Continuing with this series based on Nouman Ali Khan's book 'Revive Your Heart', this post is about money and how you spend it (Chapter 7). Remember that the explanation and theme are taken from the book, I only expand on it where parenting is concerned.
Allah says in the Quran:
Give to the near kin his due, also to the needy and the wayfarer. Do not squander your wealth wastefully.
For those who squander wastefully are shaytan's brother's and shaytan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
As parents, you want to give your children the best of everything: you dress them up in beautiful or smart outfits, you buy them the best and latest toys and new games, you take them to expensive theme parks every holiday. You constantly buy and lavish your children.
When you do this, children become immune to new things. It's not special and exciting anymore. The novelty wears off the new item quickly and so they become dissatisfied with what they have and constantly want something else to fill the void. What this means is that they become ungrateful for what they do have.
This is the result of a materialistic society. It's not the children's fault. We are training them to be like this when we constantly spend. In Islam, it's alright to spend on your children to provide them with comfort and the necessities but it's not alright to overspend and lavish. This is wasteful squandering.
If you look at what children really want, it's not all the toys, cool outfits and the thrills and frills. Maybe a few toys and outfits and once in a while an exciting place to experience wouldn't go amiss but on a day to day basis, what your children want is quality time spent with you.
Instead of buying a new toy or game, try spending time with your children playing with an old toy or game (or even just to sit and talk). Instead of going to expensive theme parks or holiday destinations each vacation, try spending time together in a tent by going camping (or even camping in your backyard).
Think of how you could spend more time with your children doing the things you all love or trying out new experiences together that doesn't require a lot of expense. If you've been buying then stop right now.
You can teach your children to be giving by going through all the toys that they don't play with and donating them to charity. Do the same with their clothes. When they have fewer things then they become more grateful for what they do have.