Parenting is hard. Very hard. It’s not the same as having a dog, or gerbil, or, well, anything. It’s just hard.
Part of parenting’s enormous task is to ensure your children survive a plethora of swallow-able toys, navigate through puberty, entrust them with a growing amount of responsibilities as they age as well as gradually releasing them into the world so that they might become fully functioning, contributing members of society. I’ve only got a toddler and an infant so my job has barely started, yet I have begun taking this task very seriously by delegating to my daughter various small tasks. Pick up toys, be kind to your sibling, share with your friends; these among with other minute tasks will enable my kids to transform from dependent children to independent adults.
I’m not raising children, I’m raising future adults.
So when I turned on the news this morning I was appalled to hear that a 30-year-old child had murdered his father for decreasing his allowance. Murdered. Cold blooded murder. Bullet to the brain, dead. (See Story Here)
Over what? ALLOWANCE!
30 year old’s should not get allowance. 30 year old’s should not even be on their parents cell phone plan. Or live in their parent’s basement. Or ask their mom to go out to get them food so they can murder their dad for decreasing their allowance. Be an adult, get a job, start a family and contribute to the world!
I don’t have a solution that fixes all parenting situations. I don’t know the family who just lost a dad, husband, maybe grandfather and friend. I was so saddened to hear that life was taken over money. Simply, it is a travesty.
With that said, I wonder what could have been done to stop this from happening? Was he just a bad egg? Maybe his dad had abused him and this was just a violent outburst as a result of a negative past?
Maybe his parents never said, “No.”?
Entitlement is a serious problem in parenting today. Children grow up expecting to have this and that and the other thing. I’m only 30, but I grew up knowing that if I wanted the newest video game or designer jeans I would have to get off my rear and go mow some lawns before I got it. I can’t remember the amount of times I was told, “No” to things that I wanted.
I also can’t remember many moms or dads saying, “No” to their kids at Target as of late.
Or remember parents saying, “No” to bored kids at church while handing them an i-gadget.
The book of Proverbs has a great one-liner for all parents with entitled children.
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. (Prov. 13:24)
Before you blame of being a child beater, let’s clarify what the “rod” is. The rod is discipline. The rod is what you have when you wake up early to work hard to improve your life. The rod is not necessarily a switch, or board, or belt or hand. The rod is, “No” to entitlement.
The issue of entitlement can be quickly eliminated from the hearts of children, teenagers, privileged 30 year old’s and the elderly with the rod. I think that the rod is the missing element in most people’s lives. The rod can be a treadmill. The rod can be logging out of Facebook from your work computer. The rod can be getting out of debt. The rod can be any discipline, that out of love, creates a dynamically better lifestyle for you.
For our children the rod can be, and should be, the proper and frequent use of, “No.”
Will it hurt at first? Yes. Like H-E-Double Hockey sticks. Especially when your toddler screams bloody murder up and down the rows of the store while you shop. It will hurt as they flop and flail like a fish on dry land…except the dry land is the freezer section of Aldi and the fish is your child. Funny, yes. Painful, yes.
With time, and determination, the weedy roots of entitlement will find no water to nourish itself with. Our parenting needs to be swift, concise, consistent and gracious. Saying, “No” to our children may be the most gracious thing to do for them.
So, dear parent friends of mine, feel free to drop the “No-Bomb” on your kids at will. Let them have a good old fashion “No” right now just to get it out there. Yell it from the top of the mountains!
But please remember, if you don’t have the rod in your life; where you have learned to say, “No” to yourself, do not expect your children to willingly accept your discipline.
Go Parents Go!
(This blog is written by a 29.5 year old with barely over 2 years of parenting experience. Please share with me how you eliminate entitlement in your kids. We’re in this together!)