Give Your Child What They Need, Not What They Want!


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We often encounter parents who spoil their kids. They yield to the whims and desires of their children, overlooking the importance of setting boundaries or limits. Young ones need to be held accountable for their actions, and they can learn to do so by following the good examples of parents. Children need to be guided so that, as they grow older, they can practice good judgment when looking at situations or dealing with problems that come their way.

There are modern-day parents who strive to raise good kids, teaching them to show empathy, compassion, respect for elders, other people and responsibility. Unfortunately, not all kids exhibit these important traits and values.  This could be attributed to different factors which include lack of parental discipline, peer influence, and mass media.  All these factors can strongly influence how most young children think and act.

Parents who immediately hand their kids money or other material things they ask for are courting trouble.  Such kids grow up thinking everything can be handed to them on a silver platter. Here’s a trick. When I was young, my mother taught me to put my money into separate envelopes that were exclusively for itemized things. Basically it was an old fashion banking and savings system that was actually fun to do. I became proud of doing this when I was young and I’m sure your child will also.

There are cases of parents who were not able to experience material comforts when they were growing up.  Hence, they do not want their own kids to feel deprived of what most other kids have – toys, clothes, gadgets, vacations, and so on.  The danger to this kind of thinking is that the kids may become too materialistic. On the other hand, parents who teach their kids to save early on ingrain the importance of frugality and help develop resourcefulness.

More than material things, children need parental guidance and support.  The best thing that parents can do is to reach out and show genuine interest and concern for their kids is to set aside time to know each child personally.  Parents should also realize that every child is unique and unfair comparisons should not be made. I am the baby of 5 children. I remember well my Mother always spent separate time with each of us. Being a twin, I knew this put more stress on my mother but she always made it happen.

Spending quality time with the kids is very important. In doing so, parents create a bond with their children. At the same time, they get to know their kids’ innermost sentiments, yearnings and needs.  It is particularly meaningful for them when a parent takes time off from work and other priorities to spend time with them.  In the process, the children feel valued as persons.  They do not feel the need to rely on material things to give value to themselves.

Parents can also help build their kids’ self-esteem in a number of ways.  Instead of letting youngsters watch mindless TV shows all day long, they can insist on setting aside fixed study hours, and then enroll them into a physical activity such as martial arts, dance or sports to help focus on more than just academics. Parents, however, should refrain from overly packing their kids’ schedules with too many activities.  This can backfire and produce either extremely meek or rebellious kids.

Another good parenting tip is to avoid dangling rewards to get your kids to perform well. In order for your child to obey and cooperate, you need to let them respond out of their own free will and do things because they understand the long-term benefits.


Adam-McCauleyYour Neighborhood Martial Art’s Instructor, Renshi Adam McCauley, Go No Sen Karate, Blue Mt. Plaza, Welcher Ave, Peekskill, NY  10566   914.734.2461

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