A friend of mine got a luxury vehicle as her graduation gift from her parents. Her dad explained to me that this vehicle was a necessity because it was much safer than normal vehicles, so this gift was not extravagant and his child was not spoiled for receiving it.
As I looked at my friend, all giddy and excited to drive her sixty thousand dollar car, I wondered, ‘Where can she go from here?’
If your standard, starting point in life is luxury, where does one have to evolve to?
My first car was a 1984 Nissan Sentra, I had a lot to evolve to, but I appreciated the drive for evolution.
Is getting too much, too early in life a detriment or an advantage?
Is the yearning and struggle for improvement the catalyst to success?
I know parents who give their children unlimited spending money, but I worry, what happens when that well dries up?
I have seen a lot of children of financially well off parents struggle in their adult life. They just cannot seem to find the focus, drive and dedication it needs to hit their own level of success.
Some of these children seem to flit from one project to the next or one program of study to the next, constantly raising and collapsing their parent’s hopes that they will finally find their own financial footing. The struggle for the young adult continues and the financial support from the parents persist as well.
Parents will argue that giving is their form of love and support, but they do not see that they are enabling their children. By enabling their children, parents teach their kids how to do as little as possible because they know their parents will pick up the slack.
Adult children who have everything given to them from their parents often lose sight of their own goals. They don’t get to experience the character-building that trying to make it on your own instills. They often have a horrible work ethic and bounce from career to career.
Having everything handed to you actually is a detriment to success; it makes the individual weak and uneducated on the values of discipline, follow-through, gratitude and the value of daily effort.
Having everything handed to you also reduces your interaction with risk, failure and the realities of life. If you never fail, how will it feel when your first failure occurs?
Today’s generation of young people has not developed some of the life skills kids did 30 years ago because adults swoop in and take care of problems for them. When we rescue too quickly and over-indulge our children with “assistance,” we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own.
All parents want to help their children, but understand the importance of drawing a line between helping, enabling and disabling your children from self-sufficiency and success. The financial strain an individual may feel, when they are not quite sure how they are going to make rent and cover their life costs can be stressful, but it helps them grow exponentially. When there is no net, ready to catch you if you fall, you figure things out quite quickly.
How are you teaching your child limits if there appears to be no limits to their materialistic wants?
What are your children seeing you value above all else? Children are observant and they create a reality of the world through their environment.
What is of most importance in your household? Be honest; do not think about what you show the outside world, think about what you fight, stress and lose sleep about. What is of most importance to you, will be reflected in your children, regardless of whether you spout other things to them; they will see your actions louder than your words.
Often, newly wealthy parents don’t want their children to go through the hardships they experienced growing up, Mr. Chugh says. But they fail to teach them there is more to life than fancy drinks, new toys and branded clothes.
If you give your children the world at their feet, where will their desire for their own path come from? If you have every materialistic comfort provided for you, with no effort or persistence, an individual can grow lethargic and unmotivated for more.
The biggest curse of intergenerational wealth for me and many other people is the illusion that you don’t have to do much with your life. You might want to and you might make the effort, but you don’t have the same pressure to earn enough to live on. And that takes away a lot of the incentive to find meaningful work.
By providing so much for your children, you are also creating a codependency the individual may never be able to grow out of. If they always know that their parents will bail them out, they do not feel the urgency to create self sufficiency because there is never a need for it.
Parents always want to give their children more than they had growing up, but a life without hustle or grit is pretty boring or unenthusiastic.
By giving your children too much financially you can be robbing them of magnificent experiences: the first time you save up enough cash to buy that super trendy piece of clothing; the time you and your friends had to scrounge up all your money, just to pay for gas to get to your destination; the time you were sure that the rent would not get paid, but you somehow figured it out.
At the time, these experiences are really stressful and hard, but afterward, they can be the stories you reminisce on with the greatest fondness. Remember that long term gains are much more meaningful than attaining short term wants quickly and easily. Even though it may be difficult to see your child struggle, that very struggle could be the key to their lifelong success.