In today’s society and our culture it seems to be acceptable, actually almost a standard now, that kids are simply given desires and wants without any obligation on their part = basically entitlement.
To preface my musing, I would like to make sure you know that I am not addressing needs. A need encompasses essentials and necessities, things that sustain life, nourish body and spirit.
For example a child has the right to:
- lesson of and experience of work
- in my opinion gospel training
- teaching of proper values and morals
- love and knowing they are a blessing to the family.
Now for entitlements. Does a parent(s) owe their child(ren):
- anything they heart desires
- the other kids have it
- their life will be easier for having it
- it’s the latest ___,
- simply because they want it
Much too often, money, objects and favors are merely handed over at the asking/whining/pleading child of any age.
The long term consequence for this behavior can be devastating and incredibly detrimental.
Because the child often never learns to sacrifice for themselves or others. This is critical. How can a person hold together a joyful marriage if they do not know how to sacrifice. Marriage is a series of comprises, negotiation, agreeing and doing what is best for the other partner and their marriage in the long run; and not giving in to whims or selfish desires of the moment.
Entitlement is a huge millstone around the neck of our society today. Too many children and adults have been pandered to for countless reasons.
- Some parents often feel guilt for being divorced for example.
- Some experience feelings of inadequacy as a parent, or they themselves do not possess the life skills to pass on to a work ethic to their progeny.
- Oftentimes it is just plain easier to give a child what he wants and be done with it.
Giving in to the entitlement mindset causes one to surrender one’s freedom. There really is ‘no-free-lunch’ so to speak. There always has been and always will be a cost to all blessings and privileges. Consider how many have given their life’s blood so we can enjoy the liberties we do today; to express ourselves as we wish, to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience, to go to school and learn as much as we choose, the list goes on and on.
Instead of being able to walk about and act as a free person, we are now captive to the holder of our chain – the one who provided, while proclaiming there would be no cost.
If a parent gives all to a child, without any expectation of payment or compensation, he or she is actually setting the child up to be a prisoner of his parent/s. And later, possibly a slave to the government or worse. This may be a harsh observation, but it is proven true time and again.
- How can a child who is never taught to work ever be expected to appreciate the value of money?
- Working to pay ones own way, has always been and will always be, the liberating key to solid moral character and ultimate independence.
- Parents who teach and expect kids to work at an early age can avoid the pitfalls of able bodied dependent adult children.
- When people understand how to stand on their own, it is truly a beautiful thing. Furthermore avoiding heartache and financial strain that accompanies long term child dependency.
The next few weeks teaching children the value of money will be the topic of Monday Musings, such as:
- How to teach the value of a dollar
- Why provide work opportunities
- What can be expected of a child
- What life skills are important in handling money, and much, much more.
Insisting our family members learn to provide for themselves, is not the comfortable way, but the right way.
Together we can learn, support and achieve genuine happiness in our family, as well as our posterity, now and those still to come.
Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money, Part 2
Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money, Part 3
Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money, Part 4
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.