Friday, May 22, 2009

Giving Your Kids What They Want

It's interesting, as I've been reading Rough Stone Rolling, how my eyes have been opened a little bit as far as parenting goes. Let me explain. I was raised in a family where you were expected to work from a young age. I bought all my own clothes/entertainment (with the exception of some Christmas/Birthday presents) by the time I was in Jr. High. I never once expected my parents to pay for my mission. I knew I'd be paying for college, so I worked hard to get scholarships. I never even thought of asking them to buy me a car. That was my responsibility. I always felt like that was really an ideal way to raise kids, as it taught me and my siblings a great deal of responsibility, taught us to be good with money, to take care of and appreciate our belongings.
But, as I was reading about Joseph's predecessors, it seems that many of them struggled with feelings of complete inadequacy because they failed to provide each of their sons with a house and a farm when they came of age.
So I guess for me the question isn't so much of if it's a good thing to provide such things. I guess I'd always thought that the historical trend was going more the other way, toward giving them more things. But if back in the late 1700's parents were already not just giving their kids these things, but actually feeling bad if they didn't, is the whole "teaching your kids responsibility by not giving them what they want" thing a new idea? Or is my family just weird?

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