What if our children never had to work!

Published: October 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm

The other day, my 6.5 year old asked my wife, “mama when will I get married?”. Surprised, she quickly collected herself and said, “first, you need to finish school, get a college degree (or two or ahem .. three!), get a job and then you can get married”. To this, he replied, “Okay, then I will get a child and makes sure s/he does not go to school”!.

Ah! The penny drops. The reason he asked the question in the first place is because he hates school. Just hates it. All he wants to do is sit and home, play with toys, watch videos on his computer (he has never seen TV) and dream away his life. Since we force him to go to school against his will, he has sworn (as of now) that he will never send his children to school!

dreamer
Photo credit: Jar (flickr)

I will never tell him this, but his ideal way of life sounds like heaven to me! 🙂 I wish I could do that.  I cannot because I have to earn to put food (among other things) on the table.

He has to go to school because I do not enough net worth to ensure he can dream away his life. The day my son asked the above question,  I decided that at least my grandchildren (assuming he has some) should not be in the same position as us (me and him).

Now, that might sound stupid to you, but I am passionate about dreaming – fill your minds with stray thoughts and see what gives.


I am now at the threshold of (notional) financial independence but it took me 10 years of employment and another 14 years of education after school. Soon I may be able to dream away my time, but I do not have the means for my son to do so. If we (my son and I) join forces, we might be able to gift that the next gen.

All I can afford to do (God willing) is to offer a year off to my son after his 12th standard  to “find himself” – inspired by actor Nandita Das’s father, Jain Das (a painter and sculptor).

Forget just for a moment, the idea that kids should be independent, receive a formal education, pay for their education, earn and stand on their own legs etc. I agree with all that.

My point is, if ‘to dream’ is their dream, why not let them do it if we can afford to and if they are worthy of it? Naturally not every child would want to do this or should do this. However, when we see tiny sparks of creativity in a child (in any field), why not encourage it by offering them time and space? Without the shackles of school or a job.

It is not impossible. All it takes is some disciplined investing and risk management. Perhaps our children may not benefit from this, but with some luck, and more disicpline, their children might. See, there is an optimist in me 🙂 .

If you thought I was a bit strange before, with this post I have perhaps proved that I need to get my head checked 🙂

Do listen to this fantastic song. It reminds the importance of the Art of idling!

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About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18), Gamechanger, Chinchu Gets a Superpower! and seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations based on money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association, IIST Alumni Association. For speaking engagements, write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
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