“I raise them the way I was raised, just in a bigger house.”

“I try to raise them the same way I was raised, just in a bigger house.” – Jennifer Lopez on The Today Show

I think a lot about what I’m teaching my son when it comes to money and opportunities and “stuff.” Correction: I think a lot about what I will be teaching my son. He’s young enough still that what he learns from  us is more along the lines of drinking from a coffee cup than that whether we drink premium coffee, thank goodness. We still have time to think.

Side note: I used to read blog posts by parents that sounded like this one and wonder where they learned what to think about? Did they get some sort of class I missed that gave them a list of things to keep in mind while parenting? Then I had a child (and got past the first four months where there’s little time for thought) and suddenly I was thinking the same way. If you’re wondering where this comes from, it just pops up one day and then you think about it every hour of every day.

My husband and I talk about how to raise our son so that he isn’t a douche like many of our childhood friends whose parents had more money than ours. For both of us, from lack came focus, from hardship came a sense of responsibility.

Should we be causing some sort of lack, then, so that our son gets the same kind of focus? Barring an unforeseen hardship, how do we instill that sense of responsibility? Having come from a different kind of childhood than he’ll have, financially at least (knock on wood), we will have to teach ourselves rather than follow the example of our upbringing.

We have so many ideas, most of which I’ll share in various blog posts as we figure them out a little better, but the quote from Jennifer Lopez this morning was one I’ll be thinking about.


3 thoughts on ““I raise them the way I was raised, just in a bigger house.”

  1. My husband and I do not have kids yet but this is something we’ve already talked about. We so badly want our future kids to be ‘grounded’ and hard working like we were but we had no choice, we had to be hard working and grounded because our parents were just trying to get by. That (hopefully) won’t be the case with us so how do we instill in our children that a job is a good thing and being self-sufficient makes you a stronger person growing up.

  2. I also do not have children, but I think about this ALL the time. I’m going to draw from my own experience. My parents raised me they way they were raised, but in a (much) larger house. We had no real hardships, but my parents were not afraid to say no to me, and they gave me responsibility & the power to make some decisions on my own at a very young age. I also did chores for an allowance, and when I turned 18 I had to start paying rent to stay in my room.

    My parents were always firm, but fair. They were clear with their expectations. So, even though we had no hardships where I ‘had’ to pick up some sort of slack, I was taught to be responsible just by good parenting. Instead of giving me everything I wanted, my parents gave a chance to think & earn things for myself.

  3. I think Ctina has a good point. I was raised in a very well-off family income-wise, while the hubs pretty much had to pay for everything himself. If he wanted new school clothes, he had to work so he could buy them. He used to work for his dad’s plumbing company starting from age 10 as a ditch digger for extra cash. While I, on the other hand, pretty much never wanted for anything. Yet my parents definitely policed things, in the sense that they were pretty strict on what I could do, rather than what I could have. I had to be home by 10pm (until I was a senior, then it was midnight), I pretty much only went to church or hung out with church friends. Hubs had absolutely no rules. As long as he made it to church Sunday morning at 10, he didn’t have to come home at all. He pretty much made his own rules.

    That said, who do you think is the more responsible one? That would be me, the “rich” kid. So I think there’s even more to think about than having to work for your own stuff. I didn’t have to get a job til after college, but I still stayed mindful of money, and how I spent my time. Hubs had to work from childhood, but had no restrictions on what he did with it, even if it was on tobacco or booze. I think a good balance is key. I’m quite surprised at how well the hubs turned out despite his crazy upbringing. But he still has a lot of learning and growing before he’s a true “adult”, even at 24 years old!

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