It seems that each generation thinks that the younger generation is mollycoddled and lacking manners and values. What is happening to the current generation? I do not wish to generalise but we often hear of children and adolescents who lack respect, not only towards their parents but also at school and in the community. 

There is no doubt that the material influences within today’s society is having an impact on the upcoming generation. The children and adolescents are focused on what they wear, how they style their hair and on having fun. Today’s parents do well to buy things for their children. Many want to make them happy by buying them what they want. Others give in to other parents’ pressure and try to keep up with others. Other parents give their children what they want to make up for what they lacked as children thinking that their children will be happier. 

In spite of cases we hear or read about in the news, the majority of children and adolescents is being brought up with good values and with great care, taught how to get ahead and how to keep themselves in check. We meet parents who have exemplary children who are not pampered and who have developed self-discipline. 

Parents need to keep practising certain strategies with their children. They need to keep teaching them to appreciate the value of money and remind that that they will need to work and earn money in the future when they start working. 

It is important that today’s adolescents learn to appreciate things and be grateful. They should learn to be kind to others and help those who are vulnerable. When children and adolescents see others in need and are taught to help others who are less fortunate, they will be less egoistic. 

When we examine our motivation to buy more things for our children, we can be stronger parents and we are better able to develop values in our children which they shall carry with them to adulthood. 

The acquisition of material things does not build a person’s character. Instead it creates a dependence on buying things to feel better. But this hardly ever works. The next time you feel the need to buy something for your children, remind yourself that your son or daughter must live in this world with strong values and a strong character.