It's easier than ever to spoil children. I've seen toddlers with their own iPhones. Parents tell me it's great because the kid can watch movies or play games on it to entertain them.
We live in a world where we can have a relationship with someone we've never met on the other side of the world while we are starved for love, connection, and intimacy right in the same room with our loved ones.
There is excess wherever we look, and in a world where most parents have to work outside the home, it's really understandable that we want to give our kids things that make them happy and entertain them. We even give our children leeway with manners, no longer teaching them basic rules of respect.
The problem I see most often is that we want our kids to like us. We want to be their friend. We want to be cool. And as such, our credibility goes right out the window.
Children want boundaries. They need them. They may not like them outwardly, but inwardly, the world only makes sense to them when they know how to predict cause and effect. Kids long for the safety of limits. They love consistency.
What children need from their parents is for them to be parents. Parents are the moral guides for a child. Parents are a child's first experience of God, love, and connection. We are where they learn how to communicate and what the role of love is in the world.
When a family is experiencing a time of transition - a birth, a death, a divorce, a move - these are the times when they need the strongest boundaries, the most consistency, and the greatest loving connection.
Fill their time with you. Teach them to think and to reason. Teach them that life gives back in direct relationship to what is put in. Model the behavior you want them to repeat, and set the bar high.
Kids will most often do exactly as you expect. What you expect is up to you.
Spoiled kids hate their parents. Even worse, they hate themselves. They don't know how not to, because they don't know how to be in control of themselves. They don't know how not to manipulate or how to not be entitled.
Spoiling children sets them up for a lifetime of misery in learning that the world beyond Mom & Dad's house doesn't work the same way.
Respect your children, and they will respect you, even if they don't always like you. You are a big deal in their lives.
Parent first, friendly relationship second.
You will always need to be a parent first, when they need it. That is a lifetime commitment. You never have the luxury of being just a friend.
Be someone your kid respects, from deep down in their heart, and you will find yourself with the relationships you've always wanted with them.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
1900 Swift Street
North Kansas City, MO