5 Signs of an Entitled Teen

Teen entitlement is frustrating! Today’s generation of teens feel like the world owes them everything and parents exist to please and meet their teenagers every desire and whim.

These entitled teenagers are resistant to parental authority, demanding, and often unable to manage failure or disappointment. The very process of adolescence means teens are always prone to adopt an entitled view of the world. Are you frustrated with your teenager’s attitude? Is it all demands and no appreciation? If you are wondering how to deal with an entitled teenager, you’re not alone!

The entitled teen:


-Does your teen become defiant or even explosive if they do not get their own way?
-Do they have rude, snarky or belligerent attitude?
-Do you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells around your teenager?
-Do they go into a rage when you remove their devices?
-Have you tried talking to them and they completely ignore you?
-Do they backtalk, roll their eyes or possible curse at you?
-Are they skipping classes or school refusal?
-Smart teen now failing or underachieving?
-Do they disrespect your home curfews and rules?

Has it become worse than the typical teenage behavior? Are you feeling you are at your wit’s end?

Despite the years of teaching them how to say thank you, you can still end up battling entitlement. Even so, do not give up hope! It is not too late to turn around an ungrateful teenager. Are you at your wit’s end with your spoiled teen?

Many parents will reach out to their school guidance counselor or an adolescent therapist. Sadly, some of these spoiled teens will either refuse to attend sessions or will not engage — as they believe their nasty attitude is normal, parents are stupid.

5 Signs Your Teen is Entitled:

1. They cannot handle being told “no.” They melt down, pout, or put a battle every time you turn down a request. An immediate “yes” is the only way to avoid a battle.

2. They show no signs of sincere gratitude. Why should they be grateful for what they believe they are “owed”? You are lucky to hear a forced “thanks.”

3. They have a long list of never-ending demands. If you do not expect to walk through a store without getting barraged with demands for nearly everything you walk by, you probably have an entitled teenager.

4. They have got a “no can do” attitude. Make their own sandwich themselves? Pick up their room? It’s asking too much.

5. They are constantly comparing.  And it is nearly always “not fair.” They are not afraid to ask for the best and the first.

If three or more of these sound like your teen, you are dealing an entitled teenager.

How do you change the entitled teenager?

The very first step towards successfully fighting entitlement is looking into what may be driving the behavior. Usually there is some misinformation or false beliefs driving the feelings that are feeding the entitled attitudes and behaviors.

In addition, teenagers are developmentally inclined to be more wrapped up in self. As far as false beliefs, it could be that they have bought into the message that their value is based on what they own and how they look. The world of social media is not helping the entitled teen’s false sense of reality.

If your sense of personal worth is on the line, non-essentials can start to look like essentials. Those $150 sneakers are not just expensive stuff, getting them becomes tied to how loved and lovable you believe you are. It can be related to what peer influences — and keeping up with cliques. 

Feeling unequipped or unable to get what you want, or need can drive entitled behavior. If you think that the only way you can get those sneakers is to demand them, that is what you are going to do. Has it worked for your teen before? Maybe when they were a toddler?

Developmentally, the science shows that teenage brains begin to revolve more intensely around self as they begin preparing for independence.

Consequently, teens need extra help during this time to think about others and empathize. Chances are that they are not thinking about how much work or money someone else spent to give them something. Unfortunately — it’s part of a me, me, me generation.

 3 Ways to Help Teenage Entitlement:

 1. Teach your teen empathy. Empathy allows us to recognize intentional acts of kindness.  An empathic teenager understands that when someone is kind to them, they benefit even though the individual didn’t have to do it. Parent expert and author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, Dr. Michele Borba says “Empathy is a quality that can be taught — in fact, it’s a quality that must be taught, by parents, by educators and by those in a child’s community.”

 2. Help them regulate their negative emotions. Being miserable and powerless over negative emotions makes it difficult to be grateful. The teen years are a time when teenage brains undergo massive changes, resulting in mood swings. So, it is important to teach teenagers emotional regulation in addition to empathy.

 3. Encourage your teen to volunteer regularly.  Paying if forward is a simple act that builds empathy and self-worth. Forging supportive social relationships depends on expressing thanks and being generous. Generosity not only helps strengthen relationships with others and cultivate gratitude but also helps teens to learn what it means to be kind to others and to appreciate kindness.

Are you still struggling with an entitled teenager?

 If you have exhausted your local resources and feel at a loss, we help parents find the right therapeutic boarding schools that help your teenager develop empathy, life skills as well as respect and healthy relationships with family and peers.

 Also read:

5 Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools

3 Reasons For Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Common Causes of Teenage Mental Health Issues


Contact us for more information about therapeutic boarding schools for your entitled teenager.

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