How to Spoil Your Child

 

 

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How to Spoil Your Child

Dr Alex Tang

 

Introduction

In Finding Forrester, Jamal, a black basketball player and gifted student from the slums whose writing talent is nurtured by a famously reclusive author. William Forrester (Sean Connery) became a literary icon four decades earlier with a Pulitzer-winning novel, then disappeared (like J.D. Salinger) into his dark, book-filled apartment, agoraphobic and withdrawn from publishing, but as passionate as ever about writing. On a dare, Jamal sneaks into Forrester's musty sanctuary, and what might have been a condescending cliché--homeboy rescued by wiser white mentor--turns into an inspiring meeting of minds, with mutual respect and intelligence erasing boundaries of culture and generation.

The film takes a conventional turn when Jamal must defend his integrity (with Forrester's help) in a writing contest judged by a sceptical teacher, but this ethical subplot is a credible catalyst for Forrester's most dramatic display of friendship. It's one of many fine moments for Connery and Brown, in a memorable film that transcends issues of race to embrace the joy of learning. But what is more important is the processing of educating the mind of a child. However instead of teaching our children, we spoil them rotten.

 

How to spoil your child

 

1.                  Give them everything they ask for or wanted.

Deny them nothing. Whatever they want, give it to them. They want the latest toy, the latest game for their playstation or the most expensive Doc Martin shoes, buy it for them. Line up early in a long queue to get the latest McDonald children’s meal toys. Give them a supplementary platinum or gold credit card so that they can go shopping on their own. Do not limit or deny them because saying ‘no’ will damage them psychologically. If they want your hair, give it to them.

One observation I have is that if both parents are working and the child is looked after by a babysitter, there is a tendency to compensate for their guilt by giving the child everything he or she wants. Lots of toys and ice cream.

I have a couple whose child I was looking after since he was a baby. When he was a baby, the parents would call me up every time the child cry. They do not want the child to cry. When the child is older, he would grab the toys from other children in my waiting room. Instead of asking the child to give back the toy, the parents will offer to buy the toys from the other parents. When he is even older he would come into my clinic with his gameboy and once scolded his mother for not buying him the latest game. Give them everything they want.

Samson was the only son of Manoah. Manoah’s wife was barren until the angel of the Lord appeared to her. Being the only child, I am sure they denied Samson nothing. So one day Samson saw a young Philistine woman in Timnah and wanted to marry her. The parents agreed even though it is against tradition to marry outside the faith. This ended in tragedy. Samson killed thirty men on the seventh day of his wedding feast, his wife was taken away and given to another man and in the end was burnt to death by the Philistines. In revenge Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. At the end of the battle, he was thirsty and cried out to the Lord for water. Talk about being spoilt. In spite of this, Samson fell in love again and married another Philistine woman named Delilah. And this let to his downfall. Delilah found that that his strength was in his hair and Samson had a haircut. He was captured blinded and put him to work in a grindstone in prison. (Judges 13-16).

Giving your child everything he or she wanted do not teach the child self-control and discipline. At times, the child has to take no as an answer. The child has to learn that he cannot get everything he wanted. It is our duty as parents to teach our children self-control and discipline.

Prov.3:1-6

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

They grow up with the illusion that the ‘world owes them a living’. Nothing is further than the truth. The world is full of pain and suffering. It owes you nothing. Gen.3:17, God gave us a realistic picture of this world: GE 3:17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, `You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.GE 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.GE 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

 

2.                  Teach them to look out for number one.

Let them be selfish. Give them the freedom to do whatever they like. Do not stop them. Allow them to be nasty to their friends, rude to their teachers and disrespective to their elders. You must not interfere with their character development. Let them develop their own character naturally.

 

When one of my daughters was in primary school, she came out first in her stanadard beating another girl by one mark. The mother of this girl went to the schoolteacher. We do not know hat they did but it ended up the other girl because first, beating my daughter by half a mark. Obviously we were upset. But I cannot help but wonder what is that mother teaching her daughter.

Eli is the priest who trained Samuel the prophet. But his sons, Hophni and Phinehas were regarded as wicked men with no regard for the Lord (1 Sam 2:12). They were also priests at Shiloh. It was the practice at that time that when anyone offered sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest will come with a folk and plunge it into the cauldron. Whatever meat it picked up belongs to the priests. However, Eli’s son will send their servant to ask for the meat before it was boiled. They want the raw meat to roast.

Because of our sinful nature ( homo sapiens adamis ), we are selfish. It is our duty to teach our children not to be selfish, be considerate and helpful to others.

Prov. 3:27-30

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.

Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"--when you now have it with you.

Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.

Do not accuse a man for no reason-- when he has done you no harm.

Our Lord, Jesus Himself said in John 15:13:

13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

 

3.                  Do not show love to your spouse.

Be nasty to your spouse and criticise him or her when they are not around. Shout and have violent quarrels. Throw things around. Husband, show your wife that you are the boss. Use the Bible to beat her into submission.

