I’m Sick Of Hearing It’s For The Kids – Stop Spoiling Them

Ever run across someone that gives their children everything?

All the latest clothes, electronic gadgets, extracurricular activities, lavish weddings, education, you name it they have it.

And then you find out the parents are struggling to keep their heads above water financially.  (Note: the parents aren’t always in financial jeopardy but I find it’s a common theme.)

Not “we’re just getting by.”  No.

I mean one month they don’t pay cable, another month they miss the electric bill; the rent gets paid late; always something and always “it’s for the kids!”

When you talk to these people they take great pride that they provide for their kids.  They insist that their kids have the best even when it’s out of the parent’s means.

The problem though, comes when the kids start to expect a certain lifestyle with nothing in return (read: they’re spoiled).  When you get stuff just for asking without having to work for it then the stuff you get starts to lose value.  That may sound like it doesn’t make sense but it does.  When you keep getting things you don’t worry about what happens to it.  Why should you?  If you break that new toy or lose it you’ll just ask for another one or for whatever else is new out there.  It’s a cycle that builds a certain negative character in a child that they take to their adult life.

Of course the other problem is the parents that can’t afford the lifestyle they are creating for their kids.  It creates debt which creates stress.  And somewhere down the line it has to stop and the child is left wondering what they did wrong that they can’t have their cushy lifestyle anymore.

Here are 6 Excuses/Reasons I’ve Heard Regarding “It’s for the Kids”:

Stop spoiling the kids.

1. The kids deserve it.

They’re great kids and they deserve to have everything they want.  At all costs.  Really.

2. They want the children to have what they didn’t have.

The parents didn’t grow up getting everything they wanted, maybe their folks had tight budgets, so they want their kids to live better than they did.

3. The kids should fit in with other kids.

The kids shouldn’t feel left out because their friends have things that they don’t have.

4. I want the kids to have experiences.

The children should have a life full of experiences and that’s why they need: dance class, soccer, baseball, martial arts, trip to Disney, etc…

5. The kids shouldn’t have to suffer.

The parents don’t want the kids to feel the burden of their debt and financial responsibilities.  Despite financial problems, the kids should still live like the parents can easily afford the lifestyle.

6. They shouldn’t have to pay for college.

No matter the costs, some parents insist that they have to pay all of the college costs: tuition, books, car, apartment, spending money, etc…  It’s ok if a retirement fund is sacrificed to help the kids pay for college.

And this isn’t just young kids either.

I see this with parents who have adult children too!  I’m sure you know some adult that still gets money and stuff from their folks whenever they ask.

I don’t agree at all with this thinking.  I think it puts the parents in a bad financial situation and it teaches their children bad habits.

6 Problems with the “It’s for the Kids” Mentality:

bad spending habits on kids

When you get everything in the world for your kids you are setting them up for bad financial habits.

1. You spoil the kids.

When the kids think they are always going to get the best and newest they get spoiled.  They stop appreciating the things they have; always moving on to the newest and best of what’s out there.

2. Cluttered life.

Where does all this stuff go?  The people I’ve seen who live like this tend to have very cluttered homes as well as lives.  You have to keep up with all of the stuff as well as keep up with how you are going to pay for it.

Who can go on like that for long?

3. You teach the kids that to consume is to be happy.

Sorry, but this sets your kids up for problems later on in life.  Do you want them to feel like they need to always have to keep up?  Always keeping up means always keeping up with your credit card bills!

5. You give up bigger goals.

When you are deep in debt, helping your kids with their high upkeep, you give up greater opportunities because you are always broke (this is called Opportunity Cost).  Saving for retirement is extremely difficult when you have no money.  Having a house for your family is either tough to maintain or out of reach.

6. You take away you children’s opportunity to learn to care for themselves.

You can’t have everything and there won’t always be someone who can take care of your finances for you.

Kids, at some point, need to learn this.

Maybe not at 8 or 12, but they need to have the ability to pay their way and deal with their bills as adults.  They need to learn to sacrifice for their choices.  When Mommy and Daddy bail out the kids over and over they just reinforce bad habits.

I Get Why This Happens – I Really Do

Look, I know what it’s like to want to give your kids everything.

