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I've done my best to NOT raise a spoiled, entitled child. On many fronts I have succeeded, but I'm also feeling that I've failed somehow. Or maybe it's just her personality coming to light (10 nearly 11). I posted about my frustrations with her perfectionism with math a few weeks ago and definitely appreciate your help; math is going better.

 

This is in regards to toys and free time and chores. I know a certain amount of the "but every body else gets to or doesn't have to "is developmentally normal. I do my best to discuss those issues rationally and to help her see that not "everyone" is or is not doing certain things.

 

But the entitied attitude about toys and free time completely irks me. For example, Legos. We have literally thousands of legos. Given the opportunity, she and sister would happily make every single one into a Lego building and would, in time, take over an entire room in my house. (they did this when I let it just go as far as they would in the guest room, but then I wanted my guest room back). Okay not every single one, but there was a good 6 by 10 ft space covered. The playroom used to be the playroom, but then it became the schoolroom/ playroom because we needed space for the baby (now a toddler, so this isn't adjustment to baby). All kids have their own rooms. We aren't cramped. My snarky, and sometimes not snarky, but factual, answer is that she did absolutely nothing to pay for this house and that's it's my house to decide how to parcel out. Like I said, all three kids have their own bedrooms, plus half a bonus room, plus plenty of land and nice weather. They are NOT deprived in any way.

 

So today, after many different arrangements, I taped off a 6 by 8 foot section in the playroom and told them legos need to stay confined to that area. This is totally generous, right?? I mean my mother and probably none Of our mothers would have considered the idea of even having a playroom. Toys were picked up at the end of the day. I like my children to be able to have ongoing things, like a legos city, so I relax that rule. But dd began whining and said other people have playrooms in which to play, only, and so should she!! (After discussion we agreed that no one she knows in real Iife lives in such nirvana.). I told her this was how it is.

 

One thing that concerns me is that we are seriously considering building a bigger house because I don't love this one. And we CAN because we are grown ups and we have money. In this theoretical house there will be room for her to have Legos to herself. But I'm feeling that this is a character issue, a heart issue, and one I want to curb, immediately. I also sincerely feel that although we could afford it, we don't want to give them everything they want. We Middle dd is not like this at all--does not have the sense of entitlement. What do you think?

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I've done my best to NOT raise a spoiled, entitled child. On many fronts I have succeeded, but I'm also feeling that I've failed somehow. Or maybe it's just her personality coming to light (10 nearly 11). I posted about my frustrations with her perfectionism with math a few weeks ago and definitely appreciate your help; math is going better.

 

This is in regards to toys and free time and chores. I know a certain amount of the "but every body else gets to or doesn't have to "is developmentally normal. I do my best to discuss those issues rationally and to help her see that not "everyone" is or is not doing certain things.

 

But the entitied attitude about toys and free time completely irks me. For example, Legos. We have literally thousands of legos. Given the opportunity, she and sister would happily make every single one into a Lego building and would, in time, take over an entire room in my house. (they did this when I let it just go as far as they would in the guest room, but then I wanted my guest room back). Okay not every single one, but there was a good 6 by 10 ft space covered. The playroom used to be the playroom, but then it became the schoolroom/ playroom because we needed space for the baby (now a toddler, so this isn't adjustment to baby). All kids have their own rooms. We aren't cramped. My snarky, and sometimes not snarky, but factual, answer is that she did absolutely nothing to pay for this house and that's it's my house to decide how to parcel out. Like I said, all three kids have their own bedrooms, plus half a bonus room, plus plenty of land and nice weather. They are NOT deprived in any way.

 

So today, after many different arrangements, I taped off a 6 by 8 foot section in the playroom and told them legos need to stay confined to that area. This is totally generous, right?? I mean my mother and probably none Of our mothers would have considered the idea of even having a playroom. Toys were picked up at the end of the day. I like my children to be able to have ongoing things, like a legos city, so I relax that rule. But dd began whining and said other people have playrooms in which to play, only, and so should she!! (After discussion we agreed that no one she knows in real Iife lives in such nirvana.). I told her this was how it is.

 

One thing that concerns me is that we are seriously considering building a bigger house because I don't love this one. And we CAN because we are grown ups and we have money. In this theoretical house there will be room for her to have Legos to herself. But I'm feeling that this is a character issue, a heart issue, and one I want to curb, immediately. I also sincerely feel that although we could afford it, we don't want to give them everything they want. We Middle dd is not like this at all--does not have the sense of entitlement. What do you think?

 

I would put the two girls together in a bedroom, and then they can have a play room! Or use the second bedroom for a school room, and let them play in the bonus room -- on second thought, I'd probably do that; most of our play rooms were dining rooms or otherwise semi-public.

 

I don't think her attitude is charming, but I also don't see a 10yo doing all that well with a 6x8ft, taped-off playspace.

 

Also, FWIW, I couldn't do all that well with a play room inside my schoolroom.

 

Maybe the parceling out needs another look, for all of you to be more comfortable?

 

 

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I would put the two girls together in a bedroom, and then they can have a play room! Or use the second bedroom for a school room, and let them play in the bonus room -- on second thought, I'd probably do that; most of our play rooms were dining rooms or otherwise semi-public.

 

I don't think her attitude is charming, but I also don't see a 10yo doing all that well with a 6x8ft, taped-off playspace.

 

Also, FWIW, I couldn't do all that well with a play room inside my schoolroom.

 

Maybe the parceling out needs another look, for all of you to be more comfortable?

To clarify, the 6 by 8 space is only for Legos. I have a toddler that needs to be kept safe, and I also have a need to be able to walk to my bookshelves. It's hard to explain but basically the large, 14 by 20 ft or so room is divided in half, by opaque bookshelves and cubbies. One side school, other side play. They have their rooms and whatnot in which to play. They have large bedrooms. I've also let the playing spill into the guest room. For example they had doll school going on in there, and had sisters room taken over with Barbies. My concern is that no matter what I give it won't be enough. Trust me that they have plenty of room.

