Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 9, 2007 / 21 Shevat, 5767

Blessed are the parents who say no

By Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When our children were little, they would often ask for things, and we would often say no. We would tell them that there was a long-lost beatitude that said, "Blessed are the parents who are broke, for they have reason to tell their kids no."


We weren't really broke, but with one parent at home, we did live on a tight budget. Our missing beatitude somehow made sense to the children, and we often had conversations like the following:


"Can I have a pony?"


"No."


"Can I have a Playstation?"


"No."


"Can I have Barbie's Malibu dream house that comes with a personal access code garage door opener, kitchen trash compactor, refrigerator with ice-maker, large-screen television and surround sound stereo system and five differently outfitted Ken dolls housed in the master bedroom closet?" "No. If anyone gets a house that nice, it should be you father and me, not you and Barbie."


"Can I have a television with cable hookup and a DVD player in my bedroom?"


"No."


"Can I have a new car when I turn sixteen?"


"No."


"Can I breathe?"


"Maybe."


Our system worked fine for many years until one day the oldest child challenged the missing beatitude dictum.


The boy boldly proclaimed, "I do not believe there is a missing beatitude that says, 'Blessed are the parents who are broke for they have reason to tell their kids no.'"


We had been found out and, of course, this mess was our entire fault. We never should have taught the boy to read. Or think.


Naturally, we confessed that there was no missing beatitude. We also confessed there was no great surplus of cash.


Furthermore, we confessed that we really were thankful the answer to their wants was often an easy no because as we looked around there was a lot of confusion between wants and needs. There was all this whining and whimpering about needing this and needing that, and having to have more, and have newer, and having to go here and go there and sign up for this and that. And that was just the noise coming from the adults.


It is difficult to tell your kids no, especially when they know you have the resources to say yes.


Today, we are among the richest people in the richest nation in the history of time. There are the "haves," the "have nots" and the "haves a lot." On a global scale, nearly all of us in this country would fall under the heading of "haves" or "haves a lot."


The dark side of this wonderful abundance is that when left unchecked it creates a monstrous appetite for material things. And the monster demands to be fed. Frequently. Routinely. Loudly.


Here's a good question: When was the last time you told one of your kids no? Here's an even better question: When was the last time you told yourself no? (You'll notice I'm not answering.)


We Baby Boomer and Gen X parents don't like saying no. We would rather live on credit, run harder and faster, and stay at the office longer telling ourselves that we are "doing it for the kids." And maybe we are doing it for the kids.


The great irony is, our kids don't need more things. What they really need is need more us.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

ARCHIVES

© 2006, Lori Borgman

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles