Giving money to your kids teaches reliance, not self-reliance

Facts and Opinions opines on the harmful effects of helping your kids out with cash:

You wouldn’t believe this is logical. How could you hurt your children by providing them dollars? Over the long term should you continually give your kids the maximum tax free money gift (currently $13,000 per year) and they come to expect it, you are only enabling their consumer way of life and aren’t genuinely teaching them to be self sufficient.

This idea is covered quite thoroughly in the book The Millionaire Next Door. I know that is one gift my parents gave me–they encouraged all of us kids to pay our own way. I got a paper route when I was nine. I worked part time in the early mornings to put myself through college. They helped by housing and feeding me. I learned to make do or do without, though I don’t recall ever really suffering from a lack of money. I graduated college without a single dollar of student loans to repay. It was a great gift to give myself–and I have my parents to thank for it.

They may not have had a choice–I wouldn’t be surprised if they couldn’t have afforded to put me through college. But by letting me fend for myself more or less, they taught me something quite valuable.


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