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This sounds like the normal self-centeredness of a preteen to me. She'll outgrow it eventually. In the mean time, patience! It's not some permanent inherent character flaw.

That is encouraging! She's really a kind person most of the time. What bugs me is the expectations she seems to have that I did NOT have. But then perhaps my parents thought the same things abOut me in comparison to their own childhoods. I definitely recall the but everybody else has conversations, and in the moment I wished they had bought me whatever it was. But when it came time to go to college and those folks who had cars in high school, for example ...some of them anyway... couldn't afford to go to college because of a car payment Or a pattern of splurging and my parents paid my way because they saved...I was thankful.

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I think wanting to build large LEGO masterpieces is completely normal, and you're overthinking this. Is your daughter refusing to follow rules you set about use of space, or throwing tantrums when she doesn't get her way? Or is she just asking for more space to build? There is nothing "entitled" about asking for what you want as long as you accept that sometimes the answer will be no.

Yes, refusing to follow rules and whatever I give not being enough. Throwing tantrums.

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Our house is filled with the kids' stuff. We could use more room so that they could keep more of their finished Lego works on display. We definitely don't clean up toys at night. Although, now that the kids are older it is less of an issue. They use electronics or read. If I had space for a playroom, we'd put the bulk of the Legos and other building tools in there and let them go wild. How fun! Right now, they build in the living room and have to move projects out of the way when they want to do something else. 

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I wouldn't be having such long discussions about it. I have an 11 year old, she knows very well the (few and generous) rules regarding her 'stuff' - I don't argue about it, I just implement the consequence.

 

So, your lego area (which sounds reasonable to me), if I found stray, escaped lego I'd be putting it up in a high box somewhere. I wouldn't even say anything about it. You're not punishing, you're just keeping your space clear. I'd be cheerful about it.

 

I'd probably put a space in her bedroom for special lego. If she really cannot keep it contained and whines about it, I would start cheerfully suggesting that there is too much stuff and it would be easier for her if we got rid of some.

 

I also have a family policy that if 'stuff' causes fights and friction, then the stuff is not worth having...

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I don't think your dd is acting entitled. I think she's acting like a normal kid.

 

I wouldn't worry about it, and I also wouldn't intentionally deprive her (or any other child) of things she wants simply because you don't want her to be spoiled. My ds is 17 now and he has always gotten pretty much whatever he wanted and he's still the kind and generous kid he always was. If your dd is generally kind and sweet, I think you should overlook it when she has whiny moments and seems to be acting a bit obnoxious. I think she will get over it more quickly if you don't even acknowledge it as being demanding or accuse her of acting entitled. You can even agree with her that it would be great if she had her own playroom, because let's face it, it would be fun for her. It doesn't mean you have to provide her with one, though. You can still restrict the playroom space if it's necessary, but if she knows you empathize with her, it might make her complain less often.

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It can be hard to be a kid at an age where power seems just out of reach but is still, well, out of reach.

 

So do you think you're entitled or spoiled because you are building a larger house than you need just because you don't love the one you are in now?

 

The difference in your perspective and hers is just that you have power now and she doesn't.  In another society, or another situation, you wouldn't have power (as a woman 500 years ago or as a poorer person now) and you might well say to yourself, bah, that's unfair!  You'd be used to it, though, so you wouldn't complain about it much to the power holders (the rich, men, etc.)

 

She is just new to the idea of  not having power but being old enough to sense that she will have some soon.

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That is encouraging! She's really a kind person most of the time. What bugs me is the expectations she seems to have that I did NOT have. But then perhaps my parents thought the same things abOut me in comparison to their own childhoods. I definitely recall the but everybody else has conversations, and in the moment I wished they had bought me whatever it was. But when it came time to go to college and those folks who had cars in high school, for example ...some of them anyway... couldn't afford to go to college because of a car payment Or a pattern of splurging and my parents paid my way because they saved...I was thankful.

  

Yes, refusing to follow rules and whatever I give not being enough. Throwing tantrums.

Okay, now I'm a little confused. If she's refusing to follow rules and says that whatever you give her isn't enough, that doesn't sound like a kid who is a kind person most of the time.

 

I will say, though, that I'm not sure why you would think she wouldn't have different expectations than you had as a child. She's a different person and is being raised by different parents in a different house, so it makes sense that she has different expectations. I wouldn't judge her based on that. Also, if you and your dh are better able to afford more luxuries than your parents could provide for you when you were a kid, it stands to reason that you wouldn't have even thought about asking your parents for some of the things your dd asks you to buy for her. She is accustomed to more or better things, and there's really nothing wrong with that. IMO, it's all about the attitude, and your posts are a little conflicting when you talk about her personality so I'm not sure what to think.

 

My impression from your posts is that she is generally a very good kid, but she has her obnoxious moments. If that's the case, I don't think she's much different from most kids and I don't think you need to worry. :)

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If you don't intend to give her everything she wants, you need to be prepared for her to continue to want it -- and to share her thoughts, feelings, and desires with you. (Immature people do that. You can talk through get communication style as needed.)

 

What you seem to think is that she should actually not want everything that she wants. Which, you might notice, is logically impossible. So it's pretty unattainable, as far as parenting goals go.

 

As a human being, she's not going to stop wanting more and better than her current status -- instead she is going to hit limits of what is/isn't possible, and learn to deal with the feelings that pop up as result. That's not "entitlement" (in my house we call it "wantfulness") and we all do it. We can all imagine what would be nicer, and feel a mild, moderate, or strong desire for that thing/circumstance/whatever that we imagine. We don't have deep flaws of character and personality. Neither does she. She believes her current life/status is "normal" becsuse it is "normal" -- it's been that way for her whole life. (She no more imagines your childhood status than you spend your childhood imaging your father walking barefoot 10 miles to school, uphill both ways.)

