We know that too many kids are quick to be labeled with ADD, ADHD, ODD, and a myriad of other “DD’s” by the mental health and child care profession today.
But, not too many people are talking about the new disorder known as ATD.
What is ATD?
ATD represents the American Teenager Disorder. While this is a bit tongue in cheek, this “disorder” encompasses entitlement and any other vice that teens are struggling with today.
These things are very often an outworking of a parental malady I call “Craniumly-Grounded Parentosis” – otherwise known as “Parent’s Head in the Sand.”
Again, a bit tongue in cheek, but the point is… kids are suffering from entitlement and many parents have no idea that they are spoiling their kids!
Parents Underestimate the Effects of Entitlement
If a family makes more than $35,000 a year they live in the upper one percent compared to the rest of the world.
This means, right off the bat, most Americans make a decent wage compared to other families around the world. Yet our teens struggle with issues that other parts of the world’s kids do not, such as:
- Honoring their mother and father
- Drugs & other addictions
These symptoms can be a result of entitlement. Too many American kids believe they deserve the best of everything just for showing up.
Just because Junior’s parents may make a decent paycheck doesn’t mean Junior should be entitled to all that his parents’ money can buy him. Much of America’s youth problem begins right here!
Setting Boundaries to Curb ATD
Earlier, I used the term “Craniumly-Grounded Parentosis” as a funny term to express the idea that many parents seem to be missing the effect entitlement is having on teens.
In order to curb ATD and entitlement, parents need to set appropriate boundaries and be intentional in their discipline. This task, in and of itself, produces a wide range of possible boundaries.
If you want to curb entitlement in your kids, consider setting boundaries in the following ways:
- Limit the places your teen is allowed to go unchaperoned
- Limit what your teen watches or is visually exposed to
- Limit what kind of music is on your teen’s iPod
- Limit what type of activities your teen can engage in
- Determine what your teen’s media habits should consist of
- Limit who your teen befriends
- Determine how your teen gets to school
- Determine if and where our teen will go to church
While it may seem that the odds are against you, intentionally setting boundaries to curb “American Teenager Disorder”or entitlement can strengthen the character of your child.
Conversation Starter: What are some other tips to setting limits that may curb entitlement?