Here’s How To Teach Your Children They Can’t Always Get Everything They Want

Every parent has the innate desire to give their children the world, providing for all their wants and needs.

You can still give your children everything they need and teach them the importance of hard work and sacrifice.

However, some parents make the major mistake of allowing their children to have everything they want, and the consequences can be disastrous.

Advertisers bombard households with the latest toy ads, with children running to their parents begging to have the latest and greatest.

Other children see their peers dressed in expensive name-brand clothes or shoes and badger their parents relentlessly until they give in and buy them what they want.

And tragically, in some households, parents are held hostage as their children run the show.

But experts agree that giving in to your children and buying them everything they want is not a good idea.

Family Life reported:

“According to a recent survey of youth commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream, the average 12- to 17-year-old who asks a parent for products will ask nine times until the parents finally give in.  For parents of tweens, the problem is particularly severe—more than 10 percent of 12- to 13-year-olds admit to asking their parents more than 50 times for products they’ve seen advertised. Kids have learned if they nag enough for long enough, parents will give in…

Dr. Connie Dawson, co-author of How Much Is Enough, writes:

“When parents give children too much stuff that costs money, do things for children that they can do for themselves, do not expect children to do chores, do not have good rules and let children run the family, parents are overindulging.”

When children grow up expecting to have all their needs AND wants met, they react like tyrants if they don’t get their way.

It’s important to set boundaries for your child while they are still young, and let them know you are still in control.

By caving in to your child’s every wish and desire, you are teaching them they can have whatever they want.

As a consequence, when your child grows up, they will take this entitlement mentality with them into the real world.

And let’s face it; no parent wants their child to be the future college student who demands a “safe space” in college.

It’s crucial to teach your child the importance of personal responsibility and the value of hard work.

If they want a certain toy, consider setting up an allowance system and have them work to obtain it.

Or, teach them the skill of patience by having them place the desired item on their birthday or Christmas list.

Satisfying your child’s wants isn’t bad, and it’s not wrong to buy them a gift on your terms, but it becomes dangerous when you bow down to your child and give them the power to dictate what they can and cannot receive.

Children need love, acceptance, food, shelter, clothing, and other tangible needs.

Everything else is a luxury, and teaching your child to be grateful for what they have is setting them up to appreciate things in the future.

By not overindulging your child at a young age, you’re setting them up for success in the real world.

Do you think children should get everything they want?

What are some practices you’ve developed in your household to teach your children the difference between wants and needs?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.



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  1. James C. Robinson (III) says:

    No! Heaven forbid that I should dare think that children should always get everything they want! That’s part of why according to His Holy Scriptures, I believe & know that: although as a good Father, He’s for giving us, His children good things [including especially His Holy Spirit], at other times, the LORD our God says “no” when what we ask for is bad, destructive, or against His perfect will & desire!

  2. Lot parents want to make their children friends. That is not the parents job but the end result of a good job of raising their children. Parents are mentors to teach basic good values and right from wrong. No one owes you in life. It is hard work and clean living with a foundation in God.
    Parents must, must say NO; mean it, stick to it and explain why.
    Be there for your kids in all they do; they want good, honest, realistic efforts from you to, with lots of LOVE: not giving many gifts and hollow rewards nor expecting the unexpectable of them either.
    Parenting is not an exact science. Sometimes there is no clear right or wrong answer so let them know this, and communicate about it. A two way street a lot of times.
    Maintain a good church relationship, and teach them they are not alone even if you are not there.
    Keep them busy doing good projects as they grow up. Idle time with no direction spells trouble.
    Take an interest in their academic progress for success.
    Take an interest in who their friends are and explain, if need be, why some are not a good choice for them.
    Want to know where they are going and who with and how; sometimes their choices are made with immaturity and false sense of security.
    Trust. Children have to learn it is earned by making right choices and doing good things. In time it will come. Likewise parents must stick to their word because our children are examples of our good or bad behaviors, actions and mentoring.
    Finally. Parenting is the hardest work parents will ever do. Don’t treat it lightly—-young lives are in your hands!!!! Remember, if it tries your soul, their souls are touched also. The reward. Being proud of good productive citizens. Greater reward. Loving grand children that visit often!! The lessons start again on both sides, big and small.

  3. PATRICIA MEAD says:

    Being raised in the depression era, I can say not having everything was a blessing. I learned to appreciate necessitates and not be wasteful. Children today are not as blessed . Items they can’t live without are instant junk. Often after they get this junk home they forget they have it. We want our children to have what we did not and I would not trade my childhood for having too much. I watched 2 families, one had too much and the other barely had enough and the later one’s children grew up very successful. The teaching of today is live for the day and forget about saving for the future.

  4. Los Condenados says:

    Reminds me of all those liberal children who are always looking for a handout instead of a hand up . Bunch of spoiled brats .

  5. JOHN STEEL says:

    A good whack, use to do wonders. now you can go to jail for that. wonderful world we have here.

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