The Entitlement Trap | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Entitlement Trap

I've been seeing quite a lot of hype about this book in blogland, so I was excited when I was asked to review it.

I have devoured it. Devoured. And I am excited to implement the principles I've learned in my own household.

In the introduction, The Eyres explain how entitlement is the "one reason parenting is harder today than it has ever been." And then they go on to explain that entitlement comes from a lack of ownership. Children are given so much and little is expected of them. It took much more work to keep a household running 50 years ago than it does today, and children really had to help out.

Even though I feel like there is no way I can run my household effectively without help, and I do try to involve my children in the work, I realize that I don't expect nearly enough of them. I find myself justifying this because they have so much homework, music practice (which is a priority in our house) and other activities to do. But after reading this book, I am realizing that my girls don't take ownership of nearly enough.

Each chapter addresses ways to give our children ownership and a sense of equity in the family. I liked the focus on children having an inherent sense of justice, and that they do need to feel that they are equal members in the household. Giving them ownership helps them feel that, helps them to avoid feelings of entitlement, and to boot, helps me. Definitely a win-win situation.

Some of the chapters include:

Ownership of their own money
Ownership of their own stuff
Ownership of their own values
Ownership of their own goals
Ownership of their own bodies
Ownership of education
Ownership of relationships and conflicts

I am really big on personal responsibility in my house, just ask my children. I never allow them to blame others for their actions. But this book has made me realize how much further I need to go with personal responsibility and ownership. I loved it.

And, lucky for me, it goes really well with this week's goal in my Project Walking into a Hug: Create Work. Having specific responsibilities in the household will help my children to feel ownership. I have gone through so many freaking systems and lists and charts to get them to do their chores, but I haven't been able to come up with something that really works. There are good ideas in the Eyre's book, and I will keep on trying until we find the magic thing. And I will keep on making my children work.

The thing about these systems is that I have to also be on board and willing to do whatever it takes to make them work, and that is perhaps why they haven't worked so well in the past. I have said it before, and I'll say it again: I hate schedules and charts and stuff that makes me feel beholden to schedules and charts. But I am working on it. I am happier when I get things done, therefore I am happier imposing some sort of order and schedule on myself.

And, huh.  Probably my children will be happier, too!

Go figure.


PS:  I had intended to write a whole post on this, and perhaps I still will, but I wanted to let you know that I have an article up over at Time Out For Women.  I have been asked to write articles on inspiring Latter-day Saint women for their "Women Like You" section.  My first article was published yesterday, and it is about somebody who has inspired me (and I know many of you know and love her, too), Lisa Pawlik

You can read the article here.


I was sent a copy of  The Entitlement Trap by the publisher in exchange for this review.


  1. I've heard a lot about this book as well. It sounds like it addresses some of the things I've been worrying about with my kids. I've put it on hold at the library.

  2. Oh, I've been wondering about this book. I read a summary of it and started getting ideas about the money aspect. I love the idea of having kids earn money and then buy all their own things. That's what I did as a kid (with babysitting money). And I have no entitlement issues. :) Thanks for the review.

    Also, thanks for the article! You did a fabulous job of condensing all the information I gave you (sorry!). I look forward to reading your future articles, too! Aweseome!

  3. I definitely know I need to work on this myself. Thanks for the review!

  4. Finding that magic chart/schedule is so hard, isn't it? I am still trying to get it all figured out. Thanks for the review. I am going to have to look into it.

  5. Have you looked at I like it because it is an easy set up and the kids can chart it themselves. If they don't, they don't get the rewards. Just an idea. Oh and it is free

  6. I need it. The book and a way for my children to have more responsibilty and ownership. If only their mom wasn't such a crazy control freak...

  7. I have heard a lot about this book, and have wished that it was around when I was raising mine. There is def a shift in society today than there was years ago, and that is a hard challenge for the young people today. Especially when society continues to tell them that they DESERSVE stuff.

    I think I'll give a copy to each of my kids when they have babies.