DadPad Quotes & Notes: School of Hard Knocks


Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.  ~Ruth E. Renkel

When I attended the University of Minnesota (back when the football team wore leather helmets — not really), I never wondered who or how it was going to be financed–I knew my mom and step-dad weren’t going to pay for my schooling.  I took out loans, worked through the summer and during school.  Of course, the cost of school back in the horse and buggy era was so much less than it is today.  Yet, it was a lot for me when I looked at not receiving any help.  I was able to stay at home and eat their food which certainly saved me a lot of money.  But, bottom line, school and expenses were my responsibility.

Fast forward to today’s outrageous college experience.  We are finishing up going through the college search for our third and final time.  I think sometimes our kids have felt a little “sorry for themselves” when they sense that they have to cover more of the costs of schooling than many of their friends.  Whether it’s through working hard to earn scholarships or having to take out a few loans (we’ve STRONGLY stated to them the dangers of going into deep debt for their education), they know that they will need to be mainly responsible for providing financing for their college experience.  And, quite honestly, my wife and I wish we could provide more financial help to our kids.  Yet, the reality of our situation just doesn’t allow for that.  Yet, in my more sane moments, I truly believe that the long term reward of them learning the cost and related benefit of their effort will more than offset our inability to help them as they’d like.  As with most of good life lessons, anything worth having is worth working for.

What lessons have your kids had to learn about going without or having to get something the “hard way” that you know will benefit them more than they understood at the time?


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