If there’s one person that can tell you about entitled parents, it is former soccer coach Avery Krut.
Entitled Parenting and the Youth Soccer Coach
In November 2017, a story broke from a Hollywood reporter. It shone a very dim light on parents living in the leafy suburbs of upscale Beverly Hills. But this was no celebrity exposé or salacious A-list gossip.
It was the tale of straight-talking New York soccer coach Avery Krut, his resignation and the subsequent astonishing attack on people he called ‘entitled parents’.
Avery Krut volunteered in the Youth Soccer Organization’s branch in Beverly Hills for over 15 years. This well-respected and loved youth soccer coach scheduled and referred games for 1800 children aged 4 to 17.
But he quit after he’d had enough of the parents who came along to the games. He sent a scathing email to these parents explaining his decision.
“I can no longer be involved with so many people who feel so entitled. I have come to despise so many of you, and I hold so many of you in contempt.” Avery Krut
So what had prompted this extraordinary outburst? It was not, as some suspected, the behaviour of the children playing soccer. It was their parents.
These parents felt their child was special. These parents felt their child was not given enough opportunities. These parents would do anything for the win.
Krut described regular incidents of parents screaming at opposing teams, facing off with referees when they disagreed with a decision, and publicly denigrating anyone when things didn’t go their way.
The final straw came for him, not when he’d caught a father lying about a child’s age to get them onto the team, but when a mother protested about a post-surgical boot worn by one referee. She complained that he was not fit enough to run with the players, and he would have a detrimental impact on the game.
Krut had seen enough and had enough. He could see the effect the parent’s behaviour was having on the children.
But was coach Krut over-reacting? Isn’t it true that kids get spotted by sports talent scouts at these kinds of games and go on to play in the big leagues? Yes, possibly, but Krut has a point.
So what do entitled parents teach their children?
6 Ways Entitled Parents Ruin Their Children
An entitled parent hinders their child’s development.
It is accepted that to learn something, we have to experience it. If we never experience loss, disappointment, or failure, we can’t develop the skills to deal with these emotions.
We don’t go through the experience and, as a result, we cannot learn how to manage our expectations. When we are shielded from negative experiences, we lose the ability to develop resilience and coping strategies.
Part of life is making mistakes, learning from them and moving forward.
Children of entitled parents have less confidence.
Surprisingly, research has shown a link between over-parenting and diminished self-confidence in young adults.
You might imagine the opposite to be true. Perhaps, growing up in a family where parents are pushing you forward and boosting your self-esteem would lead to over-confidence as a child.
But this is not the case. Entitled parents seize control over any situation involving their child. Similar to helicopter parenting, an entitled parent takes things one step further. They silence their child. As such, he or she never learns the confidence to speak up on their behalf.
Children grow up with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
This has to be the most obvious way an entitled parent will ruin their child. Children that are made to feel special, without actually doing anything to warrant this elevated status, will be affected mentally.
You will begin to believe the hype surrounding you, fabricated by your parents. You will enter adulthood with certain expectations. These may include special treatment or turning a blind eye when your skills don’t match up.
The problem is, when you leave your parent’s clutches, you’ll find that the world doesn’t know who you are, has no vested interest in who you are, and doesn’t care either.
Entitled parenting doesn’t teach children to be grateful.
I often think the key to happiness is the ability to feel gratitude. Feeling gratitude for what you have, and for what you can achieve. When we have gratitude for the simple things in life, it brings us joy.
When we feel grateful, we don’t envy the talents of other people, instead, we can celebrate them. We don’t have to believe that we are special or superior to others.
Entitled parents want their kids to be extraordinary; to stand out from the rest; to have that X-Factor.
Children have inappropriate reactions to failure.
If you have never had boundaries or the chance to fail, not only will you lack the coping skills to deal with failure, but you might react inappropriately.
This is what coach Krut was afraid of. The overreactions of the parents at the soccer games when things didn’t go their way. What happens when a child watches parents scream and shout at authority figures because they don’t agree with the outcome?
It shows the child that not only can you get away with this kind of behaviour, but that it gets results.
However, if you react like that in the real world, you are in for a shock. Adults are not allowed or expected to throw tantrums so that they can get their way.
Entitled parents turn children into narcissists.
Have you ever wondered why we see so many narcissists around these days? Could there be a link between over-parenting and the rise of the narcissist? I think so.
Everyone has to be special these days. They have to have a ridiculous name that stands out from everyone else. They are told by their parents how special they are. But in reality, they are just like you or me.
People cannot be average anymore. They cannot do a 9 to 5 job, have one or two holidays a year and a couple of kids and be content with that. We all have to have something that differentiates us from others.
You know what? There are nearly 8 billion people on the planet right now, and we can’t all be famous actors or Grammy award-winning singers. We can’t all write best-selling novels or be on the winning Super Bowl team.
We need to realise that it is okay to be ordinary. Because the vast majority of us are. So why not celebrate those with talent; the Olympic medallists, the Oscar-winners, the extraordinary scientists and philosophers?
We can take pleasure in other people’s achievements. It does not diminish ours.
I watched a Denzel Washington film recently called The Equalizer. There was graffiti on a wall that said:
“I leave the best of myself with you.”
Entitled parents don’t have to ruin us. Let’s get our self-worth from being the best version of ourselves.
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