Listen to Andy's Answer
And the answer to that question is no. And yes. With adolescents especially, the answer is no, that it should not affect our parenting style. With small children and adolescents, actually all the way through. It should not affect our parenting style. Not if we are focused on principles and if we are focused on the idea that we’re not just raising great kids. We are raising kids who will become great adults. Now the reason I say yes, it does affect her parenting style. It turns out to be more our fault obviously than theirs. If we find that a child is creating expectations or a lack of gratefulness, we can dial back quickly what we are providing and we should. But sometimes as parents when we have a little more money to spend, we can use it incorrectly.
I have done this, I remember a time when the boys were like, I don’t know, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, right around in there. I wanted to have a palm tree house. I wanted to have a play house. A kind of thing that they could camp out in and it would be right there beside our house, but it would be a very cool little fort kind of thing. I talked to them about it and they were like, yeah, yeah, sure. And I built it. well, I had it built it. Cause it was pretty nice. It wasn’t really inexpensive. It wasn’t like throwing some boards together. I had a cool little palm roof done on it and it was the neatest thing. You would have loved it. They didn’t really love it, but you would have. Now when I say they didn’t love it, they were appreciative and they showed the proper gratefulness, but they didn’t really use it. As the year went by and another year went by. I remarked to Polly one day, I said, well, I’m kind of aggravated the boys don’t use this. They don’t ever used this thing. Polly kind of raised her eyebrows at me, and she said, well, you were the one who really wanted it. I realized that it was true. I had the extra money to build something like that. And yet, one of their most fun things to do was to take boxes and cut them up and use duct tape and make tunnels and forts out of cardboard boxes. I wasted money. I wasted time. I was actually aggravated at them for a little bit because they weren’t using this thing.
When I say that not enough money affects parenting style, what’s not enough? A lot of these hard times that our families go through can provide greater platforms for a child later in life. And remember, we’re not raising great kids. We’re raising kids who become great adults. If I have to say, the most memorable parenting times that I have had with my boys costs no money at all. Just taking a string and a hook and going to a little pond nearby before school. Literally, at daylight and fishing a little bit before school. Those are the times that they remember. And those didn’t really cost anything at all. There’s a lot of those kinds of things that we can do. Money is nice, but we as parents need to be wise about where we use those funds and we need to be creative when we don’t have as much as we might want.