Why I Want My Daughter to Have Less Than I Had Growing Up

When most people talk about what they want to provide for their kids they talk about giving their children what they didn’t have growing up.

I want to do the opposite. I don’t want my daughter to have as much as I had growing up.

Let me back up for a second here. I love my parents. They gave me and my brother such a wonderful upbringing and I am forever grateful that I was raised by them. But we were some spoiled kids. 

spoiled. spoiled. spoiled.
spoiled. spoiled. spoiled. (young Vic on the right)

I Had Too Much Stuff Growing Up
You remember that annoying kid growing up that seemed to get all the hot toys and gadgets as soon as they were released? That was me. Whether it be a Super Nintendo, CD players, comic books, or that hot new Vanilla Ice album – you name it and I probably had it. I know I just dated myself :). If 1992 Vic lived in today’s time he’d have the new iPad, the new iPhone, and both an Xbox One and a Playstation 4. With like 10 games each.

I Didn’t Understand the Value of Money
It wasn’t until after I graduated college when I first really understood the value of money. Money always came easy to me. Growing up I felt that no matter what I needed or wanted, my parents would help me out. I used this as a crutch most of my life. While I will always be there to support my daughter with whatever she needs, I don’t want my her to grow up always using her parents as a safety net like I did.

I Barely Worked Growing Up
I never really worked until I graduated college. Since everything always came so easy for me, I barely worked or did chores growing up. I did one time work at KFC for ONE DAY because I realized I was too lazy to work. Sure I had a few jobs in college but to me that was just bonus money to buy video games and clothes. I would often use the excuse that I shouldn’t work because I wanted to focus on my studies. Which was complete BS because I spent most of my youth playing video games.

Whether it be babysitting, tutoring, or mowing the lawn – I want Addie to know the meaning of work. It will help build character and force her to learn time management while earning her own money. My best friend Tippy had a similar privileged upbringing as I did, but unlike me her parents made her WORK. From working at a pizza place to helping out with her parents dry cleaning business, she knows how to hustle. She’s now one of the more successful people I know, and it had a lot to do with the work ethic she learned from her parents at an early age.

Blessed vs. Spoiled
Auntie Tippy, Addie, & Mama
Auntie Tippy, Addie, & Mama

Growing up spoiled definitely had a negative effect on me as I was lazy and lacked direction most of my life until I graduated college. I’m thankful for my wife who helped me grow from a spoiled, entitled boy to a father devoted to taking care of his family. My wife was the complete opposite of me growing up. She grew up poor and worked really hard to become the successful woman she is today. Because of her, I learned the value of a dollar and hard work.

I know there are times when my daughter is growing up that she’ll be mad at me for not getting her everything she wants. Addie will always be my baby girl, so there will be times I will spoil her. Everything in moderation, right? I plan to do everything to make sure she gets everything she needs, not necessarily everything she wants. Hopefully it’ll be something she appreciates when she’s my older.

I want my daughter to live a blessed life, not a spoiled one.

she won't play video games all day like her daddy.
she won’t play video games all day like her daddy.
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44 thoughts on “Why I Want My Daughter to Have Less Than I Had Growing Up

  1. I really enjoyed this post! It reminded me of how we grew up in the 80s. My parents gave us a very similar upbringing where we would always get what we wanted. We had more toys than we knew what to do with and never had to lift a finger to get them. Economically, times were different (stronger) and I think all of the consumerism in that decade reflected that. For the first six years of living on my own, I never even opened a savings account or learned the value of money. We all grow up eventually through hard lessons learned, so I admire the lessons you are teaching you’re daughter early on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I had a lot of toys, but I made sure to use them all!

