Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Job of Parents

Well.....this post could be hundreds of books long really, but Jason & I have been talking about something lately. Why is it that children should get what they want? I mean I know it is fun to spoil sometimes by giving your kids treats.

When do you think a treat becomes too much? When does it become appeasement? When does it become a fact that they will get it - because they can & you will? Does that make sense?

I think it is a pretty simple line. A treat is something you don't do all the time. A treat is being given a special privilege, and it doesn't have to be HUGE (monetarily or otherwise). You see in my mind a treat is sometimes something you may want - but NOT something you beg for all the time. It is simple like ice cream with toppings for that special dessert. It is that time you spend together making the brownies. It is the extra few minutes past bed time to talk with your child about what is important to them. It is that extra story because the kids LOVE to read with you.

Unfortunately our society has twisted what a treat is around to make it that ALL children NEED EVERYTHING their hearts desire. Like ipods, tv in the room, gaming systems, computers - one for each child of course, cars by the time they get their learning permit, etc. I remember years ago now when Jason & I didn't even have children yet - we overheard a conversation at Burger King. It went like this- Mom to child- sit down please, Child- when do we get to go to WalMart, Mom- in a little bit. Child- I want my video game NOW! Mom- I said you could have it if you behave in Burger King...are you behaving?

I thought I must be out of my mind! Really!!! A video game if you behave in Burger King??? What??? We decided then that - this was not our idea of what you can do to have fun with your children. This is called breaking your own back.

In a recent article by Focus on the Family- they were talking about how we never have to wait for privileges anymore. We get whatever we want- when we want it. If you want to watch your own movie in the car- you can. You all have your own setting on the a c in the car, your own music on your ipod, your own room, your own dresser, your own clothes, your own EVERYTHING! No more sharing. I don't think this is what God has in mind for the Body Of Christ.

Just my own tidbit, but I really loved this blog post today @

Hmmmm.......just some ramblings..............


  1. I was just linking that post from It's Naptime for a post of my favorite adoption posts from last week. I completely agree with you. When will they every be satisfied if they are always given everything they ever ask for...craziness.

  2. Preach it sister! I agree totally! It also blows me away that people come over to my house, see my children arguing over a toy...and their suggestion is to buy another one since I have two children. What?! What kind of lesson is that? I would rather they learn to share and be kind to one another. It's not the easy route, but it teaches them something that is so much more important than materialism.

  3. Great words of wisdom!!!

    Saddest thing ... when we brought our 3 kids home from Ghana, they had lists of everything they expected when they got "home to America". They had been told that kids in America get everything. They had watched American movies EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, so they thought they KNEW what life would be like in America. Ummm ... Not. At. Our. House.

    They expected their own computers ... their own cell phones ... And, guess what, other adoptive parents that we knew did exactly that. Upon arriving in American, they took their children straight to Wal-Mart Toy Dept. and said, "What do you want, dear children?"

    Keep doing the right thing!

    mama of a dozen

  4. We talk about this all the time. While we are guilty of giving in once in a while... and this applies more to lollipops than video games, our kids are learning that the more you beg, the less likely it is you will get what you want, and often, you'll get something you don't want, like grounded to your room or loss of privledges. We know that, as our family grows, so will our need for space, and we plan on building our "dream" home in 6-7 years. One thing I have stood my ground on in the planning is that the boys will still share living space and there will never be computers in their rooms... cell phones, when they are responsible enough to have them... will be charged in a common place, and a new car at 15... seriously, I'll bust a gut laughing when that request comes... I think kids are served best by spoiling them with love, rather than things. They learn to place a higher value on things that will improve thier hearts and not their surroundings... sorry to hijack your blog, but this is something that has been on my mind a lot as we come down off the Christmas/birthday season.

  5. for real girl! i love your heart!! :)
    you may have seen this already, but there was a post recently just fantastic... and what was making the kids (well the girls) happy in this post was just terrible terrible!

  6. A video game for behaving in BK? BK should be the treat. It is for us. Ty and I took the twins to BK on Friday after their preschool and that was the highlight of the week. I'm afraid I'm more like, "If you don't behave we are going home and you will have a sandwich while the rest of us eat our BK at home." Mean mommy huh?

    I have one son who has a very strong sense of entitlement. He is old enough for his driver's permit but I have not seen the responsibility and honesty I need. He was caught in his sister's room this morning with her iPod touch (it was won not bought) in his hand and still denies he was taking it. He made up a lie about why he was even in her room. Oh well. I am rambling on your post. But I agree with it.

  7. First of all I just want to say your children are precious and beautiful! Their smiles are like a ray of sunshine poking through this very dreary day in MI. :)
    I believe a treat is no longer a treat when it is expected instead of appreciated. A "treat" is a blessing. God blesses us with things that will be a blessing to us, not a curse or a burden. Sometimes things that appear to be a "treat" really are not. As parents, we make those sound decisions for our children because we understand that they are not able to make them on their own. It's all a part of training. They don't yet understand the principle of reeping and sowing. Candy everyday seems like a treat, but if it will bring about tooth decay and poor behavior, as a parent we know that, that really isn't a treat.
    Glad I visited today! You have a really incredible family!
    Love, Lori

  8. I couldn't agree more. I also find that when we keep treats a treat, they become more appreciated, more valued, and are more effective. As an example, my kids don't get to watch that much t.v. and we don't have a Playstation or Xbox or whatever and when I brought one of my sons to the dentist recently and he had to have hours of dental work done, they couldn't believe how still he held and how much the t.v. held his attention and I told them it was because he doesn't watch three or four hours a day like the average child his age.
    (And of course since it does occupy them, I can use the t.v. to keep them busy when I absolutely need it but if they watched it all the time, it wouldn't work nearly as well)
    Last year, we started a budget and cut out all the trips to the convenience store for candy and such and it was amazing to us that after about three weeks when they did each get ONE candy, they were so appreciative and happy about it. It made us realize how we had slipped into the trap of giving them too much and making them less grateful.
    Sorry to ramble. I just really agree with you and wish that more people would let their children feel the pride that comes with earning something instead of being handed everything on a silver platter.

  9. Ahhh such wisdom... I laugh now b/c I thought my *first* child was such a good share-er... hmmm, then her brother was born.

  10. Good ramblings friend! :)


  11. I CANNOT agree more! And the funny thing is.... we get asked ALL of the time if our kids get "enough" of their OWN stuff... since we have so many. I just laugh... my kids are SO much better off without all of the stuff.