Teen Difficulty Delaying Gratification
Some experts have labeled the youth of today as the "entitled generation". Many teens today have become accustomed to getting what they want immediately. Delaying gratification is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later. Family Bootcamp is an intervention that teaches delaying gratification.
Today’s teens have a desire for nice things, but they don’t want to work hard for the money to obtain nice things, new research suggests. These findings were published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
“Compared to previous generations, recent high-school graduates are more likely to want lots of money and nice things but less likely to say they’re willing to work hard to earn them,” according to the author of this study . “That type of ‘fantasy gap’ is consistent with other studies showing a generational increase in narcissism and entitlement.”
A prime example of this is the number of elementary aged and middle school youth who have their own smart phones, but do absolutely nothing to earn the privilege of the device. Those few kids who don’t have a smart phone, feel deprived and many attempt to convince their parents of this. The pressures in middle school only get worse in high school as kids no longer simply ask for a cell phone, but for a car, a personal laptop and spending cash at will. Teen entitlement and inability to delay gratification are major problems in today’s culture.
Social scientists have noted this trend as the rising generations enters the workforce. Many show up for their first day of work expecting a corner office, a lucrative salary and the respect of a CEO. Why? Because as children and teens they came to believe they deserve it. As a result the rising generation is being labeled "the entitlement generation."
Parents don't do their teens any favors when they reward an entitlement mentality in the home. When parents provide their children with unwarranted reinforcement, they stagnate their children’s coping capacity for handling the future realities of what it takes to be a successful young adult. Recent studies show that this new "entitled generation" display high rates of mental health problems, loneliness, isolation and failure in their young marriages.
Family Bootcamp is the ideal intervention for assisting parents to eliminate the entitlement mentality from their teens and provide teens with a first-hand experience in delaying gratification.