Mormon Parenting: Excerpts from 'The Entitlement Trap' by Linda and Richard Eyre

Published: Friday, Sept. 9 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Editor's note: The Entitlement Trap, by Deseret News columnists Linda and Richard Eyre, has recently been published. Below is an excerpt, including the foreword by Stephen R. Covey and the introduction.



By Stephen R. Covey

The world we live in is changing fast, and the world our children will inherit will be almost unrecognizably different and more difficult. Are we preparing them for it? Will they have the personal and financial skills to succeed? Will they have the incentive and the self-motivation to find their best selves?

Just as the Eyres' brilliant No. 1 best seller Teaching Your Children Values provided a road map for a whole generation of parents in the nineties, their new work The Entitlement Trap gives today's parents a wake-up call and a warning about the trap of indulgence and instant gratification they may be creating for their children. Then it shines breakthrough clarity on what kids will need to cope with our new and unpredictable financial realities, and outlines a remarkable "family economy" that teaches kids to work and to accept responsibility.

Here is a new approach for a new generation of parents. I predict that it will become the standard for families throughout the world who want to give their kids the training and the tools to succeed financially, emotionally, and spiritually in the economic hurricane of the twenty-first century.

In the first half of the book, you will learn how to make your kids economically savvy and financially independent.?... In the second half, you will learn that the family economic model is just the framework and the metaphor for lessons even more important.


Introduction: One reason parenting is harder now than it has ever been

Questions parents ask us

For the last decade or so, as a result of the interest in some of our books, we have traveled the world speaking to parents about their kids, about their families, and about their parenting. We have given hundreds of lectures and seminars in virtually every state in the United States and in more than fifty other countries to parents belonging to every religion and political persuasion and every economic and social demographic you can imagine.

And in this often divided and polarized world we live in, here's something very cool: Parents everywhere are much the same. No matter where or how they live, parents want to give their kids good values, a good education, and a chance to reach their full potential. And no matter what their philosophy or creed or politics are, they want to keep their children safe and protected from the world. One dad in Indonesia told us that his definition of a conservative was "a flaming liberal with a teenage daughter."

So we don't have to change our presentation very much when we are with a group of Hindu parents in India, or Buddhist families in Vietnam, or Muslim moms and dads in Saudi Arabia. Their hopes and worries for their children are essentially the same, so our message to them is pretty much the same.

Let us repeat that thought, because it is quite amazing! Whatever other differences they may have, political, economic, or religious, when it comes to how they think of their children, what they hope and dream for them, and their most basic concerns, all parents are essentially alike. They love their kids, and that one thing gives them more in common with each other, and with us, than all the differences combined.

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