Parents Who Pay for Everything Shortchange Their Kids

We've gone from being Helicopter Parents to Bulldozer Parents, who annihilate all obstacles in our kids' paths. And what do kids learn when we take care of everything in their financial lives? Certainly not independence.

Young woman scratches her head
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The common measure of success for any parent is that their kids have things easier than they did. For the Greatest Generation, that might have meant owning a home in the suburbs, for the Boomers it meant that each of their kids would go to college, and for Generation X, perhaps it means that their kids will be able travel abroad or pursue a creative career. But as the trend has evolved, the pendulum may have swung a bit too far on the easement side of the responsibility-opportunity equation. And as parents work ever more assiduously to smooth out the road for their children, they may be removing important learning opportunities along with the speed bumps.

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Matthew Helfrich, CFP
Partner and President, Waldron Private Wealth

Matt Helfrich is President of Waldron Private Wealth, a boutique wealth management firm located just outside Pittsburgh, Pa. He leads Waldron's strategic vision, brand and value proposition and overall culture of the firm. Since 2002, Helfrich has served in a number of roles including: Chief Investment Strategist and Chief Investment Officer, where he was instrumental in creating and refining Waldron's investment discipline.