We hope everyone enjoyed the weekend! We just got back from DC, where Sally got one final weekend of good ol’ fashioned spoiling in before she’ll have to give up her only-child status next month. With that trip done, we’re officially in countdown mode with less than five weeks until baby #2 is due.
Speaking of kids, we wanted to share an interesting article we read recently. It’s got one of those click-baity headlines that most personal finance geeks can’t help but click: How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves. We’d actually read about this family previously, but this article outlines how this couple helped all of their 12 children become totally self-reliant. Johnny and I have discussed on more than one occasion how we plan to help our kids through college, so we enjoyed reading this man’s perspective.
All of his children attended college without any assistance. What made the difference? Here are a few of his claims, in list form:
- Chores and allowance starting at age 3
- Washing their own clothes by age 8
- Study time every day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Taking every AP class offered in high school
- Getting along with their teachers (no parental intervention)
- Making them eat their vegetables before being allowed to eat anything else at dinner
- Requiring sports, clubs, and community service
- Buying them a broken down car at age 16 that had to be fixed up to be drivable
- Buying them parts to build their own computer at age 12
- Giving them information on how to grow wealth, but not helping with homes, education, or weddings
He lists several others, which can be found in the article, but those are the ones that stood out to us. Johnny and I are all about teaching our kids responsibility and self reliance, and we agree with some of what this father recommends. We hope to give our kids chores, block off some regularly scheduled study/reading time, and be actively involved in school and the community. But then there were a few things that had us scrunching our faces in the “that’s kinda weird” way. As of right now, we have no plans to require our children to build their own cars or computers, for instance.
The thought of not helping our children at all financially once they leave home doesn’t appeal to us, either. We plan to set rules for receiving help from us, such as working and maintaining a certain GPA while in college. But we definitely intend to help some. And not helping with weddings? Ain’t nobody got a heart that cold for that. Or we’re just soft.
I’m sure his kids were very responsible and self-reliant, but I’d be very interested to know how many of them are implementing or plan to enforce such strict rules on their own children. Some of his guidelines seem unnecessarily extreme to us, but you can’t deny the results.
Chances are good most of us won’t be jumping on the 12-kids bandwagon anytime soon. But that doesn’t change the fact that this is a worthy topic to discuss with a spouse, fiancee, first date (always a winning topic), the woman/man in the mirror. What do you think of this family’s guidelines? Where do you agree or disagree? Will your children be going to bed without dinner if they don’t eat their vegetables?