The Biggest Kid-Problem: Entitlement

Many SUCCESS readers answered our poll asking what is the biggest problem or challenge faced by kids (and their parents) in today’s world.  (click here if you missed it).

The results were quite remarkable! Of all the parents who participated in the poll, the clear majority were most worried about the sense of entitlement that kids seem to have today. Take a look at the top six vote getters:

  • A Sense of Entitlement (53%)
  • Excessive Technology and Gadgets (16%)
  • Peer Pressure (14%)
  • Drugs and Substance Abuse (8%)
  • Bullying (7%)

Readers could only vote for one problem and yet “Entitlement” still gets 53% and wins as the biggest problem by a landslide. And the second-place finisher (with about 16%), “Excessive Technology and Gadgets,” is really about entitlement too—kids who think they are entitled to all things electronic.

Combine those top two answers and we have more than two-thirds of parents saying that a sense of entitlement is the biggest challenge they face with their kids.

We got exactly the same result when we asked a large audience of parents the same question recently in Southern California. We were intrigued and surprised by the size of the majority, and we were also pleased, since the title of our new book, to be released by Penguin this fall, is The Entitlement Trap. Think about it: Two-thirds of parents, with no explanation or discussion, voted “Entitlement” as the biggest problem of this generation of kids and the biggest worry for this generation of parents.

We asked the audience, Why? Their answers were fascinating:

“Entitlement leads to low motivation.”
“Kids think they deserve everything and don’t have to earn anything.”
“It makes them disrespectful.”
“They don’t know how to work.”
“They think they have to have everything their friends have.”
“It’s the reason for all the other problems on the list; they think they can do whatever they want.”

What do you think?  Take the reader poll below, and we will continue with this topic next week. If you have stories or illustrations of an entitlement attitude among kids, send it to us by clicking “contact us” at

Readers Polls:

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