I struggle to keep myself from buying stuff for the kids when we are out.  I want to see them happy and it’s a super feeling seeing a kid’s face light up when they get something new.

But I’ve seen and experienced how easy it is to set up expectations for the kids that they will get what they want.  It’s hard to break those expectations.  And the kids do get spoiled.  They don’t appreciate the things they have when they are always getting new stuff.

There’s nothing wrong with sacrificing for the kids.

Hey, my wife and I used to love going on Caribbean vacations and being able to eat out and such.  But with four kids that doesn’t happen anymore (for now).  We give up a lot of our old luxuries for the kids.  But we don’t do it to such an extent that the family finances are in jeopardy.  It isn’t healthy to put yourself at financial risk to give the kids “things.”

“Honesty is the best policy” and “staying the middle ground” are more than cliches – they work!

Let your kids know you can’t afford everything.  It’s OK.

They may not like it now, but by holding back you keep your finances in better shape and you help build character in your kids.  Later on your kids will have to take care of themselves.

How are they going to do it when they are taught that they should get what they want and everything is at their disposal?

Do all parents have the “it’s for the kids” mentality?


I think we all spoil our kids a little bit from time to time and of course we want the best for our little ones.

Is it always bad to buy stuff for the kids or pay for college or makes things a little easier for them?  No.

Sometimes though, we have to make the tough decision to hold back and make sure that, as parents, we can take care of ourselves now, and in the future, before we make that purchase for the kids.

So instead of saying the latest gadget/toy is “for the kids” let people know that things like building up your retirement plan is “for the kids” or paying off the house is “for the kids” or making sure you have insurance is “for the kids.”

It’s OK to say no to them.  That doesn’t make you a terrible parent.  It’s not a bad thing to make sure your financial house is in order first before you buy any gifts.

Take care of yourself and you are truly making sure you are providing “for the kids!”

What do you think?  When is it too much when it comes to the kids?  Is there such a thing as too much?

I'm Sick Of Hearing It's For The Kids - Stop Spoiling Them
Article Name
I'm Sick Of Hearing It's For The Kids - Stop Spoiling Them
Sometimes it's too much when parents spoil their kids at the expense of their own finances. I'm sick of hearing that "it's for the kids."
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Published or updated November 20, 2014.


  1. I agree with this post 100%. So often these days, kids are spoilt horribly, to the point where they take things for granted. Then, when things suddenly turn bad, or the parents aren’t able to give them everything they want anymore, the kids become absolute brats to live with.

    Instead of spoiling them with lavish and unnecessary gifts, parents should instil financial responsibility in their children instead, which will be a far better start to their future than the latest Wii game or car.

  2. Money Obedience says:

    This is an excuse used by parents who justify their own bad spending habits and who then pass on these bad spending habits to their children. In that sense the saying is correct, “It’s for the kids.” Having said that, I do use the phrase myself but only when the choice is between them and me. For example, two of my boys enjoy the crispy wings on the roasted chicken as much as I do. So, they get them instead of me. I get (almost) as much pleasure out of their pleasure as I would get out of nibbling on that crunchy wing myself.

    • It’s ok, of course, to do things for the kids and having a child means sacrifice, but the sacrifice shouldn’t be financial health.

  3. You almost forgot the people who move into McMansions once they have children because they need a “bigger house.” I love those HGTV shows where they are like, yeah, not with baby coming, we need to move out of our tiny 3BR2BA house because it’s “too small.”

    Great article. Thanks.

  4. Having 3 kids myself, it’s important they understand the value of things. With my 3 ages 11,11 and 8 we have already started talking to them about budgets, debt, and savings. My wife and I just don’t give them everything they want, they need to work hard in school, help around the house and if it fits into our budget they can have it. Needs always come first over wants.

  5. Hehe, I’m sort of guilty of doing this. I don’t spoil them (my son doesn’t have his own TV, or cell phone for that matter), but I am investing and teaching them about money. The trick is not letting them know about the money that I am investing for them, until they graduate from college.

    My son still thinks $1,000 dollars is a lot of money, and I want to keep it that way 🙂

    • I think you have to introduce the how’s and why’s of money early on and keep re-reinforcing them as the get older.

