this is a sponsored guest post.
As a parent, you want to give your kids the world, but giving kids the world doesn’t help them learn to live in the world. Life requires responsibility and sacrifice. While there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your kids every once in a while, making coddling or excess an everyday thing can do them more harm than good. If you want to keep your kids on the path to maturity and competency, here are five things you might want to reconsider buying them, and one that’s just plain not worth the money.
1 – Whatever They Want at a Restaurant
Making responsible choices is something all adults must learn to do, but it’s a harder thing to learn in adulthood if you never had to do it as a child. If you, as a parent, actively avoid one section of the menu at a restaurant because everything is too expensive, your kids should be avoiding that section of the menu too. It’s okay to teach your kids that they can have anything they want within reason, which doesn’t always equate to anything they want.
2 – Gas
Once they have drivers’ licenses in hand, teenagers tend to want to use the car quite a bit, which means they’re also using quite a bit of gas. While transporting themselves around town is a positive step in your kids developing independence, having unlimited gas provided for them is not. Teaching young drivers that driving isn’t free can only benefit them later in life. By making them pay for their own gas, or laying out rules about how much and how far they can drive each day will teach them financial responsibility, and that sometimes they’ll have to make difficult decisions about how to spend their money or resources.
3 – Prizes for Good Behavior
Reward is a serious motivator for all of us, so when you’re looking for ways to get your kids to behave, it can be tempting to use gifts or treats as a form of encouragement. Many gifts and treats are inexpensive, and it often works.
The problem sets in when kids always expect a prize for behaving as they should behave. Not only does bribing your kids with material things fail to teach them good manners or that behaving well and respecting others is good in and of itself, it becomes especially problematic in situations where there are no prizes for good behavior, but there consequences for bad behavior, such as at school.
4 – Replacements for things they destroy.
Youth is an emotional time in life. Feelings get out of control, and occasionally things get broken in the ensuing rampage. When something gets broken by genuine accident, by a sibling, or by someone other than the child to whom the possession belongs, your kid should get a replacement for it. The last thing you want to teach them is, if someone else does something to their things, it’s their loss.
When your kid breaks something, however, out of anger or frustration, they shouldn’t be handed a new one. If they do want a replacement, they can pay for it themselves, do chores to earn it back, or wait until the next big gifting holiday. When they have to spend two Christmases’ worth of wish lists on the same gift, they’ll learn that an uncontrollable temper destroys the things they love, and then they’ll have to live without them.
5 – Life Insurance
While many companies promote life insurance policies for children, unless your child is somehow bringing income into your household, such insurance has little point. Yes, it can help ensure your child qualifies for life insurance as an adult, since policies can typically be transferred to adult policies when kids turn eighteen, and it can reduce their premiums when they reach adulthood. However, those reduced premiums are due almost entirely to the fact that you have pre-paid them throughout the child’s youth.
If you want to increase the chance your kids will be covered by life insurance as adults, or help them save money in the future, you can certainly compare life insurance price quotes and see if you find a good investment. In most situations, though, childhood life insurance is a poor expenditure. That money would be better put toward college or a child’s other future endeavors instead.