Or however you choose to look at it.
I was born in a great country to parents who wanted me and loved me. I’ve always had enough. I’ve never known hunger; I’ve never feared for my safety. I didn’t deal with any of the heartbreaking issues children must contend with daily all over the world.
However, I did know a bit of struggle. I did not get everything I asked for. I had to wait for a birthday or holiday for a big ticket item and then it was a huge deal. We didn’t take a vacation every year. Going out to dinner was a treat. When I was 14, although I got the new pair of sneakers everyone was wearing at the beginning of the school year, by December, I wanted another pair so I got a job and I bought them myself. I can still remember how badly I wanted them and the pride I felt when I went to the mall and bought them with the money that I had earned. Without a doubt, I feel these experiences shaped me into the hard working, responsible, grateful person I am today.
Fast forward to the life my kids are living. Dinner at restaurants many adults dream of going to. Multiple vacations a year. Sporting events, concerts- all with amazing seats. They will not have to take out loans in order to go to college. I am blessed to give them this life and they are certainly blessed to be living it.
But can having too much actually hurt your kids? That is the big question that this book sets out to answer and the short answer is a resounding YES.
“In spite of their economic and social advantages, affluent and well educated families experience the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, somatic complaints and unhappiness of any group of children in the country”
Wow. Intuitively I knew that too much of anything is never good but that statement took my breath away.
Some other interesting thoughts/findings the author discusses—
“Many affluent women have active social lives but few real friends; they have marriages with too little intimacy”
“Affluent moms tend to pour all of their unrealized ambition into their kids”
“Affluent parents as a group underestimate the impact of our absences and overestimate the degree of closeness our children feel toward us”
It’s a lot to take in.
It’s a lot to contemplate.
But they’re all ideas that are worthwhile to at least examine.
While reading, I found myself wishing there were more strategies to combat the negative side of affluence. I also found the book to be a a bit repetitive at times but overall, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Let me know if you do and what you think!