      While I’m very fortunate to have such loving parents, getting every single thing I wanted made life too easy for me. I definitely had a reality check when I graduated and worked to stop asking for handouts from my parents. Luckily, I had a loving wife that pushed me in the right direction.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post! I was raised by my grandparents, who didn’t always have a lot of money, so I learned the value of work ethic early in life in order to buy the things I wanted. I absolutely plan to teach my daughters about this as well! That being said, however, there were things I wasn’t able to do (like expensive cheerleading and other extracurricular activities, and those are the things I WILL bend over backwards to give them if they want to do them. There is a way to divide the line between spoiling and NOT spoiling our kids! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely! I won’t deprive my daughter of any of those type of experiences, I just want her to appreciate the value of those extracurricular activities. Money will definitely be secondary when it comes to giving my daughter a great childhood!

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

    1. Thanks Kristin! Is there anything George Clooney can’t do? (besides play a decent Batman, haha)

      I know it’ll be difficult to find that balance, but I’m pretty determined to not have my girl grow up lazy and spoiled like I was!

      Like

  3. Fantastic insights into parenting that a lot of people cannot grasp. I, too, had very loving and parents that provided more than enough. I definitely feel a similar way when raising my son, now, in that when it comes to material items he could definitely do with less. Learning the hard way doesn’t have to be negative at all and I feel like it’s strongly looked down upon by a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I know it’ll be hard and our friends and family might look down on us for “depriving” our daughter, but I don’t want her to grow up like I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A thought-provoking read. I’m 46 and while my parents are well-of, they didn’t buy me heaps of everything. Indeed, I inherited my aunt’s Barbie doll, my father’s bike and I clearly remember when the neighbours gave us all their kids books. There were boxes of them and it was like winning Lotto. I seem to have got into a concerning pattern with my daughter. Her room is overloaded with stuff. I keep buying gifts for her. Most are cheap and from thrift shops but not all. I have been very unwell and I want to give things to her. Now, she has some medical issues and every times we go to an appointment, there seems to be a treat required. I have dug myself into a rather deep hole. So, when I read about teaching your children the value of a dollar, I seized hold of that. Need to get that going. xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s medical issues. I’m sure I might spoil my daughter a little more if I was in that situation.

      It’s definitely a challenge giving your kids a lot of stuff! I want to give my daughter EVERYTHING, but I know that if I do it’ll hurt her in the future.

      Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MY daughter has actually become a bit of a hoarder, in the true psychological sense and her room is exploding with stuff so I am having to be very mindful of buying things for her and also needing to get rid of a lot of stuff. You post was a good reminder! Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I was raised by a single mom so we never had tons of stuff, but I have been thinking about this a lot lately since my hubby and I make a good living and could potentially afford to buy more. I want to be conscientious of helping her become a good citizen of the world, and one of the ways we hope to do that is by instilling a solid work ethic. And not buying a lot of stuff! So far my hubby and I have been pretty good about this, but the grandparents are an entirely different story…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

      You just have to let the grandparents be grandparents. We’re just going to try to do the best we can not to shower her with gifts. I think we’re doing a good job so far as I don’t feel the need to buy her a new toy every time we go to the store.

      Like

  6. This reminds me of some of the information in “The Millionaire Next Door” and how it talks about the majority of millionaires have worked hard for their money. Many of them came from nothing as opposed to the popular belief that most millionaires inherit their wealth. It also talks a bit about techniques in raising responsible children, like not allowing them to access a trust fund until they have graduated college or reached a certain age or met some other criteria.

    I applaud your efforts in teaching your child to be fiscally responsible!

    -DP

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      I love The Millionaire Next Door. It gives a great insight into how normal, everyday people can gain wealth. While making a good income is important, being mindful of your spending is what helps people like become wealthy.

      Like

  7. It can be a fine line between providing and spoiling, yes? I sure wasn’t spoiled–closer to deprived, actually. 🙂 I was basically poor until about age 27. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Today, I’m very content to live with little, and that’s saved me a bundle and led to more time I can spend any way I choose (instead of working for The Man!).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great Kurt! Congrats!

      My wife and I are doing well at living a very minimalistic lifestyle, but it definitely can get hard when you see all your friends and family driving nice cars and having the latest and greatest gadgets. I always think about our goals and how I’d rather spend money saving for a vacation or my daughter’s college than getting the new iPad.

