Giving Your Kids the Selfish Test

By Joey and Carla Link
June 9, 2021

We are sure at one time or another, you have had a child who says “NO!” to you. Not the toddlers who just learned the word, but a 5 year-old who defiantly looks you in the eye and says “NO, I am not doing it!” At 10 years of age this same child glares at you and walks away, with no intention of doing what you just told him to do. You quit telling your teen what to do because you are tired of fighting with him/her.
Where does this attitude come from? What makes them defy adults and especially parents who love them and do so much for them? It comes from a self-centered, self-focused heart that thinks the world should revolve around what they think and want. It comes from kids who think they are more important than they really are. The apostle Paul said it this way in Galatians 6:3: “If anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing,he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions.”When was the last time you gave your child a selfish test?It’s easy for kids to think that everything they have (and you and their siblings have too) belongs to them. Your 5 year-old says to his 3 year-old brother, “I was playing with that!” even though your 5 year-old had put it down to play with something else. The only reason he wants it now is because someone else is enjoying it. A selfish test is when you have your kids ask for permission to use everything that belongs to anyone else. This is the best way to get your child back in the funnel of appreciation. Since every room in the house essentially belongs to you, this child (only do one child at a time) has to ask to use the bathroom (regardless of age). He/she has to ask to get a drink of water and if he can use your glasses. He has to ask to watch your TV or use your computer/tablet. He has to ask to sit on the chair you own to eat lunch. He has to ask to use the bed you have provided for him to sleep in. Even with your teenagers, do this with everything they have that you pay for the service of, including their phones and use of your car. Will your kids think this is ridiculous? Probably. But more importantly, it will get across to them in a tangible way there is very little in the house they own or have rights to. This test will not be easy for you or your child. Your child/teen has to remember to ask for permission for everything and you have to keep track of whether he/she does or not. Believe me, this will leave a far more lasting impression on your kids and teens then taking away the privilege of something they have. While we want to give our kids things that they enjoy using and let them have the freedom of the house, they must do so with proper appreciationand respect as that verse in Galatians 6 says. When kids/teens are not appreciative of the things you give them, they likely are not going to appreciate all the things and blessings God gives them to enjoy out of His love for them. “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”Galatians 6:2-5 Is this what you want people to see your kids as when they become adults?