Practical Financial Lessons From A Doctor Visit

Practical Financial Lessons

This “ Practical Financial Lessons From A Doctor’s Visit “ post explains what the author’s daughter’s doctor provided the author and his wife medically and financially speaking. The lessons this doctor provided simply extends to the financial well-being of the author’s family.

If there’s one person that my wife and I trust about Adriana’s, our daughter, health it is Dr. Sheth. He is Adriana’s pediatrician. We may not know him personally but we know that he came from India and from a poor family, which were based on what he told us.

I always like going to Dr. Sheth’s office not only because he knows what’s really going on with my baby and able to treat her fast but because he knows how to effectively reinforce (through recommendations) the parenting actions that we need to do for Adriana. Little does he know that his recommendations impact not only our way of parenting Adriana but also help us save money in the process.

Mind you that every time he explains something that we need to do for Adriana, he smiles. I can’t remember the time that my wife and I didn’t agree with what he said because there has been a time. I guess that’s one reason that we are comfortable with him and follow meticulously what he recommends.

Practical Financial Lessons

Here are some of the recommendations that he has told us that greatly improve our parenting skills and financial well-being.

Television

I admit that when Adriana was very young, probably around 6 months, we allowed her to watch television assuming that she would build knowledge on various things. She would watch Little Einstein, Dora The Explorer, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, among others. We loved the shows because they were informative.

As first-time parents, we asked a bunch of questions about Adriana and one of those was about television. We asked Dr. Sheth if TV shows were good to help improve Adriana’s skills and knowledge. His response was in the form of question. He asked us if we watched TV shows just like the ones mentioned above when we were young. He also asked us if we grew up to be smart. We said no on the first one and yes on the second one. He, then, answered that Adriana didn’t need TV shows and books can be used as substitutes.

He also told us that Albert Einstein grew up not watching a television but he grew up genius. Ok, Einstein is a special case but the lesson here is that television was and is not necessary to develop the child’s skills. We believed him on that.

He indicated that there are a lot of studies that show kids who grow up watching TV tend to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We believe in him because he has not done anything wrong with Adriana. For us, he was the perfect pediatrician. As curious parents, we research the studies he was referring over the internet and found his statement to be true. According to the journal Pediatrics, researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle did find that the more TV a child watches between 1 and 3 years old, the greater the likelihood the child will develop attention problems by age 7.

Even without this study, my wife and I realized that we grew up not watching television. We did start watching television when we were in elementary but it was only during the weekends and the TV time was just for a few hours. But we grew up just fine and smart, I guess. Because of these realizations, we stop letting Adriana watch TV shows and use books to teach her about animals, letters, numbers, colors, among others. We had her tested for developmental skills and she placed above average of her peers.

Practical Financial Lessons: So what are the practical financial lessons here? I have to tell you that there are too many and I only can give you a few. First lesson was to never buy a TV for her. TV costs money and it is good that we learned and/or realized the negative effects of letting her watch TV. Second, we lessened the chances of her getting ADHD. If she doesn’t get ADHD in the future, then, it means that we don’t have to pay for prescription, doctor visits, among others related to this issue. We also lessened her chances of developing problems linked to TV. Third, we completely trashed the idea of buying her DVDs on programs like Little Einstein, which would really cost a lot of money. Instead, we borrow books from the library for free.

Toys

Whether we like or not, Adriana gets bombarded by toys. Whether she goes to a playground or visits a friend’s house, she would see a lot of toys that are seemingly perfect toys to improve her learning and skills. I admit that when I was growing up, I didn’t have any toys that kids, today, have. I didn’t have the remote-controlled gadgets, game consoles like Play Station, Nintendo, among others. But I grew up just as fine as and as smart as the person who had all or some of these toys.

As parents, you want to give your kids all the things they need. For many parents, they also want to give their kids whatever they want. In a whole world that has become a world of consumerism, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate the needs from the wants. As parents, you don’t want your kids to be behind.

As first-time parents, we seek help from Dr. Sheth. We asked him if Adriana needed toys to help her build her skills. He responded yes and no. He said yes she needed mechanical toys like Lego, building blocks, and other similar toys. He said no she didn’t need electronic toys like IPads, battery-operated books, among others and that talking and playing with her are far better options to help her develop her skills.

As always, he used himself, me, and my wife to make his point easily understood. He asked us what toys we had when we were growing up. We said our toys were paper boats, paper planes, and similar toys. We also said that we grew up playing physical games outside our house with kids and not stay home and play game consoles, use internet, and watching TV. He said his experience was the same as ours.

Basically, we answered our question and Dr. Sheth just validated what we had in our minds.

Since Adriana was born, we have not bought her electronic toys. Most of the toys that my friends and family gave are still with us but most of the toys she has played with are ordinary, mechanical toys. I also made some paper planes for her a couple of times.

We have her tested for developmental skills and all her skills were above average. I guess, it is right to say that Adriana didn’t really need those kinds of toys to develop her skills.

Practical Financial Lessons: So what are the practical financial lessons here? How do I begin listing all the lessons resulting from what Dr. Sheth told us about giving simple, mechanical toys to Adriana? First, we didn’t and haven’t bought her