Episode 145: Raising Luminaries: How Can We Raise Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

November 24, 2022


We are combating entitlement while, at the same time, we want to give our kids the world. There was a time when raising grateful kids might have been a little bit easier, but I think we are up against a bigger fight nowadays. Expectations have changed. Childhood has changed. The family has changed. And the end result? A lot of entitled kids. 

So, what are some things we can actively do to combat it? How can we play a pivotal role in our kids’ lives as entrepreneurs, as leaders and as parents?

Let’s raise them up right!


[1:54] I’m Entitled to This 

The dynamic of the world has shifted.

There’s a lot of data to back up the fact that kids are more entitled today. We see kids with an expectation of success, without the work ethic to back it up. And if they do achieve success, since it was just an expectation, the gratitude is absent. The level of “I’m entitled to this because everybody else has it” has gone wild in our world. 

So, I thought it was an important conversation to have, and this is a good time of the year to have it as our kids are mapping out their mile-long Christmas lists. Sometimes I feel like this holiday time gets hijacked by this idea of “what am I entitled to, what’s mine” and just the overall perspective and expectation that often our kids have. But where do you think it’s coming from?

[3:18] It Starts with Us

It’s often allowed from the top down. 

We are pivotal players in this process. Recently, one of my Incubator Mastermind members said something that really stuck with me. She said: “Entrepreneurship provides us with cash flow, but it doesn’t necessarily create generational wealth, and I want to build my business with the next generation in mind.” This struck me for a few reasons. 

The first is – are you building wealth or simply trading dollars for hours? Is your business simply providing you a paycheck or is it going to pay dividends for your kids? The second reason is equipping your kids to handle the wealth. We actually did an episode on this with Mel Abraham, a good friend of mine, where we had a really deep conversation around the idea of entrepreneurs that are working really hard to create wealth for their kids, but they’re not equipping them on how to handle that wealth. So they receive all this wealth with the entitlement attitude that they have, and it ends up being a detriment to their character and to their future. 

This runs really deep and as entrepreneurs, we have to be conscious of this. So, are you building your business in a way that your kids simply inherit what you’ve built or are you raising them to be inspired to build their own version of wealth because of what you modeled to them? What’s your story of entrepreneurship? What inspired you to work hard towards this goal? What are our kids going to step into and who do they have to be to carry this torch forward? 

This is something I think about a lot, because a bigger part of my mission and my “why” is to serve that next generation. Not just setting them up financially, but setting them up with the tools and the attitude to step into their own version of success. And it’s a really tricky balance.

[7:02] Your Child Will Thrive

So what can we do? 

First, we can get on the same page. It can be really hard to communicate the values we want to pass on and instill in our kids. This is why I created our True North exercise that you can get at This will make it easier for you to navigate these discussions and infuse these things into your everyday life.

Another thing we can do is kind of emphasize the fact that we are proudly countercultural and explain to them why it is a good thing to go against the grain? 

We can also actively teach gratitude, we can instill it and live by it. If you feel like entitlement is creeping in with your kids, know that gratitude is the antidote. Some ideas to infuse gratitude into your daily lives are:

  • Write down what you’re grateful for. Do it for a week, and then let it permeate into the month. Whether it’s around the dinner table or at bedtime or in the carpool lane – pick a time when everyone can contribute and document it. Get specific and make a rule that it has to be something new each day. This will flex those gratitude muscles and strengthen that skill of being grateful. 
  • Lean into the value of service. When we’re swimming in a sea of entitlement this can feel like a tall order, but bring that value forward. The quickest route to gratitude is through a shift in perspective, even when you’re navigating a tough season. Decide as a family, as an organization, as a group on what talents or gifts or means you have to help this month, whether it’s your time or your money or your energy. Is there a way you can incorporate your business into this idea? Get creative with the kids? How can you offer service to somebody else that also infuses the idea of entrepreneurship and your unique talents?

Entitlement is something we have to keep an eye out for this generation of kids and combating it is going to be a piece of setting them up for success. If your children don’t become part of the masses of children who have just shifted into this identity of entitlement, your children will stand out and they will thrive. 

I hope this episode gives you some tools that you can use in this quest, because it’s not an easy one. Know that you’re not alone; if you’re called to it, it’s meant for you.

We would love it if you would subscribe and leave us a review! And come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.

We do this for you so the more you tell us the more we can serve!


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