 

She's just telling you a feeling she is having. All she needs is a bit of sympathy and a solid distraction. It's irritating because it's childish and repetitive -- but that's parenting. She's not grown up enough to do it another way yet.

 

(Parents easily grasp 'I do it as the parent because my child is too young' when a child is too young to hold a spoon or read a book -- but there are dozens of social, emotional, cognitive and relational things they won't be able to do unguided for years after the spoon-feeding years. That's where your role *is* -- for years.)

 

You don't need to argue with her until she agrees that you are being reasonable -- just be reasonable, and be confident, and be kind about it. It's going to happen about 400 more times per child... You might as well be efficient!

Edited by bolt.
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When my kids drive me crazy about comparing one way (all the things others have that they do not have) I quickly turn it around and start comparing them to the bulk of children living in poverty. You two have to share a bedroom? Well you have a warm home, loving parents, everything you need and most of what you want. There are kids living in the streets going hungry tonight. Let's think about them for a moment and be grateful for all we have.

 

It drives them crazy, but then they drive me crazy with the comparing so I think it is a fair trade. I do emphasize compassion for others and gratitude, but also being content with what you have without the need for more all the time. I tell them if they cannot learn the art of being content they will never truly be happy because there is always more and better. These are the conversations we have, and I honestly wonder how much is sinking in sometimes. But I still feel they are important questions to ask.

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I followed the KonMari advice about everyone's stuff being in their own space and moved all toys to the kids rooms. Their rooms are kind of awful now but it's worth it for peace of mind that the rest of my house isn't full of the stuff. They do occasionally bring stuff out but it always goes back.

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If I could have built a bigger house, I would have.

I wouldn't balk at putting in a playroom if I had the means to do that.  That would just be one more great room for me to use during the empty nest years.

 

What I WOULD balk at would be if a child of mine was braggy about our possessions, or ungenerous, or inhospitable, or otherwise unkind. 

 

If you're well off, your child is probably going to be well off one day.  This is a good time to teach the ways to be a good person while being prosperous.  There is a reason that newly rich folks are notorious for being obnoxious.  It's because they achieved wealth without knowing these things. 

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On the character issue, set rule and implement consequences. Pretty simple. You're not being unreasonable and she is also being typical for her age. That doesn't mean it is acceptable behavior, but I wouldn't say it's unusual. Confine the Legos to the space designated and remove any that end up outside it. We make our kids buy them back with allowance.

 

We don't even have the space to keep our toys here, so giving them a spot to retain built Lego structures is very nice in my opinion. But whatever the situation is, rules are rules and once they're known it's okay to enforce them and consequences associated with them.

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On the building issue, I would not be inclined to make the house bigger and with a dedicated lego space. I would be concerned that there was a character issue there that is being smoothed away by the benefit of more money.

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We have a playroom in our current house.  None of my kids friends had a playroom.  Ours got tons of use in the winter when it was too cold or bad weather.  Lego cities, car parks, train races, you name it.

 

That being said - grumbling about not having enough space is probably age appropriate for a 10/11yo.   My guess is you are engaging her too much if it turns into an argument.  10/11yo are not usually fully functioning at an adult level, KWIM?  My kids hated it, but often got told "When you have your own house, then you can XYZ.  Until then, we share space".

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I think that's pretty normal. We never had a play room, but I did have spots where things could stay out a few days. My youngest made spectacular blanket forts. I think that age is really annoying because they are more practiced at getting under your skin. She did get under your skin and the really important thing is not to give her that power or you may end up with a heart issue later. Letting her vent a couple of times and keeping firm is just what the doctor ordered. Also, the oldest child often is the most irritating. They don't know how they sound. My younger two children were much more pleasant sounding because they knew how the older one sounded when she got demanding, and they knew that I didn't ever give in to her when she got that way, so hopefully some of this is battles you are only fighting once.

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On the building issue, I would not be inclined to make the house bigger and with a dedicated lego space. I would be concerned that there was a character issue there that is being smoothed away by the benefit of more money.

 

See, this is weird to me.  Why is the OP building a bigger house in the first place?  or a different one?  Isn't it because there is something about the current one she doesn't like, so she is using her money (or her DH's money) to change it?

 

Why would she change something for herself but not something for her child?  Just because her child is louder about her dissastifaction with her current circumstances (OP is also dissatisfied with a larger house than 80% of the world has, but is not loud about it - possibly because she knows she has the power to change it in the near future, and possibly because she is an adult and has more impulse control about loud complaining).

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I've done my best to NOT raise a spoiled, entitled child. On many fronts I have succeeded, but I'm also feeling that I've failed somehow. Or maybe it's just her personality coming to light (10 nearly 11). I posted about my frustrations with her perfectionism with math a few weeks ago and definitely appreciate your help; math is going better.

 

This is in regards to toys and free time and chores. I know a certain amount of the "but every body else gets to or doesn't have to "is developmentally normal. I do my best to discuss those issues rationally and to help her see that not "everyone" is or is not doing certain things.

 

But the entitied attitude about toys and free time completely irks me. For example, Legos. We have literally thousands of legos. Given the opportunity, she and sister would happily make every single one into a Lego building and would, in time, take over an entire room in my house. (they did this when I let it just go as far as they would in the guest room, but then I wanted my guest room back). Okay not every single one, but there was a good 6 by 10 ft space covered. The playroom used to be the playroom, but then it became the schoolroom/ playroom because we needed space for the baby (now a toddler, so this isn't adjustment to baby). All kids have their own rooms. We aren't cramped. My snarky, and sometimes not snarky, but factual, answer is that she did absolutely nothing to pay for this house and that's it's my house to decide how to parcel out. Like I said, all three kids have their own bedrooms, plus half a bonus room, plus plenty of land and nice weather. They are NOT deprived in any way.

