A Robber Barron’s View On Raising Great Children

Andrew Carnegie told his mega-rich friends that they were depriving their children of the things that made Carnegie and his friends great.  While we might disagree on the definition of Great Children, Andrew Carnegie, the son of a poor Scottish immigrant who became probably the wealthiest person in American history, was concerned that his wealthy friends were spoiling their kids with trust funds, servants, polo ponies and every indulgence a 19th century youth could want.  Carnegie felt that it was hunger and poverty that taught him how to work and work hard.  Poverty made him develop initiative and hustle.  Carnegie said, “I would sooner give my son a curse than one dollar.”  He believed in no trust funds or inheritances for sons, and only very small trusts for daughters.  Now we may not be rich industrialists, but we Americans of the 21st century are so relatively rich that even our poor can spoil their kids.  A few years ago when Muslim youth were rioting in Paris, the press said the rioting was by poor Muslim teenagers from poor neighborhoods, who were coordinating riots with cell phones and by blogging on their computers.  The poor have computers and cell phones?!  I didn’t know I had such a deprived childhood.  Today our children don’t have to work to help keep the family fed and housed.  If our teens have jobs, they wouldn’t consider handing their paycheck over to their parents, but this was the normal expectation a hundred years ago and backed up by law for sons to the age of 21.  I have notice my teenage students aren’t particularly interested in even getting a job and why, they have money for everything they need and want.  Our children face no adversity, no lack of teen paraphernalia, they have nothing to work for, certainly not necessities.  Dr. Dobson has noted that the greatest generation wanted to provided an easier childhood for their kids than they had, a reasonable goal after enduring the Great Depression and the Second World War.  But each successive generation has likewise sought to do the same.  The cumulative effect has brought us to where we are today, where very few children have to face the adversity that forged the greatest generations.

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About Stephen Wilkins

I am a Christian, husband, father, educator, reader, amateur chef, etc.
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2 Responses to A Robber Barron’s View On Raising Great Children

  1. Frauke says:

    Greetings I discovered your page by mistake when i was searching Live search for this issue, I must tell you your webpage is quite helpful I also really like the design, its wonderful!

  2. Ana says:

    Thank you for finding the time to describe the terminlogy to the learners!

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