What Do We Owe Our Children?

What Do I Owe My Children?“I want a waterpark,” says my seven-year-old son.

“You can’t have a waterpark. Nobody has a waterpark.”

“I want you to build a waterpark in our backyard,” says my seven-year-old son.

“You can’t have a waterpark. Nobody has a waterpark. We can go to one, but we can’t have one.”

He is momentarily pacified.

“I need an iPad and you have to get it for me,” demands my nine-year-old.

“No, I don’t have to get you an iPad.” After several volleys back and forth, accompanied by threats of misbehavior, he eventually calms, though not contentedly.

What do I owe my children? This question has been on my mind since I first read about the Morris County teen who moved out of her parents’ house and then sued her parents in order to make them pay for her college tuition, room, board, transportation, and other expenses. She seems to believe that they have to do this.

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10 thoughts on “What Do We Owe Our Children?

  1. Great question. I’ve been wondering this as my 4-year-old’s birthday looms and she’s been stating what she wants for it…not all of which we have purchased. I’m hoping that, at her age, she’ll be content with what she gets and forget about those other things. Here’s hoping!

  2. You always bring up things I struggle with daily! I grew up in a home where my parents did not buy us fashionable, name brand clothing and accessories. We did not listen to popular music and were not allowed to watch TV on school nights so we never could talk about the popular shows. I always felt out of the loop. So…..I struggle. On one had I want to give them these things the other kids have and let them watch the show, and listen to the music. On the other hand I want them to have morals and values and these things do not provide that. Of course I do everything in my power to make sure my children are safe and healthy and thankfully I don’t have to struggle to provide that. I struggle with wanting them to be happy but still be good people!

    • I take that as a good thing – meaning that I am writing what people want to read or that I am not the only one struggling/thinking of these things.
      Or I am in your mind – cue the evil laugh.
      Anyway, I think it is a fine line that we, parents, walk. Well, that is those of us who worry about this issue. We bring our own issues – childhood, guilt, etc.

  3. I agree with you. No kiddo, you don’t NEED an Ipad. You don’t NEED a waterpark in your backyard. Sure, you’d LIKE it, but you don’t NEED it. I think that is a differentiation that is all too often overlooked in our society. And hey, if he NEEDS it so badly he can pay for it himself. 😀
    The only thing kids really need is a safe – emotionally and physically – place to grow up, and lots of love and encouragement.

    Nice to read your writing on another site, too. 🙂

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