As parents, we want nothing but the best for our children. We bend over backward to ensure they live lives easier than our own. Sometimes this requires late nights, broken promises, even missed birthdays. We are saving them from our present circumstances; at least, that’s what we tell ourselves.
Most people learn that wealth equates to monetary value, such as how many cars, homes, or dollars we have collected. If we struggled and grew up in a one-bedroom unit with our single-mother, we become motivated to have two bedrooms, or even further, three bedrooms. We aim to be detached from our origins as we continually strive for generational wealth.
It’s human nature to want to leave something behind for the next generation; to give them a head-start. All cultures do it. Some give land and cattle, others priceless heirlooms. Society often influences the search for these possessions. It quickly becomes associated with our self-worth until we become defined by them. Then, not only do we define ourselves by what we have and don’t have, but also by the possessions of others. Sadly, these things can all be taken away from us despite our fight to attain them.
We live in a world where society teaches us that we have to become rich to be successful. Unfortunately, it leaves out the fact that, in the process, we often become emotionally weak. Wealth is not only in the dollars and cents; it’s also in the relationships we create. We should be teaching our children emotional security, which is even more valuable than leaving behind financial security.
It may entail refining our focus on nurturing our children so they can know how to regulate their emotions. Making a point to not only show them strengths but also our vulnerability and the process we endured to overcome our weaknesses. Being able to create a safe space where they can disclose their anxiety and fears about the world so that they know they are not alone. All this may seem challenging while working two jobs and trying to make ends meet. Yet the time spent with them is essential, even if it’s to hold them without saying a word. They will learn to treasure the people they love by how we prioritize them. Most important of all, teach them to love themselves for who they are and not what they have.
Right now, you may be emotionally bankrupt and stuck in the rat race. Still, it’s time to start also investing in your emotional wellbeing. Of course, money is great. It has its place. But there will be rainy days, and on those days when the money is all gone, it will be their character that determines their resilience to start again. Invest today, you and your future generations will reap the rewards.