We live in an age where we over-spoil children and teach them to receive immediate gratification for their wishes. If you want to know how to avoid it, read this article.
Let me tell you a story by Ray Bradbury that I read as a teenager. It’s called “The meadow” and it’s part of the book The Illustrated Man. A couple has a terrible desire that their children have everything that they did not have. For this, they give them all the comforts that they could not have in their childhood, even a playroom (the most expensive part of the house) that changes according to the wishes of the children. If the children want Little Red Riding Hood, the whole room changes to Little Red Riding Hood: the forest, the sounds, the smells. “This room captured the telepathic emanations of the children’s minds and created a life that fulfilled all their wishes. Children thought of lions, and lions appeared ”, and that is what children think: in Africa, lions that hunt, vultures that feed on carrion. In death and destruction.
The house is the paradise of comfort, it is fully automated: there is no cooking, washing dishes, bathing children. The house does everything automatically, and the parents feel they are not needed there. They bought the house to cure their children’s neurosis, so that the children would have everything they wanted. But what the house gives them in return is more neurosis and destruction. When parents plan to leave the house for a month so that the children have to comb their hair, bathe and brush their teeth themselves, the children begin to plan the death of the parents, because the comfort of themselves comes first. I don’t want to spoil the ending of the story for you, but if you consider that the story was published in 1951, it is amazing how accurate Mr. Bradbury’s future appreciation was.
The age of immediacy
Today we see on the news hitmen who do not reach 14 years of age, we learn about bright young people who, having everything, absolutely everything to be happy, dedicate themselves to robbery and murder to “satisfy their needs”, which are, totally superficial, by the way, like the famous Craigslist killer case.
The great trap we have fallen into as parents is to say to ourselves, “I want my child to have all the things that I couldn’t have.” And we have aggravated that big mistake with an even bigger one: “I want my son to have everything he wants, and to have it now.” In part it is because we work so hard and spend so little time with our children that we continually try to compensate with objects for the time we don’t give them. And with this, by the way, we are generating a culture of tyrannical children, of obedient and liberal parents who cannot, do not want, or do not know how to guide their children.
What to do to get the family back to normal
If that is your case, if you are reaching the point where you no longer know what to do with your child, perhaps these tips will be useful:
1. Stop for a moment and review your priorities
If your children and your family are the most important thing to you, stop spending so much time at work, and spend more time with your family.
2. Work with your children
Plant a garden, make a bookcase together, or paint the house – whatever, but working together on a project is something that creates unity in the family and generates bonds of love.
3. Give them a responsibility
Which is not the same as giving them an assignment or a task. This is something that can be a heinous burden, but having a responsibility is something that, if you don’t fulfill it, everyone in the family will suffer the consequences. Giving them responsibility often means knowing how to delegate: knowing how to train, instruct, trust their agency, train them, so that they fulfill what is expected of them.
4. Beware the sin of the Hybris
In a world where the media almost force us to consume constantly, where children and young people are bombarded to sow non-existent needs, every parent must do something to counteract this influence. Somehow, you have to set limits, avoid “drowning” your children in toys; be careful not to give them more technology than they actually need, for example.
A simple life is almost always fuller than a life where there are plenty of things. Even, many times I think that this world crisis that hits us, perhaps it is beneficial to us: it helps us to focus our attention on what matters most, which is our family, instead of yearning for things that – in reality – are not essential for our lives. happiness. I do not know what you think?