Parenting is tough. It’s one of the hardest jobs around.
There’s no simple manual, no established formula, and God throws curve balls by making every child different. Over time, you grab hold of any principle that makes sense; you try it and if it works, it becomes yours. So I’m going to propose one.
Create an abundance environment for your kids.
Kids need and want love. As with anything in this world, if it’s in short supply, then it becomes more valuable and creates contention. If it’s abundant, it’s no big deal.
Take oil and salt as examples. Every country needs petroleum, so there’s fierce competition for it. Prices are high and promise only to go higher. We fight, we manipulate, we bribe, we sell our souls for oil.
On the other hand, salt is a necessity for human life, but it’s plentiful. The price for a box of salt is a few pennies. It’s abundant. It’s no big deal.
When dads fail to engage with their kids…when they stay so busy that their kids never feel that they “matter”, that dad never really has time to just hang out with them – – that’s a scarcity environment. And with that, you’ll get more acting out, more manipulative behavior, and more sibling rivalry.
But when dads provide an endless supply of love for kids…when there’s a consistent abundance of daddy’s love, there’ll be less competition, less manipulation, and more peace in that home. Daddy has to be there physically and emotionally. He can’t be on his blackberry. He can’t be on his cell phone. He can’t be constantly looking at this watch, in a hurry to move on to the next thing. Kids aren’t “processed” in an abundance environment.
And one point of clarification. This is not related to financial abundance or scarcity. In fact, there may be an inverse correlation to wealth. Often, the more we have, the more complicated our lives can be, with more competition for dad’s time and attention.
I’m old enough to have seen kids grow up in abundance environments and become young adults. They’ve turned out to be more balanced, steady and mature young adults. They love their parents and when they come to visit, they’re “there”. The kids I’ve watched grow up in scarcity environments are, in most cases, still kids. When they come to town, they’re out with their friends and their parents never see them. They’re still chasing something…still competing, still “vibrating”. They have less peace in their lives.
When we look at the environment we grew up in and apply this test, we instantly know whether we had an abundance of love or a scarcity of it. Then we’ll have to decide if it’s important enough to be intentional in creating an abundance environment for our kids. In today’s culture, it will not come natural. And it will not be easy.
But it is worth it.
Question: Is your home an abundance environment or a scarcity environment?
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