A person ,whom we know closely, refused to send his daughter to a Christmas party. The reason he gave us was, that, his daughter felt the people who hosted the party were rich and were getting differential treatment (Her uncle-father's brother- and family had stayed with the "rich folks" instead of coming to their house, directly, few weeks back.).

How do parents tell their children the difference in their economic status compared to their relatives and friends?

I feel this was a golden opportunity, that, this father missed. They were not poor. They were well of themselves. I think all of us will be relatively poor compared to some other person. Unless, of course, you are the world's richest man. Even if you are, still, you may be dethroned some day or the other.

Children should be taught that their self-esteem is independent of anything else. Their self-worth is a given, because they are unique and have the potential capacity to contribute in unique ways. Moreover, people who get differential treatment need not necessarily be bad themselves. These "rich folks" in question are very nice folks. It is also important to teach children not to differentiate people based on status, wealth, etc.

This incident reveals another very important point. Every parent needs to process the events, positive and negative, openly, with their children. They should not leave it to the child to process it on her/his own. This is one of the best ways to inculcate sound values.

However, to do this there needs to be a lot of internal work and thinking through by parents themselves, in addition to developing a shared set of sound core values.

What do you think?

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