Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 17:21
"He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy"
No one gives birth to a fool; they raise a fool. A fool is a person who is self-focused; selfish. If parents allow their children to stay in the preschool state-of-mind that everything is about them, it will result in great sorrow for them.
It is the parents who must help the child realize that there are other people in the world; that there are concerns and issues that do not have any connection to them personally.
It is the process of civilizing a child that forces them to consider others more important than themselves.
We see our children, at times, slide into foolishness. We as parents must act wisely. We must also be vigilant to train an outward and upward focus into our children.
The more wisdom we train in and the more foolishness we drive out, the more joy with our children we will have. Enjoying children is a foreign word in our culture; most parents endure their children because they allow and even promote foolishness in them.
This proverb answers the question that is on the minds of many parents these days. How much time can I spend pursuing my stuff if I have kids? You have to make sure that you do not raise a fool. If your children are selfish, impulsive, rebellious, and arrogant then you will have no joy. Different children require more attention and care and control and guidance than others, but you will not have joy in your life if your children become confirmed selfish people. They will just continue to break your heart. So you have to not be selfish in the time, energy, and resources that you give them. They will model what they see you model. If you are always running off to do what you like rather than including them and spending time with them, then they will embrace that selfish value and hurt you with it.
Love your children by guiding them and training them to think of others. They must be able to give to others because it is the right thing, not just because it benefits them. Our society is putting such a premium on being happy that we destroy long-term joy for today's happiness. There are many times when you are caring for your children that you are not happy, but you are training the selfishness out of them. Show them that sacrifice and another focus is an essential ingredient of the blessed life.