Our Kids Should Have Some Junk

July 18th, 2012

by Katrina Brooke

Our kids should have some junk? Before you click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page, consider for a moment the lessons our children can learn from rusty bicycles with loose chains and/or flat tires.
Earlier this week an amazing little bicycle caught my eye: shiny red with multiple gears, hand brakes and gleaming chrome wheels. It screamed, “Buy me! Your kid will love me! He will love you for buying me! I’m so much better than the one he has! If you are a good dad who loves his boy, you will buy me!”
Fortunately, I escaped from the bike shop without the bike being peddled to me!
Something about that wonderful bike reminded me of something even better: Growing up in a home where I was given the privilege of having to make do with things that don’t work very well. As a young boy, I could either figure out how to fix my bike or miss out on the fun of riding it. As a teen, I frequently encountered three options: (1) Find a way to fix my car, (2) walk where I wanted to go, or (3) stay at home and pretend that I was mobile.
When everything our children have is brand new and flawless, they miss out on endless opportunities to learn. They fail to learn delayed gratification and patience. They fail to learn humility. They fail to learn the creativity and problem-solving skills that enabled earlier generations to build the United States of America into a world economic powerhouse. As I write in my book, From Bad Grades to a Great Life, a key component of academic achievement motivation involves developing these character attributes.
Oftentimes the greatest gifts we give are rusty on the outside
yet build gleaming gold character on the inside.
Okay…don’t get me wrong. It’s certainly fine and a lot of fun to buy our kids some nice things from time to time. We can sense the time being right when our kids don’t demand these nice things. We sense the time is right when they don’t argue with us about having to put up with the crummy stuff. We get a clue that it’s occasionally okay when we see that our kids are humble and don’t look down on those with less.
Thanks for your reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay

©2012 Love and Logic Institute, Inc.

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