A dangerous cycle that is hard to break…

By Jennifer Dryden

“But mom, everyone else has _________.”  Fill in the blank with whatever it may be: an iPod touch, a television in their room, an iPad, a cell phone, an instagram, etc.  The list is endless.  How do we handle these pressures when our kids are asking for things because many of their friends have them?  Do we allow the culture and other parents to dictate how we parent our kids?

Here are some things to consider as you and I make choices involving our children.

  1. Plan for what we say “yes” toBe intentional.  Kristen Welch, author and blogger, says that when we say yes too often it fans the flame of our children’s entitlement.  We may choose to allow our child to work and save to get the latest cool gadget.  There is nothing wrong with our kids having some of these things.  However, we must be intentional.  We shouldn’t just say “yes” because we think they will be the only ones without it.
  2. Teach our kids that as Christians we don’t do what everyone else does.  Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  One of my favorite authors is Ann Voskamp, and she states, “Sometimes the way to win is to never enter the race.  There’s no need to keep up with the Joneses  when you are keeping company with Jesus.”  Let’s teach our kids that we can give up the need to compete in the world when we accept being complete in Christ.
  3. Teach our children that we are more concerned with who a person is rather than what they have.  Yes, we want our children to be happy, but that should not be our number one priority.  Parenting is a journey, and our goal is raising children who love and glorify the Lord.
  4. Help our children have perspective.  When our children say that everyone has whatever it may be, let’s  remind them about the people in the world who live in poverty.  Let’s help them to see how blessed we are just to have clean water and electricity.  It can also be helpful to remind them that although it may seem like the majority of their friends have whatever it is that they want, the people that have these things are the ones making the most noise and talking about how great their phone, iPad, etc. is.