You know what they say about children following in our footsteps. If we are setting a good example for them, then we don't have to worry too much about how they will turn out. But, if we are not a good example then we have some things we need to be concerned with.
I was raised in a home where my mother was a homemaker. She was of the generation where the wives raised the children and cared for the home while the husbands brought home the paycheck. We were not rich, in fact we were far from it.
My mother grew up in a very poor family. She was raised, you ate what was put on your plate or you did without. There was never a grumble about something, even if you did not like it. My grandmother was the kind of mother who went without food on many occasions so my grandfather and all their children could eat and have a full belly. She never complained. No one ever heard her complain about not having this or that or having to do without. What an example my grandmother set before her children!
My mother was the same way with us when we were at home. Although, I don't believe she had to do without for the rest of us to eat, she did not complain about not having things she needed. The one thing I do remember my mother going without was clothes. My mother did not have the fanciest dresses, nor did she buy all her clothes at the mall. Many of her clothes came from the large thrift store that we stopped in after school every week. She would rotate her dresses for church and wear different blouses with her black and blue skirts. My mother never complained. We never heard her complain about about not having this or that or having to do without. What an example my mother set for us children!
My sister and I wore mostly homemade dresses while we were little and many of our clothes were found at the Rich's budget shop at the mall, the thrift store, Richway, Treasure Island, and Kmart. When I look back at pictures of the clothes we had, they were nice, neat, clean and cared for. We had several friends who were in the same situation as we were. Then there were the girls who wore the new season, name brand clothes and had the fanciest of coats, boots, lunch boxes, notebooks, etc. They also had mothers who worked outside the home. These were the girls that grumbled about what was in their lunchboxes, the clothes and shoes they had on.
I am a lot like my mom and grandmother. If you don't eat it, you do WITHOUT! There is no making a peanut butter sandwich, you will do WITHOUT! There will be no snacking later on, you will literally do WITHOUT! There had better not be a comment similar to, "I don't like that." You will eat it and you will learn to like it. Can that really be accomplished? Yes, it can! I used to dislike tea. I couldn't stand the smell, let alone the taste. I finally started making myself drink it in the early 90's because I was dating a young man who drank nothing but sweet tea. Over a couple of months, I learned to love sweet tea. I also did not care for cornbread and vegetable soup while growing up, but after getting married and cooking them for my husband I quickly learned to love it.
From the time Jamie was a tiny tot, I never allowed him to hear me complain. There are times when I have explained why we can not do this or buy that and have used those times as learning lessons. When he sees the Tyson chicken nugget commercials where the children are telling they don't like a certain food; he always chimes in with, "You'd eat it here whether you like it or not or you'd do without." Allowing our children to gripe and grumble is wrong. They will grow up being the whiny adults we all try to run from when we see them coming. Teaching them to be content with what they have will help make them better adults.
As parents we set the spirit of grumbling or contentment in our home. If you have a whiny, complaining child, look in the mirror do you see a whiny, complaining adult? Probably so. If you complain and whine over everything, how do you expect your children to not do it? Don't let me hear you complain about your complaining and whining children; they are only following your example.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.