Parenting is hard. Let’s just begin with that. As a parent, you’re always walking a thin tightrope, trying to find balance and figure out what’s “best”. So much of parenting is how you and your children interact and work together. How they react to you, how you react to them and tweaking along the way to keep everyone happy and healthy.
One of many difficult parenting topics that occur often, especially in our materialistic and high-pressure society, is indulging in our kids’ every wish.
The easiest way to begin this conversation is to discuss needs versus wants.
Children don’t need the latest phone (or in some cases a phone at all!). They don’t need expensive clothes. They don’t need a car at 16 or the newest video game console. These are all wants.
What children need are love, guidance, understanding, support, food, water, clothing and shelter. Not in that exact order.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s nice to indulge (appropriately) every once in awhile. We recommend a perfect time to indulge is when your child sets and achieves a goal and shows self-sufficiency.
So where’s the line in the sand that says we’re overindulging? What does it look like? Here are a few instances of what overindulgence looks like:
- Doing things for our children that they are perfectly capable of doing themselves (chores, dressing themselves, taking care of their pets, etc.)
- Giving them only or mostly items that cost money
- Allowing them to do things that aren’t age appropriate such as:
- Watching movies over their recommended age restrictions
- Wearing clothes, makeup or items that are not appropriate
- Not having a curfew
We live in a high-pressure social society so it is vital to teach our children how to be capable and self-sufficient as that is what will make them successful.
We all have weak spots as parents and also can give into social pressures. It’s important to remember that our kids and the things we buy for them should not be used to heighten our social standings.
TKD Tip: Many times we indulge children in things that don’t even interest them. We buy them things they never use. Instead of buying items for kids, find time to spend with them and enjoy an activity together whether that’s walking the dog, going to lunch together or playing a game together.
Parent/Child Activity: When we put such high values on materialistic items, our children do the same. They begin to believe success is in the items they own, not the values and skills they possess. Engage your children and discuss with them the many ways (including monetary from hard work) they can be successful in life.