Author Q&A: Amy McCready

Author Q&A: Amy McCready

Me ME Me Author PhotoAmy McCready is the author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World

What was your inspiration for writing The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic?

I originally planned for my second book to be a guide for parenting tweens and teens. However, in my conversations with parents, the topic of entitlement came up again and again. It was almost as if we’d hit a tipping point in which weary moms and dads would bemoan the fact that their kids expected special treatment, wouldn’t help around the house, assumed they would be rescued from poor choices, and always want more, more, MORE! These kids believe they are the center of the world and that the world – or at least their corner of it – owes them something (or worse, everything.) As a parent of teens, I’ve certainly worried about the same thing. No one intends to raise an entitled child. Entitlement is born out of love and wanting to do the very best and most for our kids. My goal for The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic was to give parents concrete tools to inspire their kids’ best behavior (no more chore wars, homework battles, and sassy attitudes) and help them develop the responsibility, resilience, and respectfulness they need to lead a successful adult life.

How did your own experience as a parent inform your writing?

As a mom of teenagers, I see the influence of social media. I see the pressure to own the hot, new gadget. I see how kids get new cars for their 16th birthday (not mine!) and how that can be perceived as “normal.”

I also understand why we do things for our children that they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. How we rescue them when they should learn from their mistakes. How we over-indulge them with wants rather than needs. How we put them at the center of our world.  I’ve made all of these mistakes – just like most parents. And I’ve learned from them

The good news is…whether you have toddlers or teens, or a child somewhere in the middle, this book can help. And whether you have a mild case of the entitlement bug or a full-blown epidemic in your home – the 35 simple to use tools in this book will give you everything you need to turn that around.

What message would you like the reader to take away after reading your book?

Thank you for choosing this book! Trust me, it is not too late to turn the tide of entitlement and make your home a haven of peace in a world of entitled attitudes. The 35 tools in this book will give you the confidence, know-how, and even words to extinguish the “Me, Me, Me” bug and raise capable, responsible, resilient, grateful people who are ready to take on a world where it’s not all about them.  This dream is within your reach, and your kids will be better off for it!

What was the toughest part of the writing process?

That’s easy! Containing the book to 312 pages! Parents have been sharing their stories with me for years.  I spotlighted a few examples in The “Over-The-Top” Parent video on my website (www.  With so many stories and examples to draw upon, I could have written about this topic forever. The good news is that parents can find me and connect in our online community so the learning doesn’t have to end when they read the last chapter of the book. In fact, I tried to write a book that isn’t a “one and done” read – but something parents can pull out whenever they need a “booster shot” of strategies to keep their kids, their home – and sometimes even their “sanity” – on course.

What books have had the greatest influence on you?

The greatest influences on my work and on my job as a parent are those based on positive parenting philosophies, such as Children: the Challenge, one of the original texts based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, the more recent texts from Jane Nelsen, Ed.D., author and co-author of the Positive Discipline series, as well as Siblings Without Rivalry and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. There are many excellent parenting books out there, and I’ve learned valuable lessons from all of these wonderful authors: Dr. Shefali Tsabury, Dr. Laura Markham, Susan Cain, Bruce Feiler, Christine Carter, Rachel Macy Stafford, and so many more!

How do you balance motherhood and writing?

Well, my kids are a bit older now, so I’m able to work a standard day while they are at school, but I really rely on prioritization.  If I put them first and make sure I’m meeting their needs for emotional connection – everything else works itself out.  We’re a team, and that’s a great feeling. Even when they know I’m a “donkey on the ledge” because of a big deadline, they support and encourage me, and somehow it all gets done!

My bigger challenge was finding a balance between working on the book and running my business, Positive Parenting Solutions.  I’m blessed however to have an amazing team of committed people behind me! With a special nod to my husband Dave, who is my business partner and a marvel at keeping all the plates spinning and the organization running smoothly. And that’s exactly what I needed more days than I can count so I could go underground (or more accurately to a quiet corner of the public library) and work on the book.  It’s been a great experience, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to write this book and for the parents who will read it.

51fzBnHiAmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about Amy and her new book The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World

The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: Excerpt

The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: Excerpt


Adapted from The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World by Amy McCready. (Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin Group USA, Penguin Random House).

51fzBnHiAmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Entitlement Epidemic

You couldn’t afford your own makeup this month because thirteen-year-old Johnny’s fluorescent orange must-have sneakers cost your entire discretionary budget. You keep a spare McDonald’s bag on hand so you can pretend to three-year-old Emma that her peanut-butter sandwich was made under the golden arches. And in order to get eight-year-old Daryl into bed, you have to let him fall asleep in front of the television, and carry him there.

Since when do parents jump through hoops at all costs to keep children happy? Since when do kids get to call the shots? The truth is kids everywhere—from toddlers to teens—are ruling the roost and they’re not about to abandon their posts without a fight.

Entitlement isn’t really a disease, but it has hit epidemic levels in our society. And it’s certainly not only rich kids who are afflicted. The entitlement problem spans classes and cultures. It’s also not only about stuff. Entitled kids believe the world revolves around them. They expect things to be done for them, a path to happiness cleared and smoothed, without putting in much effort themselves. They feel that something is wrong if they’re not happy. At any given minute they should be having the time of their lives because after all, you only live once.

How does the entitlement epidemic present in the typical household? Here are a few clues you might have an entitlement problem in your home:

You find yourself exasperated at your children’s demands but caving anyway.

You’re exhausted keeping up with the house, but everyone’s too busy watching TV to help.

You can’t make it through the grocery store without buying a treat.

You’re frequently supplementing your kids’ allowance.

You take responsibility for your kids by doing things for them that you know they should be able to do for themselves.

You resort to bribes or rewards to get cooperation from your kids.

You frequently rescue your kids by driving forgotten items to school or reminding them about their deadlines.

Your child frequently takes issue with rules and expectations at school or in activities.

Your child is quick to blame others for anything that goes wrong.

Your child tries to manipulate others to get his way.

Your child commonly sulks or pitches a fit when she doesn’t get her way.

Your child often complains of being bored and wants to be entertained by you.

Your child finds it really difficult to wait patiently for something he wants.

Sound like a child you know? In truth, there’s not a kid alive who doesn’t exhibit some of these symptoms from time to time. Whether you’ve got a big entitlement outbreak at your house or only a minor case, you’ll soon be able to move your kids toward greater independence, responsibility and contentment.

Read Brain, Child’s Q&A with author Amy McCready

Parenting expert Amy McCready is the author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic (Perigee, 2015) and the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions. She is also the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time (Perigee, 2011). A champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids, she reaches a worldwide audience with her Positive Parenting Solutions Online parenting course, web and print articles, live webinars, and media appearances. Amy is a frequent guest on the TODAY show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, and elsewhere. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two sons. Learn more at

© 2015 by Amy McCready. Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin Group USA, Penguin Random House.

For permission to share this excerpt, please contact Keely Platte at