Over Privileged

I’ve been reading a lot about Jeannette Walls (author of the memoir The Glass Castle) online and came across an interview with her. Someone brought up about whether she would have become so successful if it weren’t for the fact she grew up with so little.

While her parents didn’t always feed her or properly care for her they were always teaching her about life and about the world. Jeannette’s father was incredibly smart and while they moved from school to school they were taught a lot at home.

Another thing their parents always supplied was giving them the confidence they needed and teaching them to be stronger people. I can’t help but wonder if today kids are raised a little over-privileged and just maybe they lack the drive that those who have to fight for everything have.

Even though I grew up in a pretty bad city as a kid I always went to private school and was never as bad off as the families I lived near. I always knew that I would be able to go to college and that I wouldn’t have to pay for it. I also knew that I always had a home to go to if I needed it. I depended on my parents a lot and sometimes I still do.

I see my friends who had to not only get college loans but also had to work through college and they’ve become incredibly successful. Including Mister who now has the job of his dreams and loves the work that he does. I however really didn’t take college as seriously as I probably should have.

I’m very lucky to have everything that I do and to have parents as supportive as they are so I need to explain that I am not at all complaining. I am just pondering this concept and wonder what other parents think. Should you give your children as much as you can or should you make them more self-sufficient?

Image from Cartoonstock

  1. Maureen

    January 23, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    It’s all about balance, intentions and knowing your own child.

    No reason not to give your child material things if you can afford them, but, then, if you want them to learn about the value of hard work, then you’ll have to come up with a different way of teaching it to them.

    I grew up poor (or, at leat, poor in relation to the other people in the town where I grew up). But, we had stuff, too. My parents always figured out ways to get us a big family gift for Christmas every year (latest video game to share, used pool table for the basement, etc.). And, as a teen, when I’d ask for cool clothes, or as a kid when I’d ask for special treats, Mom would invariably say “Yes, as long as you are going to use it/eat it/wear it”. Don’t know how they budgeted to make it happen much of the time, though. I’m sure she must have said ‘We can’t afford that’ sometimes – I just don’t really remember too many of those (although, now that I think about it, I do remember hearing the phrase ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ from time to time šŸ˜€ )

  2. Robin

    January 24, 2007 at 8:22 am

    It is all about balance and I do think kids don’t get enough balance these days or maybe that’s just how it seems watching people like Paris Hilton running around without a fucking clue.

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