 

So today, after many different arrangements, I taped off a 6 by 8 foot section in the playroom and told them legos need to stay confined to that area. This is totally generous, right?? I mean my mother and probably none Of our mothers would have considered the idea of even having a playroom. Toys were picked up at the end of the day. I like my children to be able to have ongoing things, like a legos city, so I relax that rule. But dd began whining and said other people have playrooms in which to play, only, and so should she!! (After discussion we agreed that no one she knows in real Iife lives in such nirvana.). I told her this was how it is.

 

One thing that concerns me is that we are seriously considering building a bigger house because I don't love this one. And we CAN because we are grown ups and we have money. In this theoretical house there will be room for her to have Legos to herself. But I'm feeling that this is a character issue, a heart issue, and one I want to curb, immediately. I also sincerely feel that although we could afford it, we don't want to give them everything they want. We Middle dd is not like this at all--does not have the sense of entitlement. What do you think?

 

That doesn't sound like an "entitled attitude" to me. It's a childish one, and understandable, really. You look her in the eyeball and tell her to quit whining or she'll lose the Legos altogether.

 

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I sympathize with your dd, lol. My 9 year old has a large bedroom, and between his loft bed and dresser in the closet, he has a lot of floor space. 80% of the bedroom is dedicated to Lego. He has Lego creations on shelves, a dedicated Lego table, and tubs of Legos that he paws through. We have a rule that there are not supposed to be any Lego pieces on the floor, but he breaks that often so I have to keep sending him back to pick up Legos (but then he inevitably gets distracted and starts playing again). It keeps him busy and happy, and he listens to audiobooks while playing so I can't even complain. In our old house he had a giant room in the basement with two large dining-size tables and he still filled it up. Lego takes up room, period. I feel sorry for kids who have to put it away each night, so I'm glad you don't make your kids do that.

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Sounds like normal, logic-stage behavior to me.  She is reaching the age when she questions everything, pushes boundaries to see how firm they are, and attempts to make an imprint on the world around her.  Now is not the time to be wishy-washy with boundaries, but it's also not time to worry that you are creating a monster.  :)  Make the rules firm.  Possibly set up a time to re-evaluate some time in the future.  Show her an arial view of New York City, and suggest that she build UP!

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See, this is weird to me. Why is the OP building a bigger house in the first place? or a different one? Isn't it because there is something about the current one she doesn't like, so she is using her money (or her DH's money) to change it?

 

Why would she change something for herself but not something for her child? Just because her child is louder about her dissastifaction with her current circumstances (OP is also dissatisfied with a larger house than 80% of the world has, but is not loud about it - possibly because she knows she has the power to change it in the near future, and possibly because she is an adult and has more impulse control about loud complaining).

I hear what you're saying, and I was thinking about this when I put up this post. But there's still a difference to me when you are the adult and are making your own purchasing decisions to make your life more pleasant vs. when you are the child and can only either complain or accept reality. So, for example: my DS sure does wish he had a Dodge Challenger or a Camero to drive. But I wouldn't give him one of either car in his dizziest daydream, even if my pockets were crammed with disposable income. I want him to have to go through the process of obtaining a coveted car on his own, or else come to realize he doesn't want that badly enough to earn it. He does have a vehicle to use, but it isn't glamorous or desirable. I do personally have a nice car to drive, but it didn't turn up at my door one day.

 

So to me, that is the difference. If the OP wants to build a new house with a bigger kitchen and a three-car garage, yes, that's a luxury and is, in a way, saying Money Buys Comfort. It would bother me to just make the angst about lego space disappear by building a new house with a lego space because the kid didn't have to earn that space and it does seem to feed entitlement.

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See, this is weird to me. Why is the OP building a bigger house in the first place? or a different one? Isn't it because there is something about the current one she doesn't like, so she is using her money (or her DH's money) to change it?

 

Why would she change something for herself but not something for her child? Just because her child is louder about her dissastifaction with her current circumstances (OP is also dissatisfied with a larger house than 80% of the world has, but is not loud about it - possibly because she knows she has the power to change it in the near future, and possibly because she is an adult and has more impulse control about loud complaining).

We are considering building a bigger house mainly because dh wants a bigger house, and the house that has always been our dream house is within financial reach. We have a completely fine house, better than most if the worlds population, certainly, but would like to have more room to entertain, different layout, etc. there is certainly no NEED at all. Purely wants. We also like the location much more than this one, and that's kind of a deciding factor. More Lego room has zero to do with it, but I brought that up to say that in the new house, yes, there could be that room. I could be happy building a smaller house but dh wants a bigger one and ultimately, he's the one who earns the money.

 

But I don't want to hand it over a larger space in which to Play , because she has enough , to her to avoid the aforementioned character issues. So that will not be happening. I appreciate hearing from you all that I'm not unreasonable. The bottom line in my mind is that if dh and I, as forty year olds, want a different house or want to allocate the space we have differently, we can, because we have money and power and all that. Ten year olds deserve to have a happy life and toys and space etc., but they need to understand enough is enough. I saw several "trust fund" kid in college and although we aren't to that point at all, I won't provide my kids with lots of disposable income and try to avoid entitlement in general. I buy many of their clothes at consignment. We volunteer by feeding the homeless monthly. I point out the people who don't have what they have, and we give. I really try to balance things. I try to deal with my own entitlement. She will have a job to earn money for cars, clothes, etc., and I hope she has the character building experience of working at fast food restaurants, maid services, etc like I did. Neither dh nor I came from money, and we are savers. So it helps me to hear that this is Normal behavior on her part. I feel like a failure with all this drama going on. Not engaging and walking away does seem like the best plan.

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(Snipped) My snarky, and sometimes not snarky, but factual, answer is that she did absolutely nothing to pay for this house and that's it's my house to decide how to parcel out. (Snipped)

 

But I'm feeling that this is a character issue, a heart issue, and one I want to curb, immediately.

