DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #72

Dear Granddaddy, my parents want me to pay them back all the money it costs them to raise me. Zack- cheated teen.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Wow! Really? I hope they’re joking, but, I assume that they’re not; and neither are you, huh, Zack? Don’t worry. Everything is going to be all right. And don’t fret too much about your parents’ request.

You see, there are a few fundamental flaws with your parents’ request for back payments. First of all, you didn’t ask to be born. They are the ones who brought you into this world. Therefore, they are the ones responsible for the costs that go with having a child. Remember that when you think about having a child someday.

Their request violates the social contract. The social contract involves many things. For example, some senior citizens complain about their taxes being used to pay for public schools when they no longer have children utilizing the school system. The social contract, however, dictates that since a previous generation of senior citizens paid for their children’s education, the responsibility of paying for the education of the next generation of children is passed on to them.

Well, Zack, the same kind of social contract is in place with your parents. Their parents didn’t’ make your parents pay them back for every expense it costs them, so, neither should your parents ask you to pay them back all that you have financially cost them. And, Zack, someday down the road, your kids are going to be very expensive, too. And just as you won’t pay your parents back that money, your kids won’t pay you back, either. That’s just the way it is.

But do you want to know what you can do? Pay your parents back by becoming successful. Do good. Then do more good by doing well. Then do so well that when it’s your turn, you’re in a great position to provide for your kids. Do this and you’ll be able to give your kids a good chance of carving out their own successful lives as a way to carry on your legacy.

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: