Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Gift of Deprivation

Yes. Depriving our children of everything they want is a gift to them from us with LOVE.

I just assumed that most parents did not give in to their children's wants...but it did not take long and lots of embarassing moments for me to realize that we were amongst the "mean" parents who did not "love and provide" and the list goes on and on.

Caleb was young and a bunch of moms from his school decided to take the children to Safari Sams for the day since there was no school.

Scott and I had decided the night before how much money the children would have to spend and we gave it to them the next morning before our field trip. Mind you, there was a flat fee to be paid for the climbing etc...the "extra" money was for a few arcade games, so the amount we gave them was MINIMAL.

Part way into their play time, Caleb came to me asking for more money. The other moms were getting into their purses to appease their children...I guess anything to keep them occupied...anyhoo, I reminded Caleb of our talk with their Daddy. They were not to spend anymore than what they had been given. Caleb did not argue {thank heavens!} and went to climb. A mom who had been listening to our conversation said, "I realize you may have a tight budget, but when I was growing up, my parents never gave us anything and we were always made fun of and it still hurts should give Caleb some more money or I can give him some." WHAT?! That had NOTHING to do with the point of not giving him the extra $$$$.

We were trying to instill in him to be grateful for what he was given. Set up boundaries. Give him a heart that was not selfish and only thinking of himself and to work HARD! Things were not going to just be given out just because. {We HAVE practiced a lot of GRACE and I will write about that soon.}I can say that I quietly sobbed to myself the whole way home. I can guarantee if we had cell phones back then, I would have been calling my hubby!!

God offers wisdom and comfort on so many levels and especially when we are pursuing to lead our children into the very arms of their SAVIOR.

This morning I saw an old cabinet door saved from our kitchen remodel several years ago. It was sitting out by the couch. Caleb had decided to make a game board for their basketball tournament this weekend. BRILLIANT! The boys will have something to do on the much for ipods, car tv's and Iphones...the gift of deprivation has it's blessings...because I can gurantee you that this deprived boy of ours has come up with some awesome inventions because of the little word "NO".

This young man has learned to be industrious and will be an AMAZING husband who is able to provide for his family because he has learned the value of having to do with what he has...and I can't wait to watch him pass down the gift of deprivation to his children!

I know some could view this project as a piece of trash, but if he doesn't keep it...I will and it will remind me of how God has sustained us in parenting and to see that a child at age 17 is still making do with what God has blessed us with...even the smallest of things like old cabinet doors, clothes pins and gglue sticks.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

Colossians 3:23

Shared with: raising homemakers, women living well, a holy experience


  1. AMEN!! We can afford almost everything that our friends have for their kids, yet we don't because of this very reason. I would also add that it's very important for them to learn what to do with boredom. I know a lot of people who have every toy that their kids could possibly want and my kids envy them. But then they go outside and climb a tree, play in the dirt and come up with some really creative game with the toys they already have... and have a ton of fun doing it!

    I love this post and couldn't agree more.

    You should post a final pic Caleb's project when he's done :)

  2. cool. i'm a little bit giving in to my kids, too... not so much - but i want to start having my oldest girl EARN an allowance... she just doesn't get it yet. I keep trying to explain she can have those things when she buys it with her own money, but she insists i buy it or that i put it on the list for sinterklaas (dutch santa) or for her birthday... well, at least she can wait till then... but it would be nice if she'd work for it. when is a good time to start that? my girl is only 5 and doesn't quite "get it" yet.

  3. Becky...I AGREE! It definitely nips the "boredom factor" in the bud. :} I will post a pic with the cards etc. Thank you for your kind comment. xo

  4. cutekittypunk...that is a huge debate! We would pay our children to do "extra" things...give them an opportunity to teach them how to have a "job" and work, but they were expected to contribute to the family for regular chores. I am so thankful this is how things worked, because there was a time when things were so tight financially that there was no way an allowance would have worked into our budget. It would have been a rude awakening, but we started them off way early...probably around 3. We also taught them not to always work for money, but out of the kindness of their keep their motives in check and to be sensitive to others needs who may not have the "means to pay". You don't want them to be taken advantage of, but again there is an element of teaching them grace and sympathy for others. I say it is never too early to start and if you approach it witth a happy attitude, they will go right along with it. With having two HAPPY TEENAGERS {19 and 17} it brings JOY to see them working hard and serving others without expectation.