For everything in life, there is both a procedure and price. If a person wishes to build a house, he understands that the structure will cost him a substantial sum of money and that it will not spring up overnight. Similarly, if a person wishes to become a highly qualified specialist in the medical field, he will understand that he will first have to work his way through school, matriculate with good marks, gain admission into a university, pass through the various years, etc., before his aspiration can eventually be realized. This is the simple yet inescapable system that dominates in all facets of life.

If a person does not recognize this to be the system, he will expect to have whatever he wants, whenever he wants, how he wants, and he will expect to have it for free. Naturally, this cannot work, due to which this corrupt mindset will lead to massive problems.

The early years of a child’s life are acknowledged to be the formative years – the years during which values, ideals and morals are instilled within the child and the mindset of the child is moulded. Hence, we need to take a close, unbiased look at our children to determine exactly what values we are instilling within them.

When they want something, do they resort to a tantrum, screaming and crying? If yes, is it because we give in whenever they do this and grant them whatever they demand?

If they want something, do we give it to them instantly? Or do we make them earn it, even if it be through some seemingly mundane chore such as picking up their toys or making their beds?

When they misbehave and become rebellious, do we punish them suitably? Or do we try to pacify them by placing an iPad in their hands or a sweet in their mouths?

Our honest answers to the above questions will be sufficient for us to gauge the type of upbringing that we are giving our children, and will assist us to see whether we are moulding them, or they are moulding us!

The result of this upbringing of ‘instant gratification with no consequences’ is exactly as described above – our children will expect to receive whatever they want, whenever they want, how they want, at the mere trigger of a temper tantrum! 

The matter may not seem overly serious when they are small, but ask those whose children are no longer children but are now young adults, and most of them will tell you, with a broken heart, that their children are disobedient, refuse to behave responsibly and do not understand consequences, as they expect ‘daddy and his contacts’ or ‘daddy and his credit card’ to always rush to the rescue. They are unable to work or achieve anything in life, as they were always handed what they asked for on a golden platter. Now, even as adults, they cannot handle not getting their way. Consequently, their marriages fail, they are not an asset but rather a liability to the family business and overall, are an embarrassment to the family and failures in general.

Before our children reach that point of no return, let us put measures into place for their own sake. From now on, make them work for what they want, and make them face the consequences of their actions. Remember that the medicine may be bitter, but it is absolutely necessary for the recovery and wellbeing of the patient. Hence, we should never ‘give up’ and never ‘give in’.