The Evolution of the Pacifier

“Is it okay to be angry?”. I asked a group of elementary aged kids this past weekend, to which I got an emphatic, “ohhhh, nooo!”. Almost every time I ask this question to a group of kids, whether 5 or 15 I almost always get the same response. I have yet to identify where this lie originates. I could provide my myriad of theories, but I won’t bore you, well maybe a little…

The truth is that God created humanity, and within our human form is a gamut of feelings, including anger–you can ask any woman and she can attest to this. Our emotions live beyond happy, sad and mad, but our society tells us that only happy is acceptable.

We have commercials encouraging us to buy stuff to make us happy.
We expect our marriages to make us happy.
We only want to see movies with happy endings.
We want to buy happy meals and visit the happiest place on earth.
We want our kids to experience pure happiness, even if it is at the cost of personal character or relationships.

I recently visited a restaurant on Friday evening with my family and observed a young family. The two little girls were squirming, their blonde tousled hair bouncing around. They most likely hungry from a long day, and tired from a long week. As the parents attempted to converse, The two munchkins were a tad fussy,and constantly climb up and down on and off the bench as the Jones Family waited on their table. By no means were the girls out of control or even distracting, but they certainly weren’t happy. So immediately the parents pulled out their cell phones and clicked onto each child’s favorite game. Mom pulled one kid on her lap, and dad the other, pacifying the children and ending their conversation.

There is nothing truly wrong with that scene, I suppose. Except, for me the thought of doing everything to please our children–to make them happy– can be detrimental to them as kids and adults…and most importantly, it is not Biblical.

God promises us trials in this world (I Thess 3:3, II Thess 1:4, James1:2, I Peter 1:6) His strength is only shown in times of weakness (II Cor 12:10 ) God wants us to have an abundant life (John 10:10) which means a life of many facets, abundantly dependent and intimate with Christ. He does not want us to aim for happiness, but for contentment:

Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

It is our responsibility to our children not to make them happy, but to teach them how to depend on Christ to make them content in their life.

Do you agree or disagree?? Why? Share your thoughts with me, I would love to hear from you!

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4 thoughts on “The Evolution of the Pacifier

  1. Life isn’t about happiness. I do think that a lot of parents think that it is part of their job to keep their children pacified. Then again, I can’t pretend to understand that line of thinking as I don’t have any children of my own. I do have nieces and nephews, though, and my youngest niece (who is 5) recently asked me if I was tough. I guess I have a reputation for being strict because I enforce rules and don’t constantly pacify them by giving them whatever they want just because they throw a fit or act bored or uncomfortable.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts….it is a crazy world when kids don’t understand why we would want to enforce rules! I think sometimes adults, not just parents, think its easier to please a kid…but really its just creating more behavior issues for the future! thanks for your comment!

  2. I half agree with this and half Disagree. I do not think that every moment we should be making our kids happy. I do think that we should in some portion help contribute to their happiness. Set goals and help them reach those desired goals. If they behave for the day at school they can go to the park for a bit. It makes them happy and me happy that they behaved at school…. I tell Jasmine a lot that I cannot entertain her every waking minute of her life and we cannot ALWAYS be doing something fun that we have to just enjoy the fun things we do get to do and learn to make your own fun in between. Where I disagree however is the restaurant scene I do not believe that they were giving them phones to make their kids happy but rather they didn’t want to be a bother to others and wanted to make sure they that were able to enjoy there dinners and so where others around them. I find myself doing this to be able to eat and enjoy my food I some times have to give them something to make them happy “in public” so that I can enjoy my time as well. But anyhow thats how I feel about it.

    1. Good thoughts Kera—and I see your point. I just want to challenge people to see that it is not our responsibility to ensure our kids happiness. Sure there will be happiness in our lives, and we want them to enjoy things, and be rewarded for things. But there are tooooo many parents out there that defy all laws of society–and even God–to make sure their kids don’t have to deal with consequences, or learn how to act accordingly in certain situations out of a “fear” that their children will be unhappy.

      And trust me, with Zac, there are MANY TIMES, MANY MANY MANY that I am grateful for my iPad! Just sayin’!

      ❤ Miss seeing you!

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