Listen to Andy's Answer
Yes, parents can give children too much, especially teenagers.
And I see it happen all the time. I watch it and I’m baffled sometimes as to how parents are unable to look forward into their child’s life and understand how do you not understand what’s going to happen here. This idea of giving a kid a brand new car for their 16th birthday, where did that start? And listen, I know that you want to see that great smile on that child’s face. I know that you want the 16th birthday, and know, it was very special, but a brand new car? I mean, listen to Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey doesn’t want adults to get brand new cars. Dave Ramsey says adults should not have brand new cars. I’ll just tell you this, for a 16 year old, to create an expectation that they cannot meet at least in their early adult life. It’s kind of cruel. I’ve seen kids get Corvettes and Porsches and BMWs for their 16th birthday and unless mama and daddy plan to keep buying BMWs every couple of years for this kid for the rest of his life, there’s gonna come a time when he’s not going to have a car as nice as a BMW.
You don’t want to be 21, 22, 23 years old and feel like you’re going backwards. You feel like you’re a failure. I didn’t have a car when I was 16 or 17 or 18 or 19. I didn’t have a car until I was 20 years old. Then I lost it and didn’t have another car until I was 23. It’s not the worst thing in the world to not to have a car. You have got to remember, you’re not trying to raise great kids, you’re raising kids who will become great adults.
I remember driving down the road one time, I was listening to the radio and heard an old song on the radio and I remember thinking, wow, that must be unbelievable to have written a song or to have recorded a song. You’re the singer, you recorded a song, it was a hit and wow, here it is 10, 15 years later and there you are on the radio. It must be awesome. After spending a lot of time in Nashville and knowing a lot of recording artists in Nashville, I know some of them that had some hits early on. I know one guy who had five number ones in a row in his twenties. He’s in his fifties now. What do you think he feels like when he hears one of the songs come on the radio? Oh my God, I was 25 and that’s the best my life ever was. I mean, it must be awful. I feel like everything’s down hill from there.
It’s enough that your child is living in your house and without having to pay rent. I mean, how great is that? It’s going to be a let down from there anyway. They’re going to have to get an apartment or a smaller house or something. They’re not going to leave your home with the income that has provided their lifestyle for the first 18 or 22 years of their life. And so, you can see a child be very grateful for a BMW when they’re 16, but when their 22 or 24, 26, whenever they have to buy their own car, it’s probably not going to be a BMW. And they’re either going to be disappointed in the car or they’re going to be disappointed in themselves and feel like they are failing. This is not what you want.
An uphill climb, it is fine. It’s fine to climb because when you stop and look around, you’re a little farther up hill.