How many of you long for plenty of presents under the tree each year? With all of the layoffs and pay cuts, I worry about other families this holiday season. Yet, there are still so many with so much and they don’t even know it and I’m not talking about parents. I’m talking about children.
However, as I explained to my uncle, “If you start giving the kids presents on their birthday or Christmas, they will come to expect it and then be disappointed if you don’t follow through every year.” The same goes for when we raise our children. If we give our children lots of presents each year or give them what they want most of the time, they will not understand how to take no for an answer. They won’t appreciate what they have as much as they would otherwise.
How many of you want to give everything you possibly can to your children? I know I do. But how much is too much? With what my friends are sharing about their children and with all that I’ve experienced with my children, I felt the need to share with other parents.
Your children were all born with their own unique personalities. Most of what we do helps them throughout their lives. However, they still have free will. It is that free will that will shock you or make you feel happy that they are your child(ren).
We truly do not have much to do with how they turn out when they’re older. We’ve done the best we can and at a certain point, it’s up to them to take over. Oh, the stories I’ve heard still shock me. We can give our children everything, but when they get older there’s really no telling what they will do with all that we’ve given them. I know from experience. Somehow while thinking we were giving them all that we didn’t have when we were children, one ended up with an entitlement attitude. It’s that entitlement mindset that will cause them problems until the world teaches them otherwise. So now I know, giving less teaches them appreciation.
This is such a fine line. There are so many phases children go through that right when you figure them out, they change. The agony parents go through trying to figure out when to give in and when to say no can be brutal. There are not always clear-cut answers.
We are thrilled when our children make us proud, behave well and listen to us. But we’re not as prepared when they do things that embarrass us, go against what we’ve taught them, or choose a different path than we think they should.
Tips to help when trying to determine what to do:
1. Set up guidelines ahead of time for each area of reward and discipline.
2. Be consistent with your rules and discipline.
3. Decide ahead of time at what age you will allow dating and driving.
4. Discuss how many gifts will be given or received for holidays.
5. Discuss what chores everyone is expected to do.
6. Give more hugs and one on one time instead of presents or toys.
7. Most of all, be on the same page as your spouse so there’s no confusion.
©2002 Susie Glennan
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