This is a very touchy subject but one that I think people choose to ignore. I believe in responsibility. Why? My parents taught me that nothing in life is free and that we must earn everything. The new generation of kids are being taught that if they want something it’s given not earned. This is turning into a very big mess. Stick with me while I explain my thought process.
If my child asks for a toy I make them earn it by doing chores around the house, being respectful and doing good at school. A lot of parents just run out and get this for the child. This teaches them nothing. They don’t take care of the item because they didn’t spend time working for it. They don’t respect you as a parent because you don’t show them authority. As a parent your crippling your child! What work ethic have they learned? We wonder why employment rates have dropped. God wants us to reap what we sow not reap the fruits of others labor.
So now we have taught our children they can have whatever they want without working for it. So what happens when they can’t? Most become angry and blame the parents. This will start tearing apart a home very quickly. The parents began to bail the children out of trouble because they are “just kids”. No that child is crying out for help. Don’t mask the problem resolve it.
God wants us to teach our children his word and to raise them up so that they can contribute to his kingdom.
In order to contribute you have to first dedicate yourself. Have we taught our kids dedication? Let’s see “oh honey that sports to hard, well just quit” , “that friend hurt your feelings, so don’t be friends with them”, “you don’t like your husband/wife today, just get divorced”. So no this new generation knows little about dedication.
To teach the gospel. This is more than just quoting a few bible verses. While preaching the gospel we experience rejection. Have you taught your child to turn rejection into strength. To make a negative situation a positive one or to just give up? I want my children to know that life as a Christian is hard at times but the reward is great! We have to constantly watch our actions so that we don’t drag other down.
I was watching an episode on T.V. the other day and two children were competing but the parents said everyone’s a winner. The grandparent said no not everyone is a winner sometimes there are losers. This seemed harsh but after much thought I actually like that statement. The winner worked hard to accomplish that so your stilling their success by stating that everyone earned the same level of accomplishment as they did. So this teaches them again “Entitlement” for something they didn’t earn. I have taught my children that it’s okay not to always win. You just work harder and focus on the things you could have done better. This is the same in our Christian walk. It’s okay to mess up and fall short of the glory of God, but it’s not okay to give up. Pick yourself off, pick up your head and fight harder.
The other problem is children are all about “Self”. If you are teaching your children to grow up in the ways of the Lord then you have to teach them to be selfless. This is hard for children because they want what they want when they want it. They seem to forget that it’s all in God’s timing and he will tell you no when it’s not the right situation or time. So a lot of people walk away from being a Christian because it was easier to float through life not caring about others and not worrying about consequences.
If you child steals something from the store you discipline them and make them take it back and apologize. If you child lies you discipline them and make them tell the truth. If you child breaks the rules you discipline them and make them focus on why the rules are in place. For every action there is either a benefit or a consequence. Our children need to know the difference in which action result in which outcome. It’s the parents job to teach this. Not the teacher at school, not the pastor and not the grandparents. Those are people to help assist you in raising your children but not to raise them. The fundamentals of a child’s success or failure will be a reflection of their home life. I for one would rather see my child succeed then to fail.
From the time the thought of a child comes into your mind began to pray about his/her future. Once conceived began thanking God for this beautiful gift and continuing to pray for this child. Once born take this child to church, pray with the child and as the child grows start to teach the word of God to your children.
Don’t be afraid of discipline or upsetting your child. Sometimes this hurts but it’s for the very best. Your child needs positive uplifting and also needs forgiveness just like we do. There are time for discipline and then there are times when sometime the lesson already hurts bad enough.
Teach your children to respect others. When I was a child I never understood why my parents would make me say yes sir and yes ma’am. Now as an adult I still do this to my elders. It’s a sign of respect not because they are older but because they have lived and learned more than I have. I teach my children this as well. I also teach them to speak with appropriate tones. I don’t think attitude looks good on children and it defiantly doesn’t look good coming from an adult. Teach them now how to express themselves and to humble themselves so that the world can look upon them and know without a doubt they are a child of God.
My pastor says that being a parent isn’t always beautiful, it has its moments. You will come to face many decisions that you will need to pray for God’s will and guidance in your life and by showing your children you turn to God in the good times and the bad times your teaching them to do the same. You can’t just instruct your child in the ways of the Lord you must be the example for your children as well.
So I leave you with this: Break the strong hold of the “entitled generation” before it even begins to form your child in a negative direction. Pray for your children and teach them the ways of the lord.