“You who are on the road
must have a code
that you can live by”
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
If you talk to many parents about today’s youth and you’ll quickly hear about the culture of entitlement that exists amongst teenage kids of well off families. This is no imaginary problem. Some would say it’s a mini epidemic with teenage kids. Talk to many high school aged kids from well off families and they actually believe that it is someone else’s responsibility to fund their spending, education, cars and lifestyle.
You can hear it in their conversations… For example, “I’m going to Ashley’s house.” Of course it’s not Ashley’s house, it’s her parent’s, and the parents have every right to do what they like with it.
I have a friend whose daughter told him, in all seriousness, that she was going to “get by on her looks”. She said that he didn’t, “like”, understand. She was going to be a “trophy wife”. This was said with enough seriousness that the father was very concerned.
In the vernacular of today’s kids – OMG.
Before you dismiss these phenomena as ‘not my kids’ (or grandkids), ask yourself, why wouldn’t kids today think this way? Unlike our parent’s generation that started from scratch, this generation of teens has been given stuff all their lives so they can ‘fit in’. They’ve been chauffeured everywhere instead of being asked to take the bus or ride their bike. They’ve been bought the clothes they want, whenever they want. The truth is, our generation has done a terrible job of instilling any sense of responsibility in our kids.
We certainly haven’t taught our kids a savings habit. It’s too easy to say that they’ve never really earned any ‘real’ money before. But that’s what saving money and growing wealth really comes down to. It’s a habit. This lack of education is going to come back to bite us.
If we create the habit early enough, we will have self-sufficient confident kids that we never have to worry about. If we wait until they’ve got enough money to start saving, then they’ll never have any real money. They’ll be on our doorstep every time they want something. Just like time, budgets have the habit of consuming everything that’s available. So for your own sanity, if for nothing else, teach your children the savings habit.
E.O. & E.
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