  6. I agree completely! We’ve been teaching our son about money management, and having him buy some of his own things with his allowance. We also want him to take good care of his things. When he ruined a very nice shirt through carelessness, we had him pay for half a new one. You can bet he’s much more careful with this new shirt! We also make sure that he sees us donating goods to the thrift store or food bank. And we make it a point for him to pay tithing, and see us pay our tithing. I think it’s important that he learn that sometimes money is meant to help others.

  7. Great article! I have seen kids raised like this who seem to have a sense of arrogance, like they are little gods or something. The word spoiled means rotten and good for nothing and that is the attitude they seem to project. When lavish abundance is given without a balance of responsibility it benefits no one. I have often wondered about the mindset of the parents who do this. What are they trying to prove and to whom?

  8. Great post! I agree, we have to be very careful we don’t cater to them so much that they grow up thinking life is all about them. I hope I can instill that life is about serving and helping others in my kids as they grow up!

  9. My parents were very honest about our family money situation and it not only taught us responsible consumption patterns, it encouraged us to get jobs at a young age to buy what we wanted.

  10. Chris Gagner says:

    It’s good to hear someone speak the truth! Parents have gone crazy spoiling their children. They don’t realize it, but they’re actually hurting their kids by giving them everything! I know a family that is getting up there in age (50 somethings) that were such kids and now they’re struggling financially. Their parents always gave them everything. Even well into adult life, their parents would take them on free trips with them and buy them all kinds of stuff. Now that they’re parents are gone, this family is trying to continue that lifestyle that they once had, and they are having trouble paying any of their bills. If things keep going this way, they will probably soon lose their house.

    Parents… the best thing that you can do for your children is teaching them how to be responsible with money. Don’t give them a fish… you need to tell them, “If you want a fish… go fish.”

  11. Such a great post! I have a funny example of how “for the kids” backfires. I got braces when I was younger because, well, I needed them, but my dad said, “I want to give you something I wanted growing up that my parents couldn’t afford.” Thanks dad!

    • Sometimes “for the kids” is genuinely a good thing.

      I think most parents mean well when they give their kids things but they don’t see how it can be hurting themselves and the kids.

  12. I think that you can say paying for items that contribute to a child’s future are for the kids such as their education. I do think that its hard to justify electronic purchases(tv’s, video game systems, cell phones) and expensive clothing as necessities for the kids.

    • Even education can be bad if the parents are putting themselves in a bad spot financially. Is it wise for a parent to pull money from a retirement account to pay for their child’s college education? It could pay off or it could leave the parent without retirement income (you can only hope the child becomes something like a doctor and takes care of the parent in retirement).

  13. Having kids of my own, I know that I want them to have a better life than me, but I also know that I would have become a complete failure if I wasn’t taught how to make it on my own; if I was provided everything I every needed, why would I ever have gotten a job?

    That kind of spoiling is creating the generation of entitlement and that’s really hurting everyone.

    • I think it was in The Millionaire Next Door where the authors say that many self-made millionaires pass on their fortunes only to have it lost within a couple of generations. Basically because the millionaires gave their kids what they wanted and the kids didn’t have to work as hard (I’ll have to re-read that book!).

      • It is the third generation that it is gone. It is happening in my family. My grandfather built from nothing. My father spent well- but saved well. My mother used the money to supply everything for my brothers. She is still in good stead- but both brothers (59 and 49) have lost their houses in the last two years. They went through all of their inheritance and more. They simply never learned to make it on their own.

        • It’s a tough thing but at some point the strings need to be cut and kids need to fail and get back up on their own.

  14. As a parent, I do want my kids to have a happy childhood, and to have all the things that I didn’t have. I can totally understand that viewpoint. Additionally, more importantly, kids are at the absolute top of my priority list.

    That said, I think that it’s in the kid’s best long-term interest to make sure that they learn to become self-sufficent adults who understand the connection between work and money, and value both time and money. This can be accomplished at the same time as giving kids a great childhood. The thing is, the great, loving childhood doesn’t have to require expensive material things. It’s the love, strong values, and life lessons taught that really are the right things to do “for the kids”, instead of spoiling with material things.

