3 Signs You (Or Your Family) Are Struggling With Entitlement

Chances are it bothers you when you see entitlement in other people.

Kids who are ungrateful for a gift a relative gives them.

Adults who act like they have a right to something that's really a privilege.

But do you struggle with entitlement? Do your kids struggle with it?

Two great questions.

How would you know?

Well, there are at least 3 signs you can look for in your and in your kids.

enjoying the life together

3 Signs You (Or Your Family) Might Be Struggling with Entitlement

As much as we don't like entitlement when we see it in others, it can be hard to spot in yourself.

Essentially, entitlement is thinking you have a right to something that really should be a privilege. This can impact your attitude on everything from the parking spot you think you ‘deserve' to the house you ‘should' be living in to the gift your kids ‘should have' received last Christmas (but didn't).

Here are 3 signs it's a live issue for you and maybe for your family:


1. You're not as grateful as you should be

Entitlement kills many things, but the first thing it kills is your gratitude.

If you find yourself ungrateful for the promotion, for the house you live in, for the car you drive or the gift you got for Mother's Day/Father's Day, entitlement might be at the root of it.

In your kids, you'll spot this instantly. It's a lack of gratitude for gifts that don't meet their ‘criteria' or gratitude for things others do for them. The absence of spontaneous, heartfelt ‘thank yous' signals a developing sense of entitlement in your kids.


2. You think you deserve what you've got

Entitled people often have this sense that the they've have a right to the things they enjoy.

You deserve the vacation, the day off, the parking spot, the finer things you've worked so hard for.

In your kids, you'll see this as a breakdown in their ability to distinguish between needs and wants. Everything seems like something they need, whether they need it or not.


3. You're envious and secretly angry

Envy is never fun.

But couple it with a kind of secret anger and you've got a nasty combination.

When you're consistently jealous of (and even a bit secretly angry with) your neighbour who has a better car, bigger house, or who's more popular or better looking, or you're envious of you oh-so-successful brother-in-law, you might be struggling with entitlement.

In your kids, this often shows up as a sense that they're should be more popular or smarter than they are. Or, if your kids are the smart/popular ones in the class, a sense that they deserve to be so.


So What Do You Do?

The good news is there's hope. Lots of it.

In fact, we're going to spend a month working through the issue of entitlement at Connexus this summer.

Entitlement is kind of like a little monster that lives inside most of us. Feed it, and it grows. Starve it, and it shrinks.

So we're calling the series Starve the Monster: Battling Entitlement in You and Your Kids. It's going to be an amazing month, and we hope that not only you won't miss it, but that you'll take a minute to invite a friend to come with you. You can invite them to the launch of the series Sunday July 6th at our Barrie location or July 13th at our Orillia location.

We've got one week (July 20th in Barrie/July 27th in Orillia) that's specifically targeted at raising kids who grow up grateful, not entitled. We hope you'll invite everyone you know to that Sunday. ­čÖé

So it's going to be a big month as we drill down on an issue the scripture addresses powerfully and practically. And if you're reading this post and never been to church, no worries. Our goal is to be a church that unchurched people love to attend. So we'd love to have you join us. Just come out.

On the first week we kick off the series, I'll share more ways to help you assess whether you are struggling with entitlement, and the series is packed with practical tips on how to battle entitlement in you and your family!

It's going to be a great summer at Connexus!

– Carey Nieuwhof, Lead Pastor



  1. Patricia Konkle says, July 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Carey,

    Having experienced a sense of entitlement and the feeling of guilt when I realized that I had become someone I didn’t want to be, I am personally looking forward to this series. Will have to think about who I want to invite! Thank you for your the Blog.

  2. Lynn says, July 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Recently I was helping a family who could not afford braces for their teen child, I realized that I would be devastated if I couldn’t provide for my family due to circumstances sometimes beyond our control, I had forgotten how fortunate I was that I have never been in that situation and so fortunate that we have been able to provide for our children, both their needs and wants.

    • Carey Nieuwhof - Lead Pastor says, July 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Gratitude is so powerful. What a great reminder, and what a great reminder to help others in need too. Thanks Lynn!

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