I love being a dad. I love my sons. I am proud of them. Being their dad makes me happy.
A parent’s love for their children is an amazingly powerful thing. One that I did not understand until I had a child of my own.
As parents, we are stewards of the God-given responsibility called parenthood. We are responsible to point our kids to Christ and prepare them for the real world.
And sometimes this stewardship can become compromised when we find ourselves saying “yes” to all of our child’s wants.
Of course, there are reasons why we want to give them everything they want.
- We like to see them smile. We love seeing them happy. And we hate to see them sad or disappointed.
- We don’t want them to miss out. We want them to have great experiences and great memories.
- We don’t want them to be left out. We don’t like the thought of our child being on the outside looking in, wanting what the other kids have, not fitting in.
- We want to give them what we didn’t have as a kid. We still remember what we did not have as a child. And we feel responsible to make sure that their childhood is better than our childhood.
- We want them to like us. Having them be angry with us is like a punch in the gut. We love them and rejection, even if momentary, is painful.
But while we may find ourselves with a desire to give them everything, we shouldn’t. And in the back of your mind, you probably already know that never having the word “no” come out of your mouth is not best for your child.
Here are a few reasons why:
- They may respond poorly to a future “no.” The real world will not always say “yes” to your child. And when they inevitably do get the “no,” the reaction may not go well.
- They may develop an entitlement mentality. They may begin to assume that they are somehow deserving of everything they want.
- They could become unappreciative. Once one realizes they are entitled to nothing, they become grateful for everything. The opposite is true as well.
- They could become impatient. They may never learn how to wait for something. In their world, immediate gratification is the norm.
- They could become materialistic. You provided them everything to make them smile. Now they may think that they need everything to make them smile.
- It won’t give them what they really need—you. A childhood with a loving, present parent but lacking in possessions will always supersede a childhood with signification possessions but a distant, absent parent.
Parenthood is incredible. But it is also difficult. I get it.
We want to give our children everything. But everything is not what they need. They need a parent who demonstrates Christ and loving prepares them for the real world.
They need a parent that sometimes says “no.”