By now you have probably seen the story about the Utah couple who cancelled Christmas this year for their kids. John and Lisa will not be giving any presents to their children this year. In her blog, Over the Big Moon, Lisa shares why that is:

“John and I feel like we are fighting a very hard uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement. Our kids have been acting so esteem-othersungrateful lately. They expect so much even when their behavior is extremely disrespectful.”

So many young people do seem to have a sense of entitlement. As parents, we need to train them to put others first and help them learn not to be self-centered.

Consider what Paul writes in Philipppians 2:3 – “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (NKJV) Did you catch that last part? “…let each esteem others better than himself.” That is tough to learn to do as an adult, let alone when your a kid.

Because it’s difficult for us, it’s difficult for us to instill that in our children. So, when we make threats to our kids, we have to be careful to follow through on those threats. If we don’t follow through, then any threat we use will become meaningless as we then teach our kids that our threats aren’t anything to worry about.

“How often are kids threaten that Santa won’t come if kids are naughty…. yet have you ever heard of anyone that really followed through on that threat?” – Lisa

What it boils down to for us as intentional parents, is teaching our children to set aside their selfish pride and living with an attitude of humility. There may be no greater struggle in our human nature than our battle with our pride.

Not long ago, I wrote a post about one of our kids getting into trouble and how we didn’t allow them to go trick-or-treating. The thing with discipline is, you have to make it effective and memorable for your children so next time they think through a situation, whether it’s their behavior or lack of obedience, to make the right choice.

But we don’t want them to make the right choice so they can get stuff. We want them to make the right choice because it’s the right thing to do. We want them to make the right choice because they want to live in a way that is honoring and pleasing to God.

Parenting is not easy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. But keep at it! Stay intentional!