Gimme, Gimme More!

Charlie Brown and his Peanuts gang had it down pat. Their song ''Happiness'' (from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown), is a harmonious melody about cheerful things like learning to whistle, or tying your shoe for the very first time.

Sadly, last Christmas was proof that many kids today are not content with ''two kinds of ice cream'', or ''pizza with sausage'' (and don't get me started on ''sharing a sandwich''). No, most kids would rather have the latest gadgets and games, or maybe the hottest toys that their classmates already have. A lot of them -- mine included -- pouted when they did not get everything on their wish lists.

Larry Uy, KIDS Ministry Pastor of Victory Greenhills shares that his older kids Gelo and Monty are no exception. ''My second son Monty was praying for an expensive pair of shoes that he really wanted. He almost did, when his grandparents insisted on buying them, but then my wife and I had to turn them down. It really was not about if we could afford those gifts but rather, what we teach them in return.'' He adds, ''The heart is a breeding ground; my wife and I always check what is in the heart of our kids. Discontentment, jealousy, greed, and entitlement come from the heart and we explain to our kids to always guard their hearts -- not look at things and aspire for things that we don't have but appreciate and be grateful for the things that we do have.''

Target market

''With the advent of technology, especially the Internet, their contentment is all the more tested. What that blonde kid with blue eyes is playing, the Asian kid wants too,'' Uy says.

''The Internet and cable TV are contributing factors. The marketing groups are really focusing on the kids. Nowadays, kids outgrow toys so early that what manufacturers do is adapt to their interests. For example, boys love superheroes but preteens, 10 to 12 years old, might start to shy away from buying action figures. Since they most likely have cell phones or gadgets as the 'in' thing, some gadget casings or accessories now have superheroes as their theme or graphics,'' Uy explains.

Nixing the gimmes

A rule of thumb in parenting is that kids who always get what they want will always want more. He says that it all boils down to how much parents are willing to give in. Here are some tips that he shares to help kids enjoy the simple things in life:

1. Walk the talk or live by example. This is always what I have in mind; consumerism or materialism is not only in kids but also in adults. Credit cards, for example, encourage our nature as humans to keep on acquiring things. We need to show our kids about contentment and gratefulness first by our own actions.

2. Teach them the value of savings. Books with stories such as ''The Ant and The Grasshopper'' still work. A good friend, wealth coach Chinkee Tan, says the formula to manage your money is to have 40% Savings; 10% Tithe; 10% Giving; and 40% Spending -- the percentage may differ, but the principle is the same. We should teach our kids this formula. I also learned to have kids list down how they spend their money, so they could analyze their spending habit.

3. Train them in delayed gratification. Do not always give in to their requests or to instantly reward kids. This could prevent kids from always expecting gifts or rewards.

5. Teach kids that we are a channel of blessing. The reward of teaching kids this value may not be evident at once, but is a very wise investment for future harvest.

6. Spend time with your kids. No amount of expensive gifts can replace your time with them. I recommend simple activities such as movie and popcorn nights at home or date days in the park or coffee shop -- these are perfect ways to have their guards down for that very important talk. Family trips are great bonding times, this he highly recommends.

He ends with this thought. ''We need to train them now. We need to be consistent in training them. When we say that these kids are the future of our nation, we should mean it and not just be giving lip service. The future of our society are in our hands that's why we need to raise up our children to be Godly and not worldly; grateful and not greedy; content and not materialistic.''


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options