Let Your Kid Be Normal

Maybe you’re doing great financially. Or maybe you’re just doing better than your parents did. If true, that means something wonderful—suddenly you can afford all the things you didn’t have growing up. And now you can (and should) provide all those things for your kids, right?

You’ll drive them to school in a nice car. You’ll get them nice clothes—no hand-me-downs here! They’ll never eat generic cereal or have to pack their own lunch. New shoes every couple months, awesome vacations, and their birthday parties will be the dopest at school. Again, awesome, right?

Maybe…if you want your kid to be spoiled. To feel special and better than everyone else. To know what “rich” is from birth, without having to earn it. Is that really healthy? Is that what you want to set the baseline at for them?

Seneca, who himself was born rich, and became even richer as he started his own family, believed it was key to maintain normalcy—to not let wealth change your perception of yourself or your place in society. In his essay, Of Anger, he gives advice to parents on how to do this:

“Above all, let his food be scanty, his dress not costly, and of the same fashion as that of his comrades: if you begin by putting him on a level with many others, he will not be angry when someone is compared with him.”

Let your kid be normal. Let them be on the level of everyone else. The fact that you can decide what to give your kid and what not to give them—rather than being forced by an empty bank account to deprive them—that’s the real privilege. You don’t need to make up for your own childhood, you just need to provide for their real needs now. And you need to make sure they grow up well-adjusted, resilient, and grateful.

P.S. This was originally sent on Sep 12 2019. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday”

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