What if our children never had to work!

Published: October 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Last Updated on December 18, 2021

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).


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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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Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation for promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We have all made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it and teach him several key ideas of decision making and money management is the narrative. What readers say!
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