Monday, November 11, 2013

Are you spoiling your child by giving him/her the "goodies" you didn't have while growing up?

I have a friend who grew up in a large family and did not have some of the luxuries of life while growing up. But he had an educated father who ensured all his children had decent education. Now my friend didn't have the luxury of travelling every year for summer or getting Christmas gifts. But he grew up in a happy family where there was so much love and warmth.

Well my friend relocated from Nigeria to Europe where he landed a good job and decided he would give his children all the things that he didn't have while growing up. He bought them the latest video games, the latest toys and many more. I guess he felt that was his way of showing them love; at least his children didn't have to be denied some of the things he was denied.

It was all rosy until the children decided that they too were entitled to the gifts, toys, video games and that life was all about getting and getting. Some of the children started giving less attention to education. The father had thought that putting them in these good european schools and giving them all the comforts of life would free them up to read their books.

Alas the children wanted all the free time to play games and more games. This also started affecting their attitude in school and at home.

My friend then took a rather drastic decision. I guess he was fed up and wanted to teach his kids a life lesson. He brought them back home to Nigeria for holidays and put them in boarding schools. The children thought he was joking. Well that was 4 years ago. They are still schooling in Nigeria and have not had a vacation outside the country.

Now sometimes parents feel they should give the best to their children and they would otherwise grow to appreciate the finer things of life. They feel their children don't have to go through the rigours of life and that they children don't have to work or earn before they start enjoying life.

Why should my children learn how to cook when there is a cook in the house? Why should my children learn how lay their beds since there are maids at home paid to do this? Afterall if the children engage in these menial jobs, they would not have time to read their books. The funny thing is that the children don't use this time to read their books, rather this is extra time for video games.

I believe there must be balance and every parent has been given the responsibility to raise children in the fear of the Lord our God. In as much as God allows us to go through times of inconvenience, tough times e.t.c, we should train our children the way God trains us.

You do not have to give your child everything he asks for in the name of love. I don't expect any responsible parent would give his child five cubes of sugar in a little cup of hot chocolate because the child asked for it. Some parents may say they don't indulge in this but if your child is fatter than the average kid of his age because of food that you constantly give him because you love him, you are no different.

I would like to call upon parents to raise their children properly and instill in them the fear and love of God.

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