If you’ve been paying attention to media of any kind over the past week – social, written, TV, podcasts – you probably heard about the College Admissions scandal that implicates actors, business people, and school professionals alike. But the reality is, I don’t think many people are as rocked by this scandal as the news would have us think. Why? Because we know that coming from wealth gives our children a leg up. And guess what? There’s nothing inherently wrong with that! Parents want the best for their children, and are often willing to do whatever it takes. And THAT is the real scandal. When we move from simply wanting the best, to taking over, we are moving into an area where we’re failing to launch our kids into the real world armed with the ability to take care of their own needs.
Failure to launch our children in the world is very real, and frankly more difficult for wealthy families. The instinct is to fix every problem for our kids, whether that’s with money, protection, or both. But in order to raise well rounded children, sometimes, we need to let go. We need to let our children learn their own lessons. First, by modeling the appropriate behavior in ourselves, such as the value of work, financial literacy, and generosity. And second, by letting our kids fail appropriately, and teaching them how to get themselves out of difficult situations without relying on money or power.
There is nothing wrong with paying for a good high school, tutors, sports or music lessons, and the like. This allows us to see our children’s natural skills, learn new ones, and hopefully teach values at the same time. But cheating, paying people off, or refusing to see the natural ability of your children is where things get murky. Instead, focus on what you can control within reason, and allow your kids to fail when appropriate. It will pay off in the long term.
For more about how to raise grounded kids at any age, feel free to reach out. Whether it’s a one day or ongoing program, or a workshop with your clients, Bryn Mars Consulting is here to help!