    Now, to me, contributing to a kid’s education is a different matter altogether.

    • Agreed, a happy childhood doesn’t mean having lots of toys or stuff but learning great values and making the best of what you have.

      Reminds me, take a toddler – buy them a toy in a big box and odds are they will play with the box more than the toy right off the bat!

  15. I agree: I do think people use it as a catch all to justify spending that they want to do anyway. This spending makes us feel good because many people enjoy spending money on their families. Unfortunately, not only can this hurt the pocketbook, it can also send the wrong message to kids (consume now) if we are not careful.

  16. Those that are rocking out that excuse are the same people that rock out the excuse that they “need” a German car, or they “need” to live in a place that they can’t afford. etc.

    It is all a justification

  17. I spend a lot of time explaining to my 7&9yr olds that we make choices about our money-that we save in one area to spend in another. I give examples “what if we bought xyz now, but then didn’t have money to go on vacation, or for Christmas presents?”. They get it.

    I also find that by talking on a regular basis about the little things that we all have to be grateful for-they seem to be growing up with more of a feeling of gratitude for the good things they have in life.

    • I’ve done similar talks with my 10-year-old. I’ve explained to her that our having a house to call our own in a great neighborhood to grow up in is far more important than the latest Wii system and such.

      We really shouldn’t be afraid to talk to our kids about money. I like that you talk to yours on a regular basis. Reminds me to keep mine in the loop more.

  18. Great post, FFB! I think most parents fall prey to this at some time. I know for me its was wanting to give my kids the things I didn’t have. Must read article for any parent!

    • Absolutely! I know I’ve been guilty of buying too much for the kids at times. But I also see what it does to them. It builds expectations that they will always get something. And I see that that rarely play with any one thing often, always moving on to something else. I try to be very conscious of what I buy them.

  19. Thanks for your sharing.

  20. Great! It is so true!

    I remember when I was young and I had to work to pay for something, I was so proud of me. I convince myself that I can do it . So I really think, we need to teach our kids how it is important to have the control of money and not show them that money control us. Because, so often is the money who control us. We have to explain the difference between the “wants” and the “need”.
    I think we have the obligation to teach our kids about money, they are our future.

  21. For me its simple – I want to teach my children well. So giving them what they want “just because” isn’t a good financial lesson. Parents…

  22. I knew a “Gymoboree mom” who was like this. Honestly, her kids didn’t care what they were wearing, but she “wanted them to look nice.” Meanwhile all the stress about money… and she did laundry 3x a day.

    • And here’s the thing…when you start doing that with young kids where do you go form there? What happens when they get older and they do care about the label name? As a parent you set yourself up for a very expensive teenager or a very disappointed one when you really can no longer afford the lifestyle anymore.

  23. I’m hoping our child accepts our frugal ways. Naturally, s/he will not want for the basic necessities, but I’m hoping we won’t change and spoil our child (I’m due in early March). I believe in the importance of teaching kids basic financial responsibility by setting a good example.

    • It’s easy to want to spoil your child but I think if you explain why you do the things you do and instill good values then your kids will grow up well.

  24. Great article! 🙂

    I’m with you. Although my kids aren’t deprived by any means, I make them save their money so they can buy things that don’t come to them as a result of their birthdays or Christmas. That includes maintaining a steady “slush fund” account to handle “pop-ups” that inevitably arise (like a friend who may ask them to go for fun out on a Friday night.)


    Len Penzo dot Com

    • My daughter has a fund like that too which she’ll use for things like spending money on a school trip. And you know, she’s pretty responsible with it. She won’t take out too much and will usually get something for her little brother too! Don’t know if I would have that restraint at 10 years old.

      And thanks Len!

  25. Dang, don’t hold anything back man. Tell us how you really feel about the kids who spoil their kids! Haha, great post, Craig!

