When we found out that we were expecting a baby, we thought about how we would afford such a dependant being over his lifetime. We decided to save a set amount each month to continue until his 18th birthday. This would then be his to do as he pleases; whether it is to be put towards buying his first car, his first home or University fees. If we were to have another child, we would save the same amount for his or her 18 years also, so everyone would be equal.
Although recently, I had quite a discussion with my Mother in Law as to how we have chosen to raise O. In a group discussion, we got onto the topic of providing for your child and giving them a good life as best you can.
It was suggested that parents should give everything they possibly can to their children, whether it would be paying University fees and subsistence, being on trend with the latest fashions or games or tying the school tie in the “cool” way even though they look like morons.
I was quite quick to state that I won’t be saving for our son to go to University on top of what we already save for him.
This was met with surprise and questions of “Why wouldn’t you want the best for him?”
Well, I do want the best for him. I want him to take his life in his own hands and do with it what makes him happy. And he doesn’t need his Mummy and Daddy paying for him to go through University because that’s the “best thing to do”. I’d want him to go to University and pay for it himself like many others, because he wants to go. That he wants to go to University to study something he is interested in and that could help him to get a job in this mean wide world that we live in.
I didn’t go to University. My brother didn’t go to University. In fact, none of my immediate family has a degree. But we are all happy and enjoy our good jobs. My employer has put me through College for 5 years part time to get me the special qualifications I need for my job, and I’ve walked away with qualifications, no debt and a wage to show for it.
On the other hand, O’s dad did go to University. And he loved every minute of it. He would openly admit that he loved the social side of student life a bit too much! But he also has a very good job and enjoys it greatly. The Student Loan was a bit of a bind but we can now enjoy the extra money now it’s paid off.
I think I’ve said before that I’d be contented for O to be a greengrocer or fisherman, doctor or scientist, as long as he’s happy.
So, yes. I do want to give everything I possibly can to my child. But I also believe he should stand on his own two feet and not rely on his parents to get what he wants out of life.
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