Is It Really “Win Win”? Teaching Your Children The Ethics Of Financial Compensation

Is It Really "Win Win"? Teaching Your Children The Ethics Of Financial Compensation - compensation sign image

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In a world full of ambulance chasing and people demanding something for nothing,  the topic of financial ethics is something that you will have to discuss with your children at some point. We see commercials about it on a daily basis and even during your children’s favorite shows. Whether it is claiming compensation for a car accident, mis-sold PPI, or an accident in work it’s these things that are communicating to our children that we are able to get something for almost nothing. So it’s important to differentiate between ambulance chasing and gaining compensation that is owed to someone as a result of an accident. But when you see stories about someone suing another person for what can be perceived as a minimal issue, where do you draw the line?

In our material-laden lives, it is very difficult to communicate to our children the importance of saving money, especially when it is that much harder to do now. It’s a lot more difficult to show your children what money can buy when you don’t have much of it. A small round of shopping can cost upwards of £50, which, for many people is the equivalent of a day’s wage. And as inflation inevitably rears its ugly head, and items become more expensive, the temptation to get some sort of compensation where you can is always there. At least 50% of the population of the UK do the lottery once a month, so that shows 50% of people are looking for a financial windfall to solve their problems. So if you have a means to claim compensation, it’s quite difficult to argue with when so many of us are so financially stark that we try and find ways to make as much money as we can, while we can.

So, communicating to your children about the topic of compensation is where we can get into a moral gray area. The best thing to do is to define clear boundaries about when people should claim compensation. This is all dependent on your own personal views of course, but the definition of compensation would be financial help in the event of an incident causing physical or psychological harm to someone which has a detrimental impact on their life. So if you had a car accident that was caused by someone else and you were unable to work, then surely it’s within your rights to claim compensation for this? You would claim compensation for the amount of money that you feel you were owed because it had an impact on your life. The issue would be if you contacted the insurance company and they tried to minimize your claim in one way or another, and getting an attorney to stop the insurance company trying to minimize your claim is a route that you may need to go down if you have this issue because you may be in a delicate financial situation, such as needing to pay medical bills.

The important thing to teach your children about financial compensation is if they feel they deserve this. It can be a very sticky area depending on their own moral compass. If you’re teaching your child the importance of financial responsibility yet you are seen trying to take someone to the cleaners for every penny they have, it’s setting a confusing example about the value of money. Ultimately the best way to strike a balance between the topic of financial compensation and the value of money and is to put it within a work context.

If you can communicate to your children about the value of hard work and compensation is viewed as something that can help you when you are unable to work this might be the best approach if you are facing an impending decision on claiming for something in your family. You don’t want your child to feel that they are owed things without working for them, and until they are old enough to decide properly whether they are deserving of something without working for it, you are much better to instill this value of working for money when they are young.

Compensation is such a sticky area to get into because everybody has their own opinions on if they are owed something or not. But if you can start off on the right foot and communicate the fact that money is something that is earned and using compensation as a replacement in lieu of not being able to work this should help to reduce the ambulance chasing tendencies that we see a lot in the Western world.

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