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Should you give your child every edge that money can buy?

The question remains, just because you can afford it should you give your child the best money can buy?

When it comes to taking care and providing for our children, we don’t want to leave any stone unturned. As living costs escalate, there are examples of nuclear families preferring just one child so that there is less financial strain and their only child can be provided for with the best money can buy.

The question remains, just because you can afford it should you give your child the best money can buy?

Are you stretching the basics?

What do children need? Lots of care, playtime, good education, clothes and nutritious food. Everything else falls into the category of wants, desires and frills. When it comes to education, today there is ample choice and costs range from Rs 1 to Rs 10 lakhs a year, even for primary education. Mass affluent families with both parents working can afford the outer limit of this range. 

While it is a personal choice, you should consider whether there is value in what you pay for the education. Afterall, your child’s education is not bound to the confines of school, the home environment plays an equal role and that comes at no cost. Formal education however, does provide social development; think about whether the fee you are paying goes towards all aspects of a child’s development. 

What about everyday stuff like clothes, shoes and accessories? 

If you are a binge buyer of clothes and shoes for your child, chances are that half the clothes in their cupboards will be outgrown without being worn even once. Departmental stores and clothing brands have too many alluring options; most children, however are happy to pick up what’s right on top of the pile. Same with shoes, all you need is one pair of slippers, one pair to play with and one good pair. 

When it comes to food, its fresh, home cooked food that’s the best for children. Too much fast food or processed and packaged food is not only a waste of money but also detrimental to your child’s health.

For a moment think about what value all this adds to your child’s wellbeing. Gifts and return gifts simply add to clutter and are forgotten in no time. The multiple after school lessons, will leave your child insincere in almost all of them and a broken guitar will elicit no regret.

But this and much more is affordable…

All this advice might seem irrelevant as your affordability may dictate four pairs of playing shoes, then why stop at one? An iPad each for siblings yet to hit the 10-year mark is not uncommon. A cupboard full of toys, guitar, tennis and art lessons starting at the age of 5, lavish birthday parties with DJs, photo booths and personalised return gifts are all affordable. 

For a moment think about what value all this adds to your child’s wellbeing. Gifts and return gifts simply add to clutter and are forgotten in no time. The multiple after school lessons, will leave your child insincere in almost all of them and a broken guitar will elicit no regret.

Adorning your child with too much of what money can buy, will do one thing for sure, signal to them that money has little value. You may be setting your child up for disappointment when things get too hard. As young adults, when the time comes, for them to push the limits to achieve professional success, it won’t be available without effort. No amount of money will change that. 

You may be able to afford it, but by providing it all, you might just be creating a false reality of comfort. If we make an effort, even children will grasp that money has value, it is important for achieving dreams and one has to earn it by working hard. All other important things like love and playtime, are free anyway.


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