  26. When our kids were little, we were pretty tight, so spoiling them with “stuff” was never even possible. As things became easier financially, we still kept our spending at the same level. That meant; you got gifts at Christmas and on your birthday, only. You could beg all you wanted, but no impulse shopping just because some trinket caught your eye at the check out. Never, ever any fashion label clothing (even if it is on sale!).
    No child needs a roomful of toys, or as my eldest now refers to as a “plastics factory”. What they really need is your love and guidance and to know they are precious to you.
    The result?
    We were able to give our kids a great education from kindergarten to to high school at top notch semi-private schools. In order to get into these subsidized schools, kids have to pass very challenging tests and have excellent grades, so studying was top priority. ( This has helped them easily get into university)
    By the age of 16, they had part time jobs and paid all their other expenses, i.e, clothing, entertainment, cell phones etc..
    I still get a kick out of watching my daughter pick up some label garment, roll her eyes and say something like ” Can you believe what they want for this? I can get almost the same thing at__ for half the price!” It also helped that they wore uniforms until high school graduation so they never developed a taste for the latest fad.
    They are now 18 and 21 respectively and BOTH have savings that some adults we know would envy. They are well adjusted, kind human beings who really care about themselves, their family and their world.
    Were they spoiled? Absolutely not. Did they still know they were loved even though they had nowhere near what their friends had? Absolutely.
    Thanks for letting me rant, I just spent the afternoon with my two young nieces who have every imaginable thing they desire and are honestly the most insufferable brats I have ever met. I love them, but I also feel sorry for them…

    • Please, rant away Bee!

      Sounds like you did a great job with your kids. That’s an interesting aspect of having to wear a uniform to school. I suppose it does take a lot of the whole clothing label thing away.

  27. Craig I think that I love you. I can’t deal with the never ending spoiling of kids these days. They should learn how to work for the things that they need and not get everything they want JUST BECAUSE.

    • Hey, whoa…you’re gonna get me in all kinds of trouble with the Mrs! Haha.

      It’s certainly tough instilling values in your kids when they are surrounded by others that get a lot but we really have to try and teach our kids VALUE and help them understand the concept of earning and working towards something.

      “Just because” sets up issues later on. Even if I’m telling one of the kids to stop doing something, I try to explain to them why. I never like “just because” as a kid.

  28. I could not agree more. We have a blended family. My son has had to work since he was old enough to buy his first car and pay for his phone and car insurance. I supplied, room, board, health/dental insurance and pay for his college. My husband on the other hand completely spoils his son (same age). He had 1 job for a summer (he is 19) and used ALL his money to buy expensive clothes and fun “wants”. He has never paid for ANYTHING, his father pays for everyting and when birthdays or Christmas rolls around he is showered with $600-$1000 in gifts. I have tried to discuss this with my husband but it is a mute point. How can I reach him>>???? He states his kid is a good kid and deserves it. Well there are a lot of good kids out there that deserve it but also are expected to pay all if not at least part of their way. UGH!

    • Diane Marie says:

      Nic, if you find out how to reach him, please let me & others know. We seem to be in the same sinking boat, the “unreasonable”

  29. It’s harder to deal with conspicuous consumption when you have relatives/friends/neighbors who are better-off financially than you. How do you explain to your child why you never go off on vacations to the Caribbean (or anywhere, like almost everyone else) when you need whatever money you have just to keep a roof over your head, or your 10-year-old car running, or what have you. My husband and I have had difficult financial circumstances these past few years involving job loss and repaying old debts, and with all the “affluenza” around us, it’s hard. We are getting our bearings again, and while we want some of the nice things in life, also realize that there is a price to pay when you live above your means (we’ve done that and are cleaning up the mess which resulted).

    The other challenge is that my daughter gets spoiled by her grandparents, and by my sister and her husband — they can afford to, and it makes me feel inadequate at times. I’ve given my daughter nice things, but only in certain circumstances (she just received a pair of UGGs for her birthday, but that was her only present from us). Grandma took her to Disney World for a few days last month, and my sister/BIL just gave her an iPad for a combination birthday/Christmas gift. My daughter is appreciative, but I wonder if all these things are doing her more harm than good (will she come to expect this from her family from now on?) Is there any way I can tell everyone not to do this anymore, without seeming ungrateful?

  30. You can’t stop other relatives from spoiling the kids; you don’t have to feel guilty that you can’t/won’t. You just tell them like it is. They have the resources to provide you with these luxuries, I don’t. You are a lucky child.