OK, she may have done absolutely nothing to pay for the house, but she also did absolutely nothing in choosing it. You chose to have children and to live in the house that you do. I personally cannot fault my children for decisions I made for them, that they have no power to change. Although I do somewhat live by "my house, my rules" We lovingly refer to it as a Benevolent Dictatorship, although by political definitions that is probably not at all what we are, LOL! I do also refer to myself as the Benevolent Overlord. ;)

 

I don't know enough from your post to agree that it is a heart or character issue. Are you by chance following any parenting advice books that equate any disagreement with parents as "heart issues"?

 

My final thought... do you clearly communicate your rules and reasons to this child? I am the type of person who almost doesn't care what the rule is, as long as I know what it is and why it was a rule, rather than just some random idea a grownup had. Hard to explain, sorry... but what is obvious and sensible to you may not be so to a child, or even another adult for some things.

Edited by Rebel Yell
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This is just normal tween stuff in my opinion.  I'd say have your rules, explain and discuss them when you're all calm, and enforce them calmly without snarking back.  Try to consciously find ways to connect to communicate and bond with this kid in positive ways.  Try to develop some empathy.  It's not always easiest to be the oldest.

 

Also, the oldest child often is the most irritating. They don't know how they sound. My younger two children were much more pleasant sounding because they knew how the older one sounded when she got demanding, and they knew that I didn't ever give in to her when she got that way, so hopefully some of this is battles you are only fighting once.

 

As someone who is the oldest and my parents would say was the most annoying and someone who has 2 kids and have done child care and taught various groups of kids I have some theories on this.  I think parental expectations are often the highest for that oldest kid.  You haven't parented a child through this phase before and it feels the most challenging.  It can cause more tension in the relationship.  I felt super alone and misunderstood between the ages of 10-14.  I had a younger sibling that got considerably more laid back and understanding parenting than I got.  I don't think it was coincidence that kid felt "easier".  They were easier on him.  When parents are less tense, kids are less tense.  It can become a negative feedback loop.

 

Anyway - I'm not at all speaking specifically to your situation just my own.  I just don't think you can generalize on that at all.  My 2nd child is definitely higher strung and more touchy than my 1st born which I think is just her.  She's 12 now and I really have to work to find ways to stay connected with her right now.  I think her moods are on a down swing now (crossing fingers).  And she's kind of been an air head for a couple years too.  I think big growth spurts can mess with the brain a bit.  Feeling like you're older and having to share space constantly with youngers can be a trigger. 

 

Before my kids were born, someone who did child care gave me a great piece of advice to average the kids in a group and set that as the expectation level for all.  I have always kept that in mind over the years and I think it's served me well.  Even as an adult, if I'm talking to someone whiny or crabby, after a while I can see how it might start to shift my mood.
 

In terms of a new house, I wouldn't say "Princess Dumpling, here is your very own lego palace room".  I might have some designated space for kids to spread out.  Legos won't last forever, especially for a 10 year old.  My 12 year old is crafty (has been legos at times) and it actually does help her moods to have some designated spaces for her to spread out projects.  Honoring and respecting your child's personality does not have to mean creating an entitled child.  And like I said, I think this is just normal logic stage/tween stuff.

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OK, she may have done absolutely nothing to pay for the house, but she also did absolutely nothing in choosing it. You chose to have children and to live in the house that you do. I personally cannot fault my children for decisions I made for them, that they have no power to change. Although I do somewhat live by "my house, my rules" We lovingly refer to it as a Benevolent Dictatorship, although by political definitions that is probably not at all what we are, LOL! I do also refer to myself as the Benevolent Overlord. ;)

 

I don't know enough from your post to agree that it is a heart or character issue. Are you by chance following any parenting advice books that equate any disagreement with parents as "heart issues"?

 

My final thought... do you clearly communicate your rules and reasons to this child? I am the type of person who almost doesn't care what the rule is, as long as I know what it is and why it was a rule, rather than just some random idea a grownup had. Hard to explain, sorry... but what is obvious and sensible to you may not be so to a child, or even another adult for some things.

I do clearly communicate to her but sometimes she doesn't listen (I'm having her repeat back what I said to make sure). As far as heart issues etc., not following a parenting advice book exactly. I'm perfectly willing to discuss things or disagreements with them as long as they remain respectful. She quickly devolves into drama if she doesn't get me to change my mind (I do, on occasion, realize I'm wrong and say so.). The heart issues to which I speak are more about accepting my t authority, obeying instructions without a tantrum, etc. (i.e. It's time to do your math, when we do math at a certain predictable time every day shouldn't produce a tantrum). nor should it's time to fold the clothes, when she knows that's the routine.

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We are considering building a bigger house mainly because dh wants a bigger house, and the house that has always been our dream house is within financial reach. We have a completely fine house, better than most if the worlds population, certainly, but would like to have more room to entertain, different layout, etc. there is certainly no NEED at all. Purely wants. We also like the location much more than this one, and that's kind of a deciding factor. More Lego room has zero to do with it, but I brought that up to say that in the new house, yes, there could be that room. I could be happy building a smaller house but dh wants a bigger one and ultimately, he's the one who earns the money.

But I don't want to hand it over a larger space in which to Play , because she has enough , to her to avoid the aforementioned character issues. So that will not be happening. I appreciate hearing from you all that I'm not unreasonable. The bottom line in my mind is that if dh and I, as forty year olds, want a different house or want to allocate the space we have differently, we can, because we have money and power and all that. Ten year olds deserve to have a happy life and toys and space etc., but they need to understand enough is enough. I saw several "trust fund" kid in college and although we aren't to that point at all, I won't provide my kids with lots of disposable income and try to avoid entitlement in general. I buy many of their clothes at consignment. We volunteer by feeding the homeless monthly. I point out the people who don't have what they have, and we give. I really try to balance things. I try to deal with my own entitlement. She will have a job to earn money for cars, clothes, etc., and I hope she has the character building experience of working at fast food restaurants, maid services, etc like I did. Neither dh nor I came from money, and we are savers. So it helps me to hear that this is Normal behavior on her part. I feel like a failure with all this drama going on. Not engaging and walking away does seem like the best plan.

