My kid ISN’T better than yours. What a relief!

Posted: May 30, 2008 in Blogging, blogroll, Consumer Issues, Family, Finance For Youth, Jobs, Life, Relationships, Working

EVERYBODY talks about their kids. As a non-breeder (so far), I get to hear about every first step, first tooth, first whatever, and about every step in their child’s development. Since these people are my friends, I don’t mind TOO much. Sometimes I might feel a little left out, so I’ll talk about my special needs cat that is allergic to (I’m guessing) cat fur.

Hopefully this is going to be a short one, I just need to get something off my chest and hopefully get an answer to something that has bothered me for years. Stay with me, because eventually I do get to the whole finance for youth thing

At work,

Here’s where my question comes in. Does anybody have average children anymore, and if not, doesn’t everybody having extraordinary children make what is extraordinary the average?

I’m only guessing here, but I imagine when my wife and I have kids, people will ask me how my baby is, and I’ll say, “He’s fine.”, or “She’s okay.” The same way I do when people ask me how my wife is. I rarely announce every detail about my wife’s life, and I’m guessing I wouldn’t about my child. But when I ask someone else, “So, how’s the kid?” I get in-depth detail about all the ways in which they are superior to all the other kids out there. And since I don’t know a whole lot about kids, who am I to say they aren’t right? Maybe they all do have a Superzicklein. I believe that they believe it, so that is enough.

I wonder how this translates when talking about the financial education these kids receive from their families. Are they taught the importance of saving? Are they taught the value of working hard and doing your best? Or are they taught a sense of entitlement, that everything should be handed to them without effort or merit? Here’s what I mean: When I was growing up, kids got jobs. We would do whatever we had to in order to make some money, whether it be to pay for college or to pay for the prom, or even just to blow on being young. When I talk to young people today, many of them tell me that they are putting off work until after school. When I talk to parents, many support this idea with the rationale that their kid shouldn’t have to work, especially when going to school.

The problem is, I see the results of this line of thinking every day. In the young people that actually do work, I see less than best effort. In recent grads who are working, I see less productivity than in those who work their way up the chain. Recently, I’ve seen young people buying houses that they can not afford, mortgage themselves to the hilt, and in some cases-be forced to walk away with nothing to show for it save damaged credit and a mountain of debt. I’ve been seeing this with more and more frequency, which leads me to ask if all of these extraordinary people who are getting the same result are really that extraordinary after all, or if they should even try to be.

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