Having taught in two radically different school districts with two radically separated socioeconomic populations, I have had the opportunity to witness entitlement on many different levels. I am not suggesting the world is coming to an end or the current generation is any more entitled than that of the 'X' generation or the 'Y' generation. I merely was not raised with entitlement and find it to be foreign.
Having taught at a lower SES (socio-economic status) school, I now realize the depth at which and the persistence of entitlement. Many, not all, of my former students expected free pencils, paper, and food from their public schools. I was paid more to teach my inner city kids, but more of my income went to supplying my room than could ever be recovered via my tax return. The entitlement was so pervasive that if a student was handed a pencil, I had to clarify that the pencil would be returned upon completion of the assignment or the said pencil would be gone forever. I can even remember a student who was willing to fight a teacher over the ownership of a borrowed pencil. The entitlement I have witnessed at a higher SES school is that of cell phone usage, high grades for merely attending class, and respect. At my new school, respect is not earned but taken, cell phones are used by students to communicate with parents during class time, and students are entitled to redo or retake assignments without excuse. All students are not like this of course. But it seems like there are more than I remember growing up.
Has there always been a struggle to have students apologize and mean it, or say the words 'thank you', 'please', and 'you're welcome'? Probably so. Did I just grow up in a 1980's suburban bubble?
The following talk show offers some advice to parents on how to dissuade entitlement.
Lynne Namka, Ed.D. also has an interesting article on narcissistic behavior at this link.