God will not do for man what man can do for himself. Parents must also do the same. Overindulgence is a great sin. Overindulgence leads to selfishness, unreal expectations, low self-esteem, and the decline of empathy. It does not take a lot of money or physical gifts to overindulge an adolescent. Overindulgence is simply not allowing an adolescent to strain against adversity in order to achieve that which he desires. Adolescents must be allowed to strain against adversity and work to achieve. This will give them needed experience. The experience will give them intelligence. The intelligence gained through overcoming adversity will then be available to draw upon when it is needed to overcome another obstacle. Their self-esteem will grow as their self-efficacy grows.
Ernie was a rich man. He worked hard for his money. He knew that he couldn’t take it with him when he died so he spent it on his family whenever he could. He called it his retirement plan. He always said that “He’ll take care of his children, so his children will take care of him.” Ernie bought his children everything. They had the newest video games, clothes, and shoes. He even bought them a car. They also had all of the newest electronic gadgets.
Ernie noticed that his children were easily frustrated in school if the work got too hard. He saw that his children would easily give up on difficult tasks at home. They did not show remorse for mistakes that they committed. They also seemed to have a sense of entitlement. They assumed new and expensive things would always come to them without much effort.
Ernie also noticed that his children were not dependable and did help out around the house. He even suspected that they were stealing money from his wallet. Ernie began to question his retirement plan.
Burt was also a rich man. Burt recognized that he was a rich man because he had struggled at so many things when he was younger. These struggles taught him to work hard. He learned that success only comes after much failure. Burt had a strong belief in his ability to accomplish what he set out to do.
He wanted his children to have the same belief in themselves. Burt told himself that he would never do for his children, what they could do for themselves. True to his word, when his children turned 16, Burt would not buy them a car. They had to ride bicycles to work until they saved up enough money to buy their own car. Burt had a small budget for the children’s clothing. If the children wanted to buy designer clothes, they had to save money from their paychecks to get them themselves.
As the children got older and more capable, Burt slowly placed more responsibility on them. The children learned to cook, make meal plans, conduct care maintenance, pay for their cell phones, budget their money, and other things. Chores were divided evenly in the home.
Burt noticed that his children made a lot of mistakes and paid for their mistakes themselves. He also noticed that they were developing a strong sense of self efficacy, had a high self-esteem, and a strong sense of empathy toward others. Burt was proud of his children.