I can't figure out how your dd having a Lego room would somehow lead to her having a bad character. :confused:

 

My ds has a bedroom, a media room, a computer room, and a video room in one of our houses, and it has made him very happy, but he doesn't act entitled about it. It is what it is. When we were house shopping, this one had the extra space and ds liked it and had good use for it, so we let him have it. It was a big reason why we decided to buy the house. My dh and I were glad to be able to give him such a nice space and it never occurred to us that it might turn him into some sort of entitled monster.

 

I don't think a sense of entitlement comes from what we give our kids. I don't think giving our kids fewer things makes them any more generous or less spoiled than if we give our kids more or better things. It's not the stuff; it's the attitude.

 

If a parent makes a big deal out of how they earn the money so they can buy whatever they want for themselves, but they don't indulge their kids and they tell them things like, "someday you'll have nice things when you go out and get a job," I can understand why their kids might feel a little resentful. Honestly, it seems kind of selfish and unfair to me. It's not like the kids can go out and earn their own money to build their own Lego room.

 

Look, I'm not saying you have to indulge your dd's every last whim, but I am saying that you seem to equate good character with being deprived of luxuries -- like the Lego room. I think it could end up backfiring.

 

EDITED TO ADD -- I just re-read this post and I am worried that it will come across the wrong way. I really like you, Mother Goose, and I'm honestly not trying to be mean! If anything I posted made you feel hurt or angry with me, I want to apologize in advance. I can't seem to find the right wording for what I'm trying to say, and I think I really messed up! :(

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I can't figure out how your dd having a Lego room would somehow lead to her having a bad character. :confused:

 

My ds has a bedroom, a media room, a computer room, and a video room in one of our houses, and it has made him very happy, but he doesn't act entitled about it. It is what it is. When we were house shopping, this one had the extra space and ds liked it and had good use for it, so we let him have it. It was a big reason why we decided to buy the house. My dh and I were glad to be able to give him such a nice space and it never occurred to us that it might turn him into some sort of entitled monster.

 

I don't think a sense of entitlement comes from what we give our kids. I don't think giving our kids fewer things makes them any more generous or less spoiled than if we give our kids more or better things. It's not the stuff; it's the attitude.

 

If a parent makes a big deal out of how they earn the money so they can buy whatever they want for themselves, but they don't indulge their kids and they tell them things like, "someday you'll have nice things when you go out and get a job," I can understand why their kids might feel a little resentful. Honestly, it seems kind of selfish and unfair to me. It's not like the kids can go out and earn their own money to build their own Lego room.

 

Look, I'm not saying you have to indulge your dd's every last whim, but I am saying that you seem to equate good character with being deprived of luxuries -- like the Lego room. I think it could end up backfiring.

Thank youfor your honest response! What bothers me is that upon getting more space to play than I had previously allowed, instead of thank you, I get whining about how that's not enough and she needs a whole room without mama ever requiring any cleaning. That's the problem. She does have plenty of nice things. I just am afraid there would never be an end, or any sense of contentment. I'm sure her teachers at coop, church, parents of friends, grandparents, babysitters, would never know abOut this behavior. She saves it for mama.

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See if your library has this series? https://www.amazon.com/Betty-Bunny-Everything-Michael-Kaplan/dp/0803734085/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1487728168&sr=8-4&keywords=betty+bunny Yes, it's little kid stuff. But still worth a little family read.

 

When DS gets like that, I acknowledge that he's full of "I want" (like Betty Bunny!). And perhaps when he buys his own house, it will have [a dog/his own computer/a cocoa fountain/robot servants/whatever]!  If he persists, I quote Betty Bunny at him. And then make emperor or Cromwell jokes. Maybe then some Buddhist wisdom. And then tell him to knock it off. He just needs to hear "I hear you" and "Seriously, no."

 

Many kids are like that for a while: they're immature.

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What my 11yodd just did:

I was waiting to pick her up from the carpool drop-off.  While waiting, I was enjoying my favorite a cappella Renaissance group (Voces8).  She opened the door, wearing earbuds, and before she even got in, she reached in and turned my music all the way down.  Apparently it was interfering with her music.  I looked at her, and said "Excuse me?"  She just looked back and said, "I was just drowning it out, so that I could hear."  It apparently didn't even occur to her that that was rude or not her place.  I reminded her that I am the driver, so I choose the music, and that she could finish her song when we got home.  Then, I turned my music back up.  

 

11 year olds are just like that.  Super ego-centric.  Always testing, though not always consciously.  Just finding their place in the world.  (In this case, her place did not include turning off my music so that I could sit there in silence while she enjoyed hers.  Just, no.)

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Thank youfor your honest response! What bothers me is that upon getting more space to play than I had previously allowed, instead of thank you, I get whining about how that's not enough and she needs a whole room without mama ever requiring any cleaning. That's the problem. She does have plenty of nice things. I just am afraid there would never be an end, or any sense of contentment. I'm sure her teachers at coop, church, parents of friends, grandparents, babysitters, would never know abOut this behavior. She saves it for mama.

:lol: They always save it for mama, don't they? :lol:

 

I think I get it now. You're probably thinking that if you give her the Lego room, that won't be good enough either, and she'll also want a pool and a tennis court.

 

It's a tough call. My best guess is that she's going through a phase. It can be a tough age, and she will probably grow out of it, but I'm sure that's not helping when you have to deal with her being so obnoxious right now. :grouphug:

 

I guess my best advice is to listen to her complaints, acknowledge that whatever she wants would be nice to have, and then tell her you can't give her what she wants right now. I don't know if it would help, but I'm hoping that if she feels you are listening to her and understanding her feelings, maybe she will eventually quit complaining. Maybe it won't be as much fun to whine and complain and create a huge drama if mom won't argue with her and if mom stays calm and consistent and understanding.

