Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Danger In Doing Too Much For Our Kids

There are few parents out there who don't want to give their kids the best of everything - education, opportunities and experiences. Many of us who didn't have that much growing up certainly want our children to have more than we did. And there is nothing wrong with that perspective and goal.

However, as I look around at a lot of society today, I see many parents who perhaps are offering their children too much and as a consequence can cause harm rather than help. Summer is a great example. Once school is over kids are off to one week of camp, two weeks of sports tournaments, another week of lessons, a summer seminar, etc., etc.

During the year these same families run from event to practice to lesson to church activity with mom and dad serving mainly as the chauffeurs and bankers for all these commitments. What's the potential downside? There are several.

First, our kids can begin to think they are the center of our universe. They start to feel entitled to more airplane tickets, equipment, clothing and shuttle service to get them to all of these events and activities. Life becomes more about what they do and need and little about serving or helping others. Mom and dad become these necessary providers of transportation and money so that they can succeed.

Second, our other relationships, especially our marriage, can suffer in the process. I talk with parents all the time whose marriage is starving while they keep feeding energy and resources into their children's lives. Many parents have no time or finances for each other because their entire resource account is spent on the kids.

Third, much of our spending will be spent on things that really don't matter as much as we think they will. How many of our kids will be great athletes and actresses and musicians and brilliant scientists? Why not help our children focus on one or two things each year that will still help them develop a talent, build character and learn to work hard? Do they need to do it all? Can we afford to let them do it all?

What are we to do?  Well, if you have the courage (and it will require courage), start to downsize your family's commitments.  Do less that is organized and more that is spontaneous. Take a real vacation not just one around a child's activities. Focus your kids on one or two key areas of involvement and stop the rest. Spend more time together at home and less in the stands or on the field. Serve others more together in your church, community or city.

We all only have a limited amount of time with our kids. Use it wisely. It will be gone too soon.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment