My children are special and I hope you believe that yours are too.  I recently read an article about why a person believed their children were not special and even went so far as to say their readers' children were also not special either.  The attack was on the word 'special'.  The political correctness monster has now found a new word to taboo and apparently it is the telling of one's children that they are 'special'.  Somehow, from the slant of the article, telling children they are special is why children are growing up with a sense of entitlement today.  Ah, Bologna!  What an leap from telling our children they are special to assuming a child believes their are entitled to everything based on having been told they were "special".
Children who think they are entitled to everything believe so because their parents believe they too are entitled to everything themselves and have modeled such behavior for their children.  Children who are told they are special and taught to work hard to prove it do not grow up thinking they are entitled to anything.  The spoiling of our children is not in the wording my friend, it's in the examples we give our children.  Words are cheap but actions mean business.  I suppose every person will raise their children the way they choose and so that includes me as well.  You may tell your children, God help them, whatever you will about them and you may even believe what you want about mine, if it makes you feel better, but don't try to tell me my children aren't special and expect nothing in return.  You're quite wrong and I have it on Great Authority that you are!  Let me try to gently explain to you why my children AND your children ARE special.  If you have any hope for them to ever live up to their distinct purpose and potential in life you will speak and model positive communication between yourself and your children.  First, I can't expect a non-believer to understand any of why this is so important without initially stating that, as a Christian, I line up my beliefs about myself and others (including my children) with what God has declared over His people.  Loving the Lord with all our mind  is to completely agree with Him, especially in how you view yourself and the precious souls He has entrusted to you to raise up in a world that will only tear them down.  It will positively tear them down daily and if you don't believe it, you are naively fooling yourself.  In the eyes of this world your daughters will never be beautiful or intelligent enough and your sons will never perform well enough to matter.  I will raise my children to work hard and expect difficult challenges in their lives, but I WILL NOT join that worldly chorus in telling my children they are not special because, most importantly, it is in direct disagreement with the One who made them and secondly it does much more harm than good to tell them they "are not special".  We should think of ourselves with sober judgement, not more highly nor more lowly than is so.  The one most important encouragement a child needs while developing a healthy self esteem (not bloated or withering, but healthy) is to know their parents understand their uniqueness even if the world can't yet discern it.  Every single person is special; no two people are completely identical and every person has a gift or a talent for which they are best suited to use.  Since that is true about everyone, does that make no one special?  Of course not.  It makes everyone special!

This is what God believes about His children, of which I am and so are my children, therefore they are special.  I hope if you are believer you will know it also applies to you since you too are a child of God.

  • "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a SPECIAL people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." ~ Deuteronomy 7:6
  • "I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well." ~ Psalms 139:14
  • "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." ~ 1 Peter 2:9

Do you, as a parent, truly want to look them in the eye and tell them, "You are not special?" 
For their own hearts sakes, I hope not.  And if it is a point you are trying to make, I hope you will make it the safest way possible.  God only knows where those four dangerous words will send them searching.  Teach them to work hard until they succeed, but love them enough to be the one that knows how special they are too.  They will need YOU to remind them of it, when the world has torn their hearts down to nothing.