“My parents give me money every two weeks.”
“I get gas money from my parents.”
“I do not know how much my phone bill is, my parents pay for that.”
When I hear people say these things, my immediate thought is they are so fortunate not to know the struggles of having to stress about money everyday. But then that thought is immediately followed by me thinking about how they will survive when it actually comes time to be an adult.
If a parent always pays for their child’s gas, food, phone and car, will that child be able to provide for him or herself when the time comes?
Senior psychology student, Katie Luze, does not think so.
“When a parent “coddles” a child all through their four college years, the sense of responsibility that student needs to obtain is diminished,” Luze said. “Without learning to work to pay to have necessities, it makes those important necessities not so important when another person is supplying them with those needs.”
I agree with Katie. I think ignorance is bliss when it comes to growing up because of my personal experiences.
Like many others say, my parents are the best parents in the world. They provide me with unconditional love and support. However, no matter how much they wish they could, they are not always able to help me with my finances.
I have been working since I was in third grade when I helped my dad with his paper delivery route. When I turned 16 years old, I got a job at Subway in my hometown, and ever since I started college, I have always had two jobs on top of being a full-time student.
Since college, I have paid for my groceries, gas, phone bill, clothes, basic necessities, etc. I pay for everything and have never relied on my parents to do so. I believe living this type of lifestyle forces one to grow up sooner than someone who does not. If I did not pay my phone bill, I would not have a phone. If I did not buy food, I would starve. If I did not pay my tuition, I would not be in school.
My parents would love to help me out with money, so I would not have to stress about it, but since that is not the case, I have been exposed to the reality of adulthood. It is expensive. It requires a hell of a lot of discipline, time management and sacrifices to survive.
Now I can understand why parents pay for their child’s needs and bills. A parent’s job is to protect their child and to guide him or her in life, and by helping a child with finances, a parent is protecting them by making sure they eat, can succeed and have a roof over their head.
When asked what the benefits are of getting money from their parents, one student commented, “I guess it helps to know that if I need help they will help me. It takes off some of the pressure of school.”
This statement is one I can understand fully, and can imagine that it would be a nice stress reliever. But I think if a parent does this, it could cause a child to become naïve about the challenges life presents.
If a child goes the first 22 years of his or her life without ever having to pay a bill, how are they going to know how to write a check when the time comes? How are they going to know how to budget? The fact of the matter is they will not because they have never had to worry about doing so.
It has been said that people can learn more efficiently when they are younger, so if a 22-year-old person is expected to learn how to manage his or her finances like an adult, will he or she be able to do it in enough time before they start to go into debt? I do not think so. I think they will struggle for a long time and will not become truly grateful of his or her parents until he or she experiences life without money from parents. If everything is paid for, a child will have a hard time learning necessary life skills when the time comes– skills such as responsibility, time management, budgeting, punctuality and appreciation.
In this life, it is not always guaranteed that someone will be by your side, ready to help you through any trouble you are faced with. So, it is better to learn how to stand on your own two feet early in life rather than later.
Jordan Bierbrauer is the Opinion Editor for The Colegian and can be reached at [email protected]