Rabbi Shmuley says overindulgence is causing American children to "rot." "Our teeth rot when we leave the plaque and we don't brush them," he says. "When we don't discipline our children and remove that decay of selfishness, they spoil."
Rabbi Shmuley says parents like Brandie and Danny are setting their children up for a lifetime of longing. "You're teaching your children insatiability. They'll never know happiness. Good enough is never good enough."
Rabbi Shmuley gives Brandie and Danny four major changes they need to make in the way they parent.
- Put a moratorium on shopping for three months.
- Establish boundaries with immediate consequences. "Never give a punishment that you're weak on later," Shmuley says.
- Inspire your children. "Sit down with your kids. Don't ask them just what they want to do in life. Ask them who they want to be—'Do you want to be good people or bad people?'" Rabbi Shmuley says. "You'd be amazed at how we can really touch our children with [our] voice of conscience."
- Identify your passions and share them with your children. "Our principal identity can't just come from being parents," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Rabbi Schmuley says parents must heal themselves in order to raise healthy children. "We weren't given enough love as children," he says. "Our parents were going to give us the things they never had. So instead of the gift of themselves, they gave us things. ... What you're saying [is], 'I know I don't deserve your love so I'm going to buy you; I'm going to purchase you.' Don't bequeath your insecurities to your children."