Words of Wisdom: Parents Beware: Spoiled Children, Rotten Adults! Proverbs 29:21-25
A slave pampered from his youth will become arrogant later on. An angry man stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered man increases rebellion. A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor. To be a thief’s partner is to hate oneself; he hears the curse but will not testify. The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected. Prov 29:21-25 (HCSB)
One of the Lord’s commands in God’s Word is that parents must raise their children to respect and revere the Lord, and to teach them to live according to God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word. Not only are the parents held accountable to this admonition from the Lord, but also when we choose otherwise, we raise spoiled children, and they become rotten adults.
When we try to become our children’s best friend and pamper them, our children will learn to become arrogant, expecting all authority figures in their life to be like their parents. As they get older that arrogance turns into anger, which escalates into open rebellion when life does not accommodate their desires and wishes. What a sad message we send to our kids when we choose to spoil them as our means to demonstrate our love! They learn that love is selfish and intended for their motives. Thus, their future relationships will have issues as they demand to be spoiled as they are accustomed to being spoiled. How many marriages have failed because one of the partners was raised to become arrogant, resulting in outbursts of anger when things don’t go their way, and sooner or later open rebellion results, tearing the marriage apart!
What a disaster we as parents are responsible for when we teach our children to be prideful, when we place them on a pedestal as they are growing up. Also, when we measure the child according to the success they have accomplished, and belittled them in times of defeat – what kind of message have we taught them?
Parents who live their lives vicariously through their children, they never stop to realize the harm that they doing to their kids.
Competition is good when kept in proper perspective, and especially when the child learns how to win and lose with grace. However, when too much emphasis is placed upon the wins, as if it is a measure of the parents’ ego, then the child will sooner or later fold under the pressure to win for the parents’ sake. The child will grow to hate the competition and despise the parent.
When we as parents teach our children rightly, we are teaching them by example that humility comes in both victories and defeats. In life, we will have to learn how to win and how to lose, because God uses both to grow us. We please God in both the wins and the defeats depending on how we respond, and we also learn to relate to the people we competed against. We please God when we realize that in defeat there was a lesson learned and we can get up and go again. And, in victory we do not gloat because more challenges and competitions lie ahead.
Learn likewise: in the wins, as well as the defeats, the maturing process begins while we are young, and our parents have rightly instilled the right responses into us.
Parents beware: Rotten children grow up to become spoiled adults. Love your children enough to teach them early what it means to be humble and to relate to others, especially the authority figures they will always have over them throughout life. And also to their teammates when they are young so that when they marry, they will enjoy their helpmate in life. Above all, guide them in God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. And fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Eph 6:1-4 (HCSB)