In this episode, Dr. Dan discusses children and “entitlement vs. earning” with author Michael G. Wetter. In Earn It: What to Do When Your Kid Needs an Entitlement Intervention, author Michael G. Wetter, PsyD (with co-author Eileen Bailey) has written a comprehensive guide to stop parents when they say to themselves, “I just want him to be happy!” “I just want her to have all the things that I never had!” and move them towards more mindful parenting.
Dr. Dan and Michael Wetter agree that entitlement is a provocative and important topic. Dr. Wetter explains how it’s important to teach parents of children of all ages clear strategies and techniques to help change and shape our child’s character by instilling a sense of responsibility, accountability, kindness, and caring.
Dr. Dan and Dr. Wetter explore why parents must teach resilience to our children. They both agree that parents can create a family life and culture where responsibilities are honored, praise has meaning, decisions are made skillfully, and gratitude is second nature. And on top of that our children are happy. This all comes from teaching resilience.
The interview also discusses the culture of success and the necessity of failure. Dr. Wetter calls this “successful failure” and this is part of resilience building.
The third topic of discussion in this episode is about wants vs. needs because this attitude relates directly to entitlement and earning. The perfect example is technology – many children confuse wanting a new digital device with needing that device. Parents need to ask themselves “how does my child earn this?” and “why does my child need this?” and often these two questions are the key to teaching our children the difference. These lessons reflect values. Teaching children about earning means we will raise motivated adults who understand that many of the best things in life are earned.
Dr. Wetter encourages parents to think about the long term goals for their children and the big picture of how they want their children to be and live.
The show wraps up with Dr. Wetter’s Parent Footprint moment and the story of how his daughter taught him the importance of preserving that magical natural born kindness that lives in all of our young children. It’s a truly inspiring moment and one listeners will think about long after the show ends.
A nationally recognized behavioral health expert, Dr. Michael G. Wetter is a Diplomate and Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association, and has served as an Oral Examination Commissioner and Subject Matter Expert for the California State Licensing Board of Psychology. He is an active member of the American Psychological Association, American Academy of Psychologists, the National Alliance of Psychology Providers, and the California Psychological Association. Dr. Wetter is a nationally recognized expert in the field of Psychology, published author, and an invited speaker and guest lecturer, training other psychologists and mental health professionals. Learn more at his web site, www.drwetter.com.