We all love our children and want the very best for them. Sometimes, our love blinds us into giving them everything that they ask for. However, giving children all that they desire is definitely not in their best interest. But how do we as parents keep our kids from feeling entitled to have everything? How do we teach our children the value of money–and of work? Here are a few things to think about if you’re concerned about this problem:
Teach your children the value of work. Even parents who can afford to buy what their child asks for must realize the value in teaching a child how to work for what he or she receives. Children who grow up in an environment where they are given everything without having to work for it will face a very difficult time when forced to make it on their own. Instead, they are use to getting everything for nothing. Parents can implement a chore system in their home, or encourage teenagers to get jobs to pay for extra things that they want.
Teach your children the value of money. To a child who receives everything, money is no object. This will likely turn into a big problem when it comes time for the twenty-something daddy’s girl to make it on her own. Parents have a responsibility to prepare their children for life beyond mom and dad’s money. A son who got all of the latest gadgets might end up deep in debt trying to maintain that same lifestyle.
Think about your deep motives. Think about some of the deeper reasons that you might be buying things for your children. Do you give in to their pleadings because of something that happened in the past? Make sure that you are not trying to use things to compensate for your own guilt. Perhaps you buy things for your children to try and make up for not spending enough time with them. Or maybe it was something that happened in the past, such as a death or divorce. Realize that too much money, gifts, or toys will only create a new problem. Deal with your feelings of guilt in a more healthy way for you and your children.