The Truth Is Financial Hardship Raises Good Kids
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The Truth Is Financial Hardship Raises Good Kids

No one wants to worry about money… but it teaches some of life’s greatest lessons.

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The Truth Is Financial Hardship Raises Good Kids
Jared Sluyter on Unsplash

Growing up, my family has had financial difficulty off and on for some years. After the 2008 recession, it’s mostly been “on.” Worrying about money is something that is very emotionally taxing on a household. Growing up in it has impacted me in many ways.

Surprisingly enough, most of them are positive.

No one wants to see their child in pain or feel the anxiety of having bills to pay but lacking the funds to do so. However, there is a world of a difference in the results of raising a kid in excess and raising one in moderation.

So what are some of the outcomes present in people who grew up in financial hardship?

From a young age, people learn not to be wasteful.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to comfortably leave food on my plate at a restaurant or throw any away at home. Unless I really don’t like something and there is no one present that will eat it, I do not discard food. You can ask my friends but it’s a running joke that I always get a box. I never ever went hungry growing up but I had it ingrained in me to use everything as much as you could. Food can get expensive, saving food means saving money.

This is a great character trait to produce in someone. If everyone behaved this way, imagine how much food waste would be eliminated. It also applies to things like water and electricity use too. Kids that learn how to properly utilize resources use less, and if everyone did it our ecological footprint would be smaller.

Kids become responsible much sooner.

There is a negative side to this one obviously. The stress produced by being in a situation that you have no power to change can make someone’s childhood years not as fun as they could be. Your child turns into a kind of tiny adult. They age faster. However, as kids turn into adolescents, instead of being all over the place they are typically more responsible. When they become teens they usually pick up jobs to help support themselves and the family, and this helps prevent some of the erratic and irresponsible behavior you see in 16-18 year old’s. Think of less underage drinking, drug abuse, and reckless driving, and think of more conscientiousness and better work ethic in the character of young people.

I became unbelievably responsible very young due in part to financial circumstances and other life events, and it has set me up for a lot of success. I am very conscientious, and I work very hard. I value timeliness and a job well done. I learned these things, for the most part, before my peers.

As a young adult, people learn to value money and helping others.

When you grow up without a lot of money, you learn how important it is to save it. You hear about “rags to riches” stories. If you grow up in financial need and your parents teach you how to avoid their own mistakes, I think you are almost destined to make a good amount of money in the future. I do not want to say rich, but I think you would find yourself better off than when you were growing up.

My dad has disciplined me to become such a saver. Since getting a job two years ago and saving a lot I know have a lump sum of money in savings. I’m grateful he taught me to do it.

Growing up in financial hardship also teaches you how to pay it forward. After receiving help along the way for certain school expenses and retreats, I’ve learned how important it is to help people. Money can be a great tool, and you learn that. You also learn how to get by on less, so when you have more you want to do good with it. Kinda like the saying, “When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence.” When you see people in the situation you were once in, you feel compelled to help. So in a way, financial need tends to produce empathetic and charitable citizens.

No one wants to grow up with worry and restrictions, and no one wants to raise a family in that either. But if you find yourself in either side of the situation, know that if you handle it the right way it can teach you or your kids many lessons. It’s also worth mentioning that if you do have much more money than you need and have a family, showing your kids the significance of donating time/money and not being wasteful in the little things you do, can make a big difference.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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