We all know the potential dangers of a big company doing business unethically or just plain bad. When the government comes to the rescue and offers a bailout to companies that (mostly) don’t deserve it, many people lose and few people win. But what happens with bailouts on a smaller scale?
I recently finished the bestselling book The Millionaire Next Door. The book dives head first into why some people end up wealthy and why others don’t. Most of the reasoning seems counter-intuitive but is actually extremely smart and logical.
For instance, there are millionaires around us now. We might not even know it. The best accumulators of wealth accumulate their wealth by not showing it off in a flashy way. So, because they drive a “clunker” you might assume they aren’t wealthy. Think again. People have money because they don’t spend it all.
A large part of this book talks about parental economic output or care.
Many parents bailout their kids from situations for different reasons.
Thus, children know (or think) they’ll never have to go out and achieve anything above average because they will always have the backing of mommy and or daddy. Little do they contemplate the fact that people don’t live forever. Sadly, some even think that when their parent’s die they’ll be even better off.
While the book focuses on financial impacts, it’s important to not underestimate the disservice we’d do to our youth by absorbing every blow they might face. Parents like to act like a big “momma bear,” which is great at times. When it comes to a simple disagreement between two people, now is not the time to go flexing muscle. Children need to learn (and seem to be losing more and more) the ability to think critically and problem solve. When your child climbs the top of the monkey bars and realizes it was a big mistake, 20 feet up in the air, now is the time to play “momma bear.” Get her down.
Our jobs are to let our kids learn some lessons on their own, help teach some of the tougher ones the best that we can, and protect them from the worst of the blows. Bailing out other people often doesn’t teach them a thing. And babies turn to children. Children turn to teenagers. Teenagers to adults. Adults to parents. Start now and break the cycle.