another was about shoplifting.  Help the children see ahead that their decisions have an impact.  Share with children the decisions for which you are most grateful for. Have grandparents share the decisions they are most grateful for, and perhaps some decisions they wish they would have made.
  • Repentance Bench.  Get a bench and use it for "time out" when there's quarreling among members of the family. To get off the bench, you need to: 1. tell the other person what you did wrong, 2. say that you'll never do it again, and 3. give each other a hug.

 

The best time to