 

I'm not saying it will be easy, though. You'll probably want to run out of the house screaming and check into a hotel for a while. ;)

 

PS. Thanks for taking my post in the spirit in which it was intended. I was so worried that I had posted in a snippy way and then I was worried that you would miss the apology I edited on to the end of my post! :)

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If you give yourself the larger house (or if you and DH give yourselves the larger house) do you think that will make you feel like you're entitled to something - like you've earned it, or deserve it, or something? Do you think that once you get the house you'll just want another, bigger one, or one with a tennis court, or something, assuming you could afford it?

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If you give yourself the larger house (or if you and DH give yourselves the larger house) do you think that will make you feel like you're entitled to something - like you've earned it, or deserve it, or something? Do you think that once you get the house you'll just want another, bigger one, or one with a tennis court, or something, assuming you could afford it?

I don't know about you, but I really want to see the new house!

 

I feel we are entitled to see it. ;)

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What my 11yodd just did:

I was waiting to pick her up from the carpool drop-off.  While waiting, I was enjoying my favorite a cappella Renaissance group (Voces8).  She opened the door, wearing earbuds, and before she even got in, she reached in and turned my music all the way down.  Apparently it was interfering with her music.  I looked at her, and said "Excuse me?"  She just looked back and said, "I was just drowning it out, so that I could hear."  It apparently didn't even occur to her that that was rude or not her place.  I reminded her that I am the driver, so I choose the music, and that she could finish her song when we got home.  Then, I turned my music back up.  

 

11 year olds are just like that.  Super ego-centric.  Always testing, though not always consciously.  Just finding their place in the world.  (In this case, her place did not include turning off my music so that I could sit there in silence while she enjoyed hers.  Just, no.)

 

gosh, that sounds to me like *you* are entitled - because you are driving you get to decide the music all the time, period?

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Some kids can have a lot given to them and never cop an entitled attitude. And other kids can act entitled even if they don't have a whole lot given to them. Op, I totally get that you sense your dd's actions need to be nipped sooner rather than later. I trust you know your dd.   

 

We didn't mind the kids playing in common areas but we did want them to clean up their mess before moving on to another area.  If your guest room isn't often used, can your dd use that for her lego town that she wants to keep set up?   Is she usually good about helping do chores when asked? 

 

Hang in there- it actually does get better. Eventually. 

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I think it is nice to explain how you are trying to parcel out the space in the best way possible to meet everyone's needs.  I'm sure she longs for the days when she could build and build and take up more space building and not have to put it away at night, like when you let them build in the guest room and possibly when the bonus room was all play room.  So I think it would be totally normal to long for that freedom again, after having had it.

 

We are blessed with a fairly large house with extra rooms for play.  We have a dedicated play room with a huge wall of shelves and for years it was the lego room (plus other toys but legos take over everything).  My sons are now 11 and are not spending as much time as they once did playing legos.  After discussing it with them, we moved their legos upstairs to a smaller area in the workout room.  They don't have as much room or as many shelves but they can leave them out longer without me having to look at the mess every day and wanting them to clean up. 

 

I think letting the kids help to come up with suggestions might help.  Maybe the two girls would much rather share a room and have one whole room as a play room.  That sounds like it might be an awesome idea.  Or maybe she just needs help seeing that it was quite a luxury when we could spread out our legos and build huge stuff and leave them out but now we have a new family member, which means everyone has a bit less space, etc.

 

I agree with what others have said though.  I think a lot of it is just the age and they are just going through a period where they don't always think of others first so they can come across as selfish and self centered.  Most of the time, when I nicely explain it in a way they can understand, they can usually see how they were only thinking of self.  It does take a lot of patience though.

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gosh, that sounds to me like *you* are entitled - because you are driving you get to decide the music all the time, period?

 

 

Yup.  Driver gets to choose.  Sometimes I choose to let her listen to whatever she wants.  Sometimes I like to listen to something else.  I'm the mom.  I'm the pilot in command of my vessel.  I'm the boss.  It's my car.  It's my sanity that keeps us on the road.  It's my choice.  (Dh and I made this arrangement about 30 years ago, and it's always worked quite well)

 

And, getting into a car and changing the music without asking is rude, especially if you're only 11 years old.

 

Is there something wrong with being entitled when you are actually entitled?

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I've done my best to NOT raise a spoiled, entitled child. On many fronts I have succeeded, but I'm also feeling that I've failed somehow. Or maybe it's just her personality coming to light (10 nearly 11). I posted about my frustrations with her perfectionism with math a few weeks ago and definitely appreciate your help; math is going better.

 

This is in regards to toys and free time and chores. I know a certain amount of the "but every body else gets to or doesn't have to "is developmentally normal. I do my best to discuss those issues rationally and to help her see that not "everyone" is or is not doing certain things.

 

But the entitied attitude about toys and free time completely irks me. For example, Legos. We have literally thousands of legos. Given the opportunity, she and sister would happily make every single one into a Lego building and would, in time, take over an entire room in my house. (they did this when I let it just go as far as they would in the guest room, but then I wanted my guest room back). Okay not every single one, but there was a good 6 by 10 ft space covered. The playroom used to be the playroom, but then it became the schoolroom/ playroom because we needed space for the baby (now a toddler, so this isn't adjustment to baby). All kids have their own rooms. We aren't cramped. My snarky, and sometimes not snarky, but factual, answer is that she did absolutely nothing to pay for this house and that's it's my house to decide how to parcel out. Like I said, all three kids have their own bedrooms, plus half a bonus room, plus plenty of land and nice weather. They are NOT deprived in any way.

 

So today, after many different arrangements, I taped off a 6 by 8 foot section in the playroom and told them legos need to stay confined to that area. This is totally generous, right?? I mean my mother and probably none Of our mothers would have considered the idea of even having a playroom. Toys were picked up at the end of the day. I like my children to be able to have ongoing things, like a legos city, so I relax that rule. But dd began whining and said other people have playrooms in which to play, only, and so should she!! (After discussion we agreed that no one she knows in real Iife lives in such nirvana.). I told her this was how it is.