Eph 5:23 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Wife, show your husband that even though he is the head, you are the neck. And the neck is the one who can turn the head. Do not agree on anything together. Use the children as instrument of warfare. Make them take sides in your quarrels. Convince or buy your children to your side.

King David was on a rooftop relaxing when he should be leading his army in battle. He spotted a beautiful woman bathing, named Bathsheba. He lusted after her and in order to get her as his queen, he plotted the death of her husband, Uriah the Hittite. What a lesson to teach his children. His son, Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar. And his son, Absalom rebelled and drove David from the throne. The father and mother are the role model for the children. What they do affects their children’s future.

Paul wrote in Eph. 5:25

EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Christ loved the church. Sometimes the church is not lovable, rebellious, ugly, yet Christ still loves the church. When you take the wedding vow, it is forever. When we vow for better or for worst, through thick and thin and till death do us apart, we have to mean it. So in a marriage, we have to fight fair, give-an-take, forgiving and do not bear grudges. Marriage is two becoming one. Two separate individuals becoming one. There is bound to be fiction. How we deal with this friction in the eyes of our children is important because it teaches them how to deal with similar frictions when they are married.

 

4.                  Give them total freedom in movies, television, books, computer games and music.

Do not supervise them; let them watch all the movies, television, listen to all types of music, play all types of computer games and be involved in other parts of our secular culture. If they want the latest fashion, let them. If they want a nose ring, let them. Does it matter what values they are learning from theses – values of the world such as rules are made to be broken, you are okay as long as you do not get caught, the end justified the means, excitement comes from numbers of cars being blown up, bodies count rising and people being killed and mutilated.

A group of friends of mine like to play games on the Internet. One game they played was “Age of Empire” where the aim was to conquer all the other nations to be the emperor. One day, I found them very upset and they declared that they would not play with the Koreans anymore. Apparently the Koreans was able to hack into the game and know where the opponents’ armies were during the game. Moral of the story – you win by cheating.

We are to supervise what children are watching, reading and playing. We who are Christian and should have wisdom to screen the materials they are exposed to.

Prov. 2: 9-15

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.

            For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

            Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

            It is our jobs as parents to teach our children wisdom.

 

5.                  Teach them money is the most important thing in life.

One of my favourite songs is from the musical Oliver Twist where Fagin is inducing Oliver into his gang. The name of the song is ‘You’ve got to pick a pocket or two’. The beginning lyrics are, “ In this world, one thing counts, in the bank large amount.” Teach your child that money is the most important thing to have. Show him or her what money can do. Money can buy you lots of comfortable and beautiful things, respect from everybody and security. Teach them to make money the smart way- let other people make money for you.

I have a friend who is obsessed with money. Everything I meet him, he is always talking about another moneymaking scheme. Most of his schemes did not seem to work but that did not bother him. His whole life seems to center on making money. I am sure he dreams about money. He is much taken in by the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. What is sad is when I last heard, his son has dropped out of Polytech. To help him in his money making scheme.

Luke 12:16-21

And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

"Then he said, `This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

"But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Jesus made a very profound statement in Matt. 6:26

26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

Earlier in v.24, He said

MT 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. 

We must teach our children the place of money, that the love of money is the root of all evil. It is not wrong to work for money but is becomes a sin when money becomes our god. The Bible has plenty to say about money.

 

6.                  Do not cut the umbilical cord.

Do not allow your children be independent of you. Keep them dependent. Do not teach them to think independently. Interfere with the lives even when they are adults. Interfere with their marriages. Keep them dependent on you.

I have a friend who is doctor and is head of an important department in the General Hospital. Every day for the last 20 years since I know him, he must go home for lunch with his mother. He is 55 years old and still not married for which girl can measure up to his mother? I also know of a few couples where the wives have a bad time because the husband keep comparing the wives to their mother and the mother-in-laws keep in insisting that the wives should take care of their sons like they do. I keep reminding the guys that, hey, this is your wife and this is your mother. I hope you can tell them apart!

Prov.22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Gen.2:22

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

 

We must cut the umbilical cord and teach our children to be independent of us. It is difficult but necessary for their growth. It is our job to work ourselves out of a job.

 

Concluding Remarks

You can spoil your child by:

1.      Give them everything they ask for or wanted.

2.      Teach them to look out for number one.

3.      Do not show love to your spouse.

4.      Give them total freedom in movies, television, books, computer games and music.

5.      Teach them money is the most important thing in life.

6.      Do not cut the umbilical cord.

 

Or you can teach your child by:

1.      Self-control and discipline.

2.      Be considerate and helpful to others.

3.      Model family by loving your spouse.

4.      Teach them godly values.

5.      Teach them to worship God alone.

6.      Teach them to be independent.

 

Let us teach our children well and not spoilt them.

 

 

Soli Deo Gloria

 

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