    There are many children in the world that never make it out of their own neighborhood their entire lives, only have 1 meal a day, etc., just make sure your children know, they have it pretty darn good and to be thankful for it and not take it for granted. Sit down and start teaching them how to budget their allowance from a young age, some always goes to savings for “x”.

    They earn it, but it doesn’t stop there, they also have to be responsible on how they spend it too, no, they don’t get to just blow their wad, pardon the expression.

    Start young. Instill the values YOUNG, as soon as they can start counting pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters they have a piggy bank. The piggy bank never gets raided that’s their 10% of savings until they MOVE out or go to college.

    It will teach them HOW to save and NOT spend it. That alone is one very valuable lesson that’s easy to enforce. Only buy them “x” outfits per year, that’s it. They only get “x” on this/that, come up with a number, stick to it yearly. Ration food, yes I said ration food. THey don’t get to eat whatever/whenever, however and in vast quantities. They get breakfest, lunch, dinner, a few healthy snacks, occasional treat, but NOT daily treats.

    Do not overfeed! Don’t just feed, water, vet ’em and stall ’em for pete’s sake—they aren’t “pets” although they WILL respond like pets if treated like pets. They are humans, capable of much much more than most give them credit for as evidenced by how they are spoiled.

    Train them how to live healthy, save their resources, and to be grateful for “small” favors, and they will be. They won’t be grateful for “treats” “small favors” “extras” if they get them all the time as a matter of course, instead, it’s all just taken for granted.

    Analogy: Little children are like little puppies (although see above, are human and capable of MUCH more) would you leave food out in vast quantities for your puppy? Would you NOT housebreak it? Would you not teach it to fit in with polite society (no biting, begging, jumping, destroying things in house, attacking other animals, waiting for direction from owner before making own decisions on resources) and doesn’t your pup normally have to “work” to earn a treat as reward for obeying?

    Our pups/children were trained without treats, treats were for an exercise that was extremely difficult/challenging, important to master….children aren’t much different, honestly when it comes to how they learn and getting desired results. There are a lot of similarities although I know I will get flamed for saying this. If you’re honest, you’ll notice them.

    Of course I’ve seen a lot of spoiled animals too and they act like spoiled children as well and I wouldn’t want one of those human critters living with me, spoiled rotten and yes, worthless for any type of serious endeavor unless you have the “treat” bag hanging in front of their nose.

    No self-initiative or gratitude, it’s “what’s in for me?” They never learned to consciously work/strive for others approval/acceptance for good behavior, only how to act out/misbehave/manipulate to achieve their own self-gratification, i.e., material things, peer acceptance via material things, peer/adult acceptance via emotional blackmail tied to material things!

  31. I agree totally! My husband has two daughters, one is 18 and the other 19. The strange thing about out situation is that only ONE of the young women gets everything handed to her on a silver platter, the other one has to take care of herself….get this though…it’s the OLDEST one that gets the royal treatment. He gave her a 4000 dollar graduation trip, (hell no, we can’t afford that), a car, he does her laundry and cooks her meals and pays all her bills, while she spends her “working” money on clothes, clothes and more clothes. The other one, however, has purchased her own car, pays her own bills, cooks her own meals, because she’s expected to. I just don’t get it. How can you treat your own kids so differently? Not only that, but why would you want your oldest daughter to be stuck in a 5 year old’s world. She doesn’t have a clue and he, (and everyone else) doesn’t either. It makes me sick to my stomach watching her grin and snicker behind his back every time she manipulates him into doing something she is too damn lazy do. Plus, it’s just kind of creepy watching a dad wash a grown woman’s underwear and making sure she has pads! I really think she has Teenage Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but if I were to suggest this to him, he would TOTALLY deny it and accuse me of not liking her or being jealous. What the heck is a person to do? Suck it up and hope she gets a boyfriend soon to take over where Daddy leaves off?

