They Don’t Deserve Everything

Some teenagers believe that their parents have an obligation to do everything for them.
However, the Gemara says in Ktuvot 59, that it’s a Mitzva for a father to support his children when they’re young (up until the age of six), and from the age of six until they get older, he must support them on the basis of rabbinical ordinance. But from the age of thirteen and up, the father is not obligated to support them whatsoever. This law was determined by the Rambam (Hilchos Ishut 12, 14).

Therefore, when a child complains about his parents for not doing enough for him, they should tell him about the above law – that from the age of Bar Mitzva and on they have no obligation to support him, and he must fend for himself. He must show his gratitude to his parents for everything that they do for him.

Some young children respond to every demand by saying: “I don’t feel like it”. When they say, “I don’t feel like it”, what they mean to say is, “stop taking advantage of me! Find someone else to do it.” They’ve gotten accustomed to others doing everything for them. They’ve gotten used to receiving, not giving. In order for children not to reach this point, it is imperative that the parents train them from a young age to do household chores and acts of kindness.

In addition, anyone who wants the best for his child must make sure that the child takes care of his own things such as, ironing his clothes, arranging his suitcase etc. unless he is unable to do it himself, because if the father does not train the child from when he is young to help out and assist, but rather spoils him and does everything for him, it will harm the child very much. He will lack self-confidence, and may ultimately become depressed. This will manifest in the future, especially when he gets older, through his deficient performance in Torah or common courtesy, and he won’t have a desire to do anything.

There’s no greater pleasure for a person than to receive reward that’s due to him out of hard work and effort. Anything received on a silver platter without work, is considered ‘bread of shame’, and there is no real joy in receiving it. A child who only knows how to take becomes sad and embittered. This is expressed by a lack of motivation to do anything, ultimately feeling depressed. On the other hand, a child who creates and gives is a happy child. Always remember: effort and creativity bring joy and satisfaction to man.


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