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The Entitlement

We've been struggling for awhile with my oldest son and with his sense of entitlement. It finally came to a head after he had stolen his mother's iPod and we had assumed it was lost for a couple of months. One of the other kids finally found it in his room. Mind you that he had his own mp3 player and his own phone with mp3 player and web browser, but none of that was good enough. So he got grounded and lost some privileges. But none of that stopped him or his bad attitude. None of that stopped his belligerence towards me or his mother.

So it's come to this. I had him pack up his room, his DVD player, his radio, his MP3 player, his phone, all of his books and other entertainment and removed it from his room. He has his bed, his dresser, and a giant TV paperweight with no antenna or cable. He's lost all of his stuff, all of his entitlements and he has to earn them back one by one.

So what does he do? He continues on to lose access to computer time, video games, and finally his friends. Then after all that is stripped away what does he do? He steals back his phone, his MP3 player and his mothers iPod and hides them in his bed. And just when he thought the punishment couldn't get worse, it does!

Tonight he's sleeping on the floor in his sleeping bag. The next offense and he'll be wearing only the clothes I give him (uniform). We'll continue on until he figures out how to be thankful and happy with what he has or he'll have nothing at all until he turns 18.

So after today's little fiasco. I told him to make a plan for how he's going to get his stuff back. Here's his plan:

Plan to get my stuff back
* keep my grades up
* do my chores
* don't beat the crap out of the other kids
* have a good attitude
* not huff when asked to help someone else
* don't steal
* lose my entitlement to things
* help more around the house
* act more responsible
* not be an ass about everything

Nice sentiments every one of them. But at this point I'm looking for something more goal oriented. So tomorrow he's going to revise his plan and give me something with actions and rewards and timelines and consequences for not meeting those timelines. I'm done with this nonsense and I won't have it anymore. He's a great kid. I love him. He's smart. He's not into drugs or alcohol or anything really bad. But it's the little things like the stealing and lying and poor attitude that worry me just as much about the man he will become after he's left my home and he's no longer within my sphere of influence. I need to get him to change now, build positive behaviors and continue those as he moves forward into adulthood.