One of my most embarrassing parenting moments was when a son grabbed five snack packs of chips after a t-ball game—one of each variety—which was as many as his six-year-old arms could hold. I admonished him to choose one and put the others back.
My son’s teammates seemed content with their single pack. After reflection, I realized they were not more righteous, but less desperate. We were a chip-free home.
I had seen similar reactions in other children. Sisters who were only allowed cake at holidays and birthday parties stuffed themselves silly at my son’s four-year-old birthday party. Why didn’t I stop them? They were too quick.
Deprivation leads to desperation.
As parents, especially if homeschooling, we can become so caught up in academics, sports and discipleship that we allow deprivations to creep into our children’s lives: unscheduled time, pure mom and dad time, activities that seem frivolous. The consequences can be as harmful as food deprivation.
Deprivation creeps into our own lives too. We deny ourselves rest and fellowship in order to meet parenting and homeschooling demands.
Which “chips” and “cake” do your kids lack to the point they are desperate? What about you?