  32. Oh God don’t I know about this. My ex’s 13 yr old son was unbelievably materially spoiled, to the degree where he was given 100s of pounds of sports stuff pre Christmas, his father then bought him some designer socks and shoes so he would have a present to open on Xmas Day…the kid opened the present and burst into tears…his SISTER thankfully took the socks which were actually quite nice…I said for god’s sake why didn’t you give him a Chocolate Orange and a tangerine? Kid also had no boundaries, partly because kids had always come first…I broke up with the ex because of this as I could feel my blood begin to boil with this kid…there were times when he had a point but he was just so demanding and spoilt the whole time! Family was also a “model Christian family” before it all exploded due to ex’s ex-wife’s midlife crisis brought on by ex’s (surprise surprise) money management…the guy was 1000s in debt…another red flag, I did not want to end up paying for everything!!!

    • Sounds like it was a difficult situation.

      • Well I think he had his eye on this millionairess. I think she could probably bail him out better than I could, bearing in mind he had 80k debt on ONE credit card alone, and that my salary wouldn’t cover that. Millionairess is supported by her rich ex husband and is always insisting on paying for everything, whilst at the same time moping about being constantly dumped on and taken advantage of. Would have no trouble being convinced to pay for any of the spoilt brat’s activities since she is desperate for a relationship. So although the ex and I actually got on well on a personal level (he thought I was lovely and unpretentious and totally unmaterialistic), finances and spoilt child got in way! Also there is a chance his ex wife may be looking for a reconciliation since he has begun to earn more money now…aRGHH doesn’t the snobbery make you sick! How the heck do these people live with themselves??? Mind you , I will never date anyone with a child again…that environment is not for me I have decided!

  33. Diane Marie says:

    This is a great article! My husband insists on giving his adult son thousands of dollars but fights me on saving any money for us or for emergencies. “He deserves it” “I do what I think is fair”. How is that fair to us? We have debt, little money saved for medical expenses or anything else. My husband has worked very hard for what he has and wasn’t given anything. He knows I want to teach his son to be responsible and I don’t agree with this. Yet, he’ll go behind my back and even lie to give to him. It’s hurting our marriage terribly. How can I get through to my husband?

    • Glen Craig says:

      That’s definitely tough when you don’t see eye to eye with your spouse. Maybe you need to have an honest sit-down with him and discuss, not argue, how you feel about this money issue. Lay out all of the points and let him know you sometimes have to hold back with your kids and let them fail in order to grow.

      • Diane Marie says:

        Thanks for responding Glen! We have sat down & calmly discussed… how it’s hurting us financially and hurting our marriage, how his son needs to grow, learn responsibility & earn his own way. He thinks it IS fair and right to over-indulge his son, he says he deserves it, he isn’t spoiling him. The son doesn’t have a lot of appreciation for being given so much, and at 28, just can’t manage money. I think hubby truly believes that if he tries to change, his son will disown him. He has been manipulated by his kids and their mother for 20 years into believing they “deserve” and he doesn’t. He just doesn’t see a problem, the only problem to him is that I don’t agree with him. I’m praying he will see the truth! Thanks !

  34. Maebh Abel says:

    I began dating this woman, a single mother, whom I loved very much and still love. When we first met, she told me she just had one request of me: Don’t tell her how to raise her kids.

    I had no problem with that but little did I know-I ended up moving in with her and her teenage children (15 and 19) after a few months of dating and figured they were grown enough to have and know about basic responsibilities. Nope, she never raised them to do a dish, help around the house, cook, and pretty much all they wanted to do was play video games all day and all night when they got home from school. She had no issues spending every dollar she earned to make sure her kids had the latest technology and video games.

    I liked her kids and we got along well enough. They were not bad kids and often stayed out of trouble. But it seemed there was a lack of respect or they were just used to not doing anything ever. She would ask them to do something and they would forget. I would ask them to do something and they would forget. Yes, typical teenage behavior, but it was to the point where nothing ever got done and instead, it was faster to do it myself.

    I tried to lead by example and even helped them look for jobs, which she did not approve. I helped the oldest one obtain a few jobs over the course of the year, all of which he ended up losing after three months because he had no ambition to work. He admitted to me that he had no desire to work and would rather be home. He then developed this idea that “we” were rich and he was entitled to everything. We – her and I – thought that was a bit weird, but nothing changed and she continued to spoil them both and they continued to do nothing in order to deserve everything.

