CHILDHOOD ENTITLEMENT SYNDROME: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Anecdotal encounters and popular press such as newspapers and televisions suggests the worrying increase of incidence involving children with manipulative and sometimes violent behaviors towards parents and others. This phenomenon has been described in different terms and languages, and recently branded as entitlement syndrome. This article seeks to identify various terms used to describe entitlement syndrome in both popular press and academic papers, behaviours associated with this syndrome, causes of the syndrome, and preventive and management strategies. Results of the literature review indicates that entitlement syndrome is described in various terms including, but not limited to, spoiled brat, narcissistic, manipulative, and pampered child. There can be many behaviours that indicate entitlement syndrome. Childrearing and parenting styles contribute significantly to the likelihood of childhood entitlement syndrome. Preventing childhood entitlement syndrome therefore involves healthy childrearing and parenting practices. This begins with parents having knowledge of childhood entitlement syndrome, and its immediate and long-term impacts on childhood development and adult outcomes. Parents must be aware of their parenting practices that can lead to the syndrome and be assisted with necessary changes.