Should kids pay back parents for the costs of raising them?

Sociologist Viviana Zelizer

“Congrats! You owe me one million dollars.”

These were the words, from a mother to her son, the day he was chosen in the first round of the NFL draft, all but guaranteeing him millions from his signing bonus and multi-year contract.

Even though he’d already borrowed a million dollars from banks in advance (they’re quick to hand out money up front to future NFLers), was paying his mom thousands each month, bought her a car AND A HOUSE, it still wasn’t enough.

This is a true story. Obviously it is an extreme example not many of us can relate to, but it does bring attention to a larger question…

Think about it, economically concerned, a child is worthless. They need fed, housed, educated, clothed, etc, etc. and all of that costs money.  Once the child grows up, hopefully they become self-sufficient. Let’s say the parents of a child made many personal sacrifices in order for their child to be successful, does that child owe anything ($$$) back to the parent?

Maybe I’ll start tallying a bill for my kids now. I’ll save every receipt for dining out, mortgage payments, all those extra Target trips. I could probably charge them for services I provide, like laundry and a car service too.

This is starting to look like a great deal for me! I’m definitely in favor of kids paying their parents when they grow up!

Oh, wait a minute.

I guess if I want my kids to pay me, then I should also agree to pay back my parents now that I’m all grown up. Hmm. I may have to reconsider my position on this issue…


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