    After a year of living like this, and only getting into arguments that led to her making excuses for her children, I had enough and decided to end the relationship, realizing that she had made her life about her kids. I could only foresee a future of myself being miserable because she was enabling them to be this way for life. How long would I have to wait before these children were finally grown, making their own money, and out of the house? I was not trying to force these kids out or make her choose me over them, but I had hope that I could teach them about responsibility all around, about getting a job and working to make money, and growing up so they could function on their own.

    It broke my heart to have to break her heart and end things, but I couldn’t go on. That was not living; it was being a servant to her children. I broke her heart because I knew there were no second chances. Things have been like that for so long there was nothing that I could have done to change it. I would have only ruined things one way or another by staying. I was the intruder and had I tried to change things, either she would have resented me for “making her kids grow up”, or her children would have resented me for taking away that life from them.

  35. This really hits a chord with me.

    I have the added complication of my son living in two households.

    My son’s mother has a $11/hour job, has a computer for each of the three kids; 50″ screen TV, playstation, iphones; new video games, ect. and complains she can’t afford to pay the water bill or the paperwork to make her husband legal in the US.

    • I forgot to mention that she often buys these things when my son is doing poorly in school. It’s like she feels sorry for his grades and goes out and buys him the new Diablo game to cheer him up. Ugh.

  36. I raised my kids as a divorced single parent not receiving any court ordered child support payments. There were many years that we were so poor, I barely made ends meet. Often I had to work 2 jobs & I was exhausted. While other families were going to Disneyland, and I was heart broken that I couldn’t do the same for kids. When we went on vacation, we went hiking & camping. I had all the needed equipment and we had so much fun! We hiked, had camp fires & looked at beautiful scenes from the tops of the cliffs we climbed. Years later they still talk about those trips, which brings joy to my heart. Sometimes, it’s not the money that you spend. They have great memories from our trips.

  37. I completely agree with what you’ve brought to light here. So many parents try to give their kids everything, all while they not realizing the values they are instilling in them. Get what you want, pay bills late, money is never an object, etc. Then once the kids are out of the house they have to scramble to start saving for retirement.

    Teach them how to balance a checkbook and save their money, it will get them a lot further in life than a bunch of stuff will. Great post!

  38. It’s so easy to want to spoil your kids. It’s sometimes hard to see their look of disappointment when they don’t get what they want. But indeed, it is good to know when to say no and its good to teach them early on the value of money.

    To be honest, I’m sometimes guilty of wanting to buy all sorts of stuff for my daughter. But it’s a good thing that I’m crafty and know how to make clothes. At least I can save on that part. Ha ha! But this I’m sure, that when she’s at the right age, I will definitely teach her how to be responsible with money and that we can’t get everything we want in life.

    By the way, I love the big fonts you have in your articles! Easy to look for the main points. Hehe.

  39. Great post! I have taught my kids about money and saving since they were 5 and 2. Now they are 7 almost 8 and 5. They appreciate their things and know I save money to get the extra things they want. I say no a lot more than I would like but as a result they are not materialistic and take care of their belongings. My oldest daughter’s friends seems to think I’m broke and we can’t afford eating out. I cook every day and do not need to go eat out often. As a result we plan our playdates to include time to eat out. My point is spoiled kids attitudes are obvious to others. The girl is rude to me and its hilarious because I have treated these kids( mine and the friends) to theme park outings and I didn’t get so much as a thank u. ( I’m not a fool though. I stopped those outings because of rude behavior from that other child). Her mom seems to think no corrective action is necessary so I needed to cut ties. I didn’t want my children to be tainted with the spoiled girl attitudes and behavior. Please parents that spoil its not good for them in the long run. I’m so glad my dad taught me about saving and spending as a young child. My kids have everything they need and appreciate the extras that they earn or save for. I have no debt. They like home cooked meals better anyway. ??

  40. I’m struggling with this. My husband wants to buy every new electronic for my stepson… who is 10. Right now it’s not hurting us financially, but he doesn’t rake care of anything he owns and I don’t want to start down this road and end up with a teenager who thinks we owe him a car for his 18th birthday. How do I talk to my husband about this dangerous road we are on?

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