Students are entitled to nothing

“I am, therefore give to me.”

So…my son Simon had his Spring Baseball Game today. This is where the JV and Varsity play each other in an intra-squad game. Though the action was a hit, it was a post-game conversation which was a major strikeout leading to this week’s topic. For the sake of transparency I must say this parent doesn’t have a player on the team, is a friend and does have an entitled kid whose choice of sport is lacrosse.

This was the statement that got me started – “I paid all the dues to the booster club, made a sponsor donation and even had my company buy some team equipment. He should be entitled to a position on the team.” Yes, he used that word—entitled.

I will just get this out of the way right now… “The more you give your child, the better parent you are” is a highly dangerous parental belief.

Entitlement is the word which derails our kids from any hope of self-sufficiency, self-confidence and self-pride. We all know those entitled kids who for whatever reasons are given passes in life by parents who think they are doing them a favor.

I have spoken with teachers about the phenomenon of self-entitled students and they all say these kids will be doomed once they graduate high school, since very little effort will be put into their desire to succeed.

Student entitlement is seen as “a tendency to possess an expectation of academic success without taking personal responsibility for achieving that success.”

Further, it’s a belief that their papers, exams and projects should be graded on how hard they’ve worked, not how well they’ve mastered the material.

They think they deserve grades and recognition even though they haven’t earned it. Teachers have even noticed how friendships are ruined between those who work to earn grades and those who feel mailing it in should be good enough.

When they don’t receive the grades they think they deserve, many take the matter up with the graders. When that happens, one thing becomes clear: Their feelings about the quality of their work often don’t match the reality of their performance.

Instead of seeing their grades as a reflection of how well they interpreted or executed their assignments, some students will come to a different conclusion: The assignment was too difficult. Or my teacher doesn’t get me. Students who have this mindset usually have a weak sense of hard work and are not fans of studying.

Self-entitled students are dangerous. They short-circuit themselves by thinking that very little effort will get them very large results. Teachers say the main problem is that these students expect to be treated in the classroom the same way they are at home.

Many of these same students don’t want the available jobs because they believe they’re entitled to something better. So, that sense of entitlement stops them from securing life and work skills needed to start at the bottom and work their way up. They simply do not see the world in real terms.

Self-entitled students didn’t spring up one day on the own. They didn’t grow up in a vacuum. They are this way because they were taught to be this way.

Their view of the world will be, “If I want it, someone will give it to me.” But as we all know, that’s just not the way the world spins. However, it does spin this way – “it’s not what you hope for, it’s not what you think you deserve, it’s what you go out and get.”

This column is by Ritchie Lucas, founder of The Student Success Project and previously Think Factory Marketing. He can be reached at 305-788-4105 or via email at, and on Facebook and YouTube as The Student Success Project.

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