Giving Your Baby a Credit Card Is a Sign You're Parenting Too Hard

credit cardIf you have ever wondered if you should add your newborn as an authorized user on your personal credit card, you are an idiot. But apparently you are not alone. A new dad -- who we're going to hope was completely sleep deprived and thus hallucinating when he sat down at his keyboard -- actually emailed finance expert Erica Sandberg recently to ask her just when his little dumpling might be able to get her name on his piece of plastic so he could begin building her credit rating.

Sandberg, being of sound mind and body, told him to get a life. OK, she said it with more couth than that (that's why she has her job, and I have mine), but the answer was clear!

Advertisement

Babies are not just mini-adults! It's one thing to plan for their future. It's another thing to try to force immediate control of a future that's as much as 20 years out.

I've often mused that having a baby is one of the scariest adventures on the planet. Sure it's the bees knees, but it's more or less impossible to plan anything when you consider a child is a person too. They will have their own ideas, make their own decisions, and add their own actions (good or otherwise) into the mix.

Of course you can't just wing everything as a parent (I think those people tend to get arrested ... just sayin'). So we put money away for college in hopes that they will want to go. We feed them healthy foods in the hopes that they'll develop good eating habits. We read them bedtime stories to help them become "readers." And on and on.

But most of us stop at OK, this is my hope for you. It's the parents who waltz right over the line and into "look, this is what I set up for you for 20 years down the line" that scare the pants off me.

They're the parents who don't actually consider putting an infant as a user on a credit card means that they could ostensibly use that thing in a few years to disastrous effect. They're the parents who start lobbying alumni from their favorite university for letters of recommendation now, based on their kid's APGAR score. They're the parents who insist on buying 0 to 3 month jeans that cost $200 because they don't want their kid to be the one made fun of for wearing crappy clothes.

Come ON people! Get a grip! Your kid is going to take your best laid plans and color on them with magic markers then flush them down the toilet. And you know what? You're going to gush and say, "Aww, isn't that adorable?"

It's better you realize now: you can't make their lives perfect. But you can screw them up royally ... especially if you give an infant a credit card.

Have you ever felt like you over-plan for your kid's future?

 

Image via taxbrackets.org

Read More >