As a new parent, I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to raise my son, and what kind of person I’d like him to be. The answer I keep coming up with is: NOT SPOILED. It is a terrible irony and tragedy for parents to work hard in trying to provide a better living (more money) for their children, only to find the excess money counterproductive and spoiling them. Why drown your kids in a sea of money when others are dying of thirst?
If spoiling a child results from giving him everything he wants, then the obvious antidote is to wisely withhold them. Here are some thoughts:
* Fewer toys, more time with family and friends
* Less TV, more library books
* Exposure to many people, of all different wealth levels
* Avenues to give and serve as a family and with a church community
One of the hardest things about a consumerism diet is modeling it myself. There are a lot of areas for improvement in eating habits, shopping, surfing, and time spent on tech toys. I’m hoping the pain will be worth it, as I’d much rather raise a child who has compassion, generosity, and honesty rather than a new car, a private college trust fund, and mad video game skills. (That last part is really close, though.)
Since I’m writing from the idealistic perspective of a new parent, I’d appreciate any words of wisdom who have been through this already. What have you done to raise your children in a non-spoiled way, and what might you do differently with your years of experience?