      Like

    1. Thanks Steven!

      I definitely feel like the odd man when I see others getting fancy things. In my year as a parent, I’ve found that I don’t need to shower her with gifts as she’s content to play with the same five things. I know that’s going to change in the future, but I’m hoping that by not giving her every single thing, she’ll understand the value of money while she’s young.

      Like

  8. Great article. Definitely agreed that I don’t want our son to be spoiled. Having less than I had growing up is one way to do that. Another way is proper education and avoid buying unnecessary things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      That’s my goal – to give my daughter just enough so she feels blessed. I know that’ll be difficult as she gets older and is going to want to buy the latest iPhone or something. When that day comes, I hope that she’ll work for it.

      Like

  9. Great post! I was definitely taken care of as a child but my sister is 11 years younger and was raised completely differently than me. At 17 she is spoiled rotten, has never earned a dollar, and generally has no understanding of money. I’m grateful that my dad encouraged me to work and manage money in high school, because as my sister enters her senior year, I worry about what college and “real life” will bring for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your sister sounds a lot like me when I was that age!

      Hopefully your sister follows your blog and can get a little insight into the value of money. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am financially if it wasn’t for my wife who motivated me to get a decent job and my daughter who inspired me to really look at our finances so that I could take care of her better.

      Like

  10. Vic,

    I can completely relate. I couldn’t have worded it so well.

    In this time it seems keeping things for our kids in moderation is a real struggle. Everyone else seems to be going, no running in the other direction.

    I am trying the same thing with my 2 kids to keep then grounded…
    I think sometimes I lay it on too heavy… It’s a balancing act for sure.

    Congrats on the first year with Addie

    Like

  11. Vic,

    I can completely relate. I couldn’t have worded it so well.

    In this time it seems keeping things for our kids in moderation is a real struggle. Everyone else seems to be going, no running in the other direction.

    I am trying the same thing with my 2 kids to keep then grounded…
    I think sometimes I lay it on too heavy… It’s a balancing act for sure.

    Congrats on the first year with Addie

    Like

  12. I think that’s a really noble thought and one that I hope to instill in my future children one day too. The most important thing is probably just to show your children how much you value money. I developed a money philosophy from observing how my parents and relatives treated money rather than how many items I actually received as gifts.

    Nicely written article, cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Selina!

      My parents were pretty free spenders, so it was difficult to to wrap my head around the concept of money when I got whatever I wanted. I’ll definitely be more conscious of my spending behavior around my daughter and explain to her what is going on when we pay the bills so she gets an idea of how much things cost.

      Like

  13. It’s amazing how much our childhood can affect our money habits and how we end up passing those on to our kids. I actually just wrote a post about how growing up poor can sabotage a persons efforts to find financial freedom. I think it’s something to be really aware of. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have always thought about when/if I have kids that I would want to give them a better life than I had growing up. However, that would be extremely hard. I was spoiled-to the extreme. I grew up feeling the same things as you, but right after undergrad graduation, I was cut off. At 22, I had to take over my own car insurance, cell phone bill, buy my own clothes etc. It was a huge lifestyle change. I was used to buying whatever I wanted, and all of the sudden I was broke! It was an adjustment. However, growing up on a farm, I was used to hard work, so I started working multiple jobs to finance my desired lifestyle. I did this for several years before it clicked that I no longer wanted designer clothes and I was done playing ‘keeping up with the Jones’s.” Now I am one of the most frugal people I know.

    Great post. It made me realize that maybe I should strive to have my potential future kids want things. It would help keep them humble and grounded.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yessss! I agree! My daughter was the only child in her class without technology on “technology day” at school. I just didn’t think 8 year olds should have their own personal electronics, let alone take them to school without mom and dad (Ipads, cell phones, etc.) It is difficult to stray from what society says is normal sometimes. I sent her with a board game, and the kids were amazed with it. I don’t regret that decision one bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got me there! I am that parent giving the kid an iPad.

      It’s actually the iPad for the family, and we try not to be those parents that default to handing it to our kids to keep them entertained.

      My daughter is just happy to play with play doh and markers. She doesn’t need much :).

      Liked by 1 person

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