Joseph Epstine makes the case that in America we’re living in a kindergarcy – a culture where we’re under the rule of children.
Children have gone from background to foreground figures in domestic life, with more and more attention centered on them, their upbringing, their small accomplishments, their right relationship with parents and grandparents. For the past 30 years at least, we have been lavishing vast expense and anxiety on our children in ways that are unprecedented in American and in perhaps any other national life.
We’ve probably all witnessed and even participated in this phenomenon.
I have three kids – ages 8, 6, and 4 at home. Sometimes it does seem as though our schedule is held hostage by the kids’ calendar. It’s lead to a hectic and busy schedule. However, in our home, we’ve decided that the most important relationship is my relationship to my wife. When that relationship is healthy, then our relationship with our kids is healthy. If we decided to make our kids the most important relationship, then the result could be ignoring our own.
I’ve witnessed kindergarcy amongst my peers.
The kids don’t get something they wanted to get and the parents will walk from east to west looking for whatever the kid wants to satisfy their request. It almost seems as though the worst thing a parent could do is say, “No.”
But saying no responsibly is a tremendous blessing to our kids and to our homes.
Kindergarcy can be so destructive to our finances.
I’ve witnessed parents making financial commitments far beyond their financial resources. Perhaps it comes from a place of love. It is natural to want to give the best to our kids. But it’s unhealthy when we’ll compromise the financial health of our home in order to make one of our kids happy.
Always getting what we want is spiritually dangerous. I think it short changes an important maturing process.
Personally, I don’t want my kids to get everything they want. I think they’ll grow up more mature as a result of hearing the word no. The best way for me to model this is by making sure that I’m saying no to some of my wants and desires. I need to learn to practice moderation. Once I’ve lived sacrificially, it can be better modeled to my kids.
How do you ensure that you’re not living in a home ruled by your children? How do you lovingly say no?