 

One thing that concerns me is that we are seriously considering building a bigger house because I don't love this one. And we CAN because we are grown ups and we have money. In this theoretical house there will be room for her to have Legos to herself. But I'm feeling that this is a character issue, a heart issue, and one I want to curb, immediately. I also sincerely feel that although we could afford it, we don't want to give them everything they want. We Middle dd is not like this at all--does not have the sense of entitlement. What do you think?

My son's friend's house has a lego room. The dad had always wanted one and now that he's an orthopedic surgeon he can have one. The closet is completely full of legos.

 

It is a lot of fun for the kids to go there! And the whole family is very sweet and dedicated to community service. So some adults do decide to do this with their money. 

 

Emily

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I agree that this sounds pretty normal for the age.

 

That said, I share your concern about the difficulty of raising a grounded child when everything comes so easy for them.  I struggle with that too.  I can't say I have the answers.  I try to look for opportunities for them to work for what they get etc., but they are still indulged beyond my wildest childhood dreams.  Today I was showing them photos from my childhood - my 3 sibs and me sharing one small bedroom, and all our toys and books in a couple modest cupboards in one corner.  And us smiling happily while playing in that corner.  I have no idea if they noticed the contrast.

 

If you have opportunities to volunteer with your kids helping less fortunate kids (e.g. at a shelter or hospital), maybe that would help her to stop taking goodies for granted.

 

My 10yo recently got excited about lego, and she started building her stuff in the common areas.  In her defense, the light fixture in her room is broken, and anyway, we'd rather she not go hide in her room all the time.  But all over the floor was jut not working for us - especially since a lego construction site is impossible to move out of the way when people come over.

 

My solution has been to find a sturdy but lightweight base (or bases) on which she can build her lego stuff.  She can then easily move it out of the way when we need the space or when we just want the place to look neater.

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Yup.  Driver gets to choose.  Sometimes I choose to let her listen to whatever she wants.  Sometimes I like to listen to something else.  I'm the mom.  I'm the pilot in command of my vessel.  I'm the boss.  It's my car.  It's my sanity that keeps us on the road.  It's my choice.  (Dh and I made this arrangement about 30 years ago, and it's always worked quite well)

 

And, getting into a car and changing the music without asking is rude, especially if you're only 11 years old.

 

Is there something wrong with being entitled when you are actually entitled?

 

Hah, I see where you are coming from!  If you are actually entitled, then it makes sense to enjoy your entitlement.  I guess we just see *who* is entitled differently.  For me, if I am buying a larger house, DC are as entitled as I am to the enjoyment of the larger house.  If they are in the car, I don't play music they hate, and will stop on a song they like on the radio dial.  DH decides the radio setting if he is in the car, though.

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I think people are being a bit unfair. It sounds like the op's dd gets plenty of luxuries and plenty of dedicated space.

 

This is more about the dd not respecting that other people are also entitled to some peaceful space in their own home - including mum and dad! Mum has delineated space especially for the dd, and asked that the 'stuff' be contained. I wouldn't be inclined to build a child extra room either, just because they felt that tramping their stuff everywhere regardless of other people's space and having a tantrum when called out.

 

Age appropriate, sure. I bet that with a change of attitude the op might hear out the cool suggestions for a lego room.

 

We actually use a caravan as a lego room!

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Does she maybe have an unmet emotional need elsewhere?

 

Maybe its a Love Language issue. If you're not getting your primary love language met, then you fight tooth and nail for the secondary one. So "Thing X is really important, but is only met 4%, but thing Y isn't so important, but it is met 80%, so if I push really hard maybe I can bump that up to 175%, and then I'll feel better." 

 

For example, making and providing food is a love language to my eldest. It makes him upset when I don't get up and pour him a cup of milk, even though I am trying to get him to be self-responsible and self-sufficient. He will also regularly ask his grandpa to make him a sandwich that he can very well make himself, which looks very lazy and self-centered. When I ask him why he says that sandwiches his grandpa make taste better. Which is rationally false, but emotionally true - he feels love in every bite of that grandpa-made sandwich. If I cut off that love language his demands and pleas for other things, selfish silly things he doesn't really want, skyrockets.

 

Now, my kid probably has no idea that he has a love language or that the way he feels even has a pattern. Most people don't. So if you ask your DD if she has an unmet need that she's trying to make up for with Lego's she'll probably say no. But that doesn't mean that the need doesn't exist.

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There are positives to a certain degree of entitlement mentality. I was a kid who never felt entitled to ask for anything--special food or toys or help with homework. It can be a real impediment; I wish I had learned that asking for help or complaining about a problem was OK. Feeling that you always have to tolerate stuff and work everything out on your own isn't actually the healthiest attitude.

 

Of course neither is always demanding that others meet your every need or whim.

 

Too far in either direction can be problematic.

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I don't think it's an entitlement issue.

 

This is the age when kids start exercising their adulting skills, and it's good to let them.  Since this doesn't work for her, sit down as a family and state the problem (the legos must be contained) and ask the kids to come up with solutions.  Add in ideas like you *could* designate a playroom, but they would would have to share a room.  And so on.  Let them see every aspect of the problem to find a respectful solution.

 

Kids want.  That's not a secret.  There's a lack of maturity that makes them, well, kids.  Make the goal to be to have them approach issues as ways to problem solve and start including their voice in the matter.  Yeah, they may not have x the same as little Janie down the street does, but little Janie also doesn't have y like they do.  They start to figure these things out. 

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My kids have a playroom and space for their Lego. However, the issue of entitlement or not taking care of things is the same as when we didn't have those things. I've explained to my kids that a big play space means increased responsibility. I show them and help them keep it neat, but when they start mistreating things, they start losing privileges. Also, paying for their own things/toys does seem to help with their attitudes about things.

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