When I talk with parents - irrespective of whether they have two, three or more children, or only one child - at the time, all sorts of thoughts go through my mind.
I try to process what they are saying to me and assess what I am saying to them...trying to glean and learn from both sides of the conversation...knowing that sometimes, there is a sharp difference between what they are saying and what they mean and vice versa.
Several questions go through my mind as we converse:
Are they planting the right virtues in their child(ren) or just tampering with the child's ability to be rooted in good soil and become a virtuous individual?
Do they have the courage to correct their child(ren) or are they just hampering that child's ability to recognize/respect authority and follow instructions?
Let's take one step back so as not to miss the point of this posting. There is really nothing wrong with loving your children and possibly pampering them. However, there is everything wrong with loving and pampering your children to the extent that they do not respect (or fear) you because of how spoilt they are.
Even in our relationship with God, He expects 2 things from us - Fear and Love...and with both in place we obey Him to our own benefit. Deuteronomy 10:12 says: "So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I'm commanding you today—live a good life." (The Message)
So as parents, are we helping or hampering our children?
Are we truly parenting (which could include pampering) or just pampering our children without parenting?