Dilemma: If parents have a lot of money, what's so wrong with helping our kids live a great life even while they’re not working? Jobs are hard to find except some that are beneath them. Don't they still have a right to have new cars, clothes, an allowance to go out with and a nice apartment?
My husband and I fight about this constantly. I want them to have what makes them happy; he wants them to earn it and struggle for it like we did. I believe our kids need to be in a nice life to meet appropriate people, which they can't do being a nanny or working in a restaurant, or working 12 hours a day for minimum wage. Even with degrees, nothing is opening up for them. Do they have to wait for a nicer life if we’re well able to support them now?
Meg’s solution: Whoa, Mom. What an entitled set of values you're expressing. Beneath them? Meet appropriate people? Be given what makes them happy? If you've raised them with that attitude, I surely hope the damage hasn't been permanently done.
Yes, of course you'd like them to have a well-greased ride into a similar life to yours, living happily ever after with the perfect partner. But you’re suggesting to do it for them, thus obliterating the real world and denying them the ability to take care of themselves. They need to work for it and learn what it takes. They'll learn respect, values, feelings, frustrations… life. Dad is right on this one. You can be the wind beneath their sails, but not the tugboat pulling or pushing them. It will be hard for them to find their natural niche in life while tethered to the elitist golden goose.
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If you light that entitlement fuse, which is what you're expressing, you risk allowing your child to be, well entitled, i.e. spoiled. You do NOT want to do that to them, nor deal with that your whole life. It gets ugly. Trust me.
Some kids are motivated to succeed no matter what, and will do what they need to do in order to reach dreams and goals....which may or may not include the spoils of riches. Others take time to find their way. Absolutely help them while they're getting on their feet. Reward them for working hard, for doing the tough underpaid work that's out there, if that's all they can get at the moment.
They're lucky and blessed that you can help, but it shouldn't be taken for granted and should be so appreciated. The 1 percent life is not a rite of passage.
Got a dilemma? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Meg Green, CFP, is a wealth manager with offices in Aventura. Her money dilemmas column runs monthly in the Miami Herald.