I have cared for, taught, and learned from children for over thirty years now, in all different settings. I have noticed that the next generation of parents, seem to want to give their children everything they want. Of course, it’s a whole new world, with technology being in the forefront. I’m glad these parents love their children, but I have learned that it is not in the child’s best interest to “get” and “get.” Now we all know the children that were spoiled growing up. Even my own siblings said that I was spoiled because I got to have a phone (attached to the wall) in my bedroom when I was a teen and they did not. Looking back now, that was just cause for more talking to friends, but there was no internet then. But the things I see today are dangerous. Literally dangerous for these children’s souls. Parents give kids tablets, and cell phones, where they are exposed to all kinds of things on the internet. I know some parents try to limit the use of these, which is good. But if they are alone on these devices, you have no idea what they’re watching. Unfortunately, there is a lot of evil in the world, like pornography and child predators.
That is, OfCourse, the worst-case scenario, but there is a more subtle thing happing. It is all the exposure to extreme materialism. Sure, we had commercials advertising the latest toy, when I was a child. Now you have entire You tube “shows” devoted to children getting new toys, opening one after another, after another, to play with those toys, while your child watches. I watched a “show” with my granddaughter that was about a pair of siblings walking around their very big house, showing all their giant toys, under the guise of teaching the alphabet. They had something for every letter. Giant Nerf guns, a giant Unicorn, giant containers of slime, trampolines, pool filled with balls. Not to mention their bedrooms with princess beds, closets full of dresses, stuffed animals of every kind, and as much ice cream as they wanted. There are shows with young adults doing the same thing. I thought to myself, and they’re making more money by having kids sitting around watching them in their paradise. Do we really want to add to their wealth by letting our children watch?
What are we teaching our children by letting them watch such materialism? This is a life you can dream to have one day? This is happiness? What we have is not enough? Children need to learn to be content with what they have and to give to others in need. They need to learn that there is more to life than “things”. Seems like such a waste of time, for them to sit around watching these kinds of shows, when they could be running, jumping, reading a book, turning pages, seeing words on paper, that helps with their spelling and vocabulary.
James 5:3 says “Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against your and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” and Mathew 6:20 says “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (NIV) So “treasures in heaven” are the good things you do for God. Like helping others and putting others first. Luke 12:33 says, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” Obviously, we can’t sell everything we have, but could we ask the kids to pick out toys they don’t want anymore and have a yard sale? Or bring the toys to a consignment shop? Then maybe take the money to buy toothbrushes for people at a shelter or blankets for the homeless? Maybe let the children pick them out and come with you to give them away. Or make a box of toys for Operation Christmas. There are a lot of ways to teach them about giving. Teach them to work for something big they want. That way they don’t start to feel entitled or greedy. Remind them when they don’t turn off the lights or keep the refrigerator open too long, that mommy and daddy pay for that electric. It’s not free. Even if your wealthy, they need to learn responsibility. We want grateful children, do we not? It’s the hardest and most important job you have, to raise children to become emotionally healthy, well-rounded adults. I am praying for all your parents out there!