I’m convinced that almost every kid goes through pretty much the same phases as their growing up. Here’s just a small sample:
- Throwing fits
- Expecting something to be bought for them every time you visit a store
- Not sharing
- Sneaking things that they know they should ask for
- Not picking up after themselves
- Eating constantly
You get the idea. I made a point to only mention the bad ones. There are a tons more, some of them positive. For the bad ones, parents asks themselves “what did I do to make my kid do that?” or “what did I do wrong?”
Most people don’t encourage their children to whine when they’re younger. However, since I’m convinced that almost every kid goes through the same stages, I’m also convinced that how long they stay in each one and whether they’ll reach other phases is based on how we react to them.
Will your kids whine when they don’t get a car at age 16? I don’t know, did you buy them whatever they wanted when you went to the store when they were younger?
Will your kids experiment with drugs and alcohol, or go behind your back without telling you? How much did you let them get away with when they were younger without noticing?
We know how we want our kids to turn out when they get older. The question is whether we’re using these “opportunities” to shape them into becoming the people we want them to be.
I know personally, I probably fail when the opportunity presents itself to shape them more often than I succeed, but at least I’m trying and I realize what’s at stake.