DO NOT DEPRIVE YOUR CHILDREN
This is a generation where we are very hung up on not depriving our kids of anything.
The friend has a cell phone, our child must have one.
The neighbors daughter is going on birthright, our daughter must go. G-d forbid she should feel left out or deprived.
The cousin has the latest gadget, our son must have it too.
One thing no Jewish parent wants to be “accused “ of by our children is depriving them of what they feel entitled to have.
But is this a proper mentality?
Let’s analyze the results of this mentality.
We live in an age of instant gratification. Cell phones, social media, easy travel etc. etc.
And so children are accustomed to receiving whatever they want immediately.
And with that “privilege” comes a demanding attitude. An attitude of never having enough, wanting more, never being satisfied.
Children used to be content at home, just spending time with the family or playing outdoors with friends and living a quiet, normal life. No more.
Now it is all about action. They need to go out, to go to more interesting places, to play games, to have stimulation and excitement. Home has become “boring”.
And so parents, with good intentions, try to provide as much as possible to make their children happy.
They drive them here or there, shlep them around no matter how exhausted they are, pay for all kinds of things and vacations and whatever their darling child wants. And the darling child wants more. There seems to be no end to what the children want. And the children do not learn consideration for their parents or appreciation. The parents become the servants of their children.
Perhaps we need to wake up.
We do not have to provide everything our children want. In fact, we should not! It is not healthy for a child to have all their demands met. The Torah says that if you feed the yetzer hara it just wants more and more. We need to train our children to become happy with their lot, happy with whatever they have even if it is not much. Just to be able to say thank you to Hashem every day for their blessings. To become aware of their blessings and not take things for granted.
We do not have to feel we are depriving our children of anything if we do not want them to go on that trip to Israel with their seminary, or the vacation to Thailand with their friends, or to shop in macy’s or anywhere else if they cant afford it and do not really need that extra dress or piece of clothing.
We in fact should not feel we are depriving them of anything. Because if we feel that, they sense it from us and they demand more. So we have to fix our own attitudes first.
But there is one thing we should not deprive our children of………. spirituality. They need a proper spiritual life. We should not deprive them of farbrengens, melave malkas with the family, beautiful Jewish programs and gatherings. We should not deprive them of developing the right attitudes in life, morality, simplicity, holiness . We should not deprive them of learning what their purpose is in life and how to run a proper frum home. We should not deprive them of developing good character traits. These are the things to emphasize. Spiritual over material.
When we do that our children will learn gratitude, happiness, to be satisfied with what they have, big or small, and they will learn to appreciate us, as their parents, rather than complaining and making us feel guilty for not providing whatever they feel they should have.
SO DO NOT DEPRIVE YOUR CHILDREN OF LEARNING TO BE A MENTCH. MAY WE ALL HAVE NACHAS FROM OUR CHILDREN.