Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Parents' Definition of Success

My parents had a simple definition of success when it came to raising children.  Simply, success was getting children to: 

  • Adulthood
  • Be Independent
  • Be Better Off than Parents
  • Based on their definition, my parents were extremely successful at raising children.  For my sibling and me, my parents achieved all three.

  • Adulthood. In my case, I almost didn't reach adulthood.  My appendicitis was misdiagnosed and it rupture, putting me in the hospital for several weeks when I was 17.   Fortunately, I recovered in time and reached my 18th birthday, which was considered adulthood at the time.

  • Independence. Soon afterwards, I left for college, graduated with an engineering degree, and worked for my first (and only) company.  Since my first full time job, I never asked my parents for any financial support, either in gifts or loans.  The closest I came was asking my parents to be a 50% owner for my first home by paying half of the down payment. However, I paid the full mortgage, taxes and maintenance after that with half the payment being considered rent to my parents.

  • Better off. I always kept my parents update on my career and salary progress at work.  About ten years after I started working, my dad proudly said to me that he told his colleagues that I was making more than him.  I was surprised because my dad had never told me how much he earned and he had been working 25 years.
  • I am thankful that my parents had these goals for raising me.  We will strive to do the same for our daughter.

    For more on  Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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