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Parenting in the context of wealth

(10 Posts)
squidgysmama Sat 04-May-13 14:24:03

Distinct first world problem here, I know, and I hope this is not offensive to the very many people who are currently struggling to raise families on insufficient income.

Close friends are about to come in to a significant sum of money. They are already very comfortable, but are about to have the sort of money where, if they chose, they need never work again and would still be very secure (they will both continue to work, albeit reduced hours, in the public sector jobs that they love). Clearly, this is a nice thing, but having done all the 'what house shall we buy?' and 'shall can go on a fancy holiday?' thing, they have started to think about the impacts on their child - a DD, aged 4. They are sensible parents, and are determined that she will not grow up spoilt, or entitled, but are really concerned that she will never feel that she has anything to strive for.

Is it possible to grow up with this sort of money and be grounded, humble, and mindful that other people are not so lucky, and still have some purpose in life? If so, how do you do it? If anyone knows, it is surely the good burghers of Mumsnet. Any thoughts appreciated.

squidgysmama Sat 04-May-13 19:12:40

Anyone...?

TravelinColour Sat 04-May-13 19:19:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Purplecatti Sat 04-May-13 19:37:22

YUP
I was a privileged little one. I had the pony, the lovely bedroom, the music and ballet lessons, the skiing trips, the hot summer holiday trips and the savings for university.
I wasn't spoiled.
I was told I was lucky, not entitled.
I didn't have a heap of designer clothes, I was bought hardly any actually.
I was made aware it was my parents with money, not me. I still had the grotty student house, living on beans on toast and waiting tables, starting out with freecycle furniture afterwards and saving my own wages for a deposit on a house. I did get help with that but only after I'd saved over half and boy was I grateful.
I think it depends on how you approach it. I wasn't piled with toys and clothes at all (I was teased for my shabby untrendy appearance at school) but I was given every experience and hobby I wanted as long as I worked for it.

squidgysmama Sat 04-May-13 20:59:07

Thanks Travelincolour and Purplecatti- this is just what we were hoping for. The Mum in question was a bit blush to post herself, but after a few winewinewine last night, was up for me doing it, and this sort of advice is exactly what she was hoping for (and she is almost certainly lurking...). Purplecatti, did you ever feel resentful towards your parents when you were living on beans in the full knowledge that they could make it so much easier...?

TravelinColour Sat 04-May-13 21:05:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TravelinColour Sat 04-May-13 21:06:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squidgysmama Sat 04-May-13 21:11:01

Oh that's a lovely idea TravelinColour. Sounds like your parents did a great job smile

Purplecatti Sat 04-May-13 22:11:38

Sometimes I was resentful, I was a selfish little s**t and as I was young I didn't see that clothes and shallow stuff wasn't the be all and end all.
Now, I see it meant I got to develop a style and an attitude that isn't completely materialistic. And I was always told that slumming it was character building. And they were right. I was always rewarded for hard work and responsibility. I passed my year with a first, I got a car. It was second hand and I paid for the running but still, wheels!
Travelincolour is right. It isn't the money, it's the attitude. Some things I knew would be paid for, a nicer clarinet for example once I'd reached grade 8 and i was lucky the money was there to buy it. But if I'd asked for a designer bag (and i never did as there was NO point!) I'd have been told to take a running jump.
And nothing, nothing compares to the love I had that pony which only money provided. Pony upkeep is expensive. At 15 and with the world against me my pony would listen whilst I raged away whilst shovelling his poo. He would stand patiently whilst I would cry into his shoulder about the boy who didn't know I existed and who would charge across fields with me when I felt free and invincible and we would run together just for the love of a cold crisp day and being alive.
I wouldn't change it for the world.
In some ways it was money that gave me my childhood as if my parents had been poor I wouldn't have had half the love of things I do as I wouldn't have done them. But in other ways it wasn't about money at all as it gave me so many memories rather than stuff.

squidgysmama Sat 04-May-13 22:24:24

Well, Purplecatti, if you really were a selfish little s**t, then you seem to have grown out of it, as you sound lovely now. I like the idea that parents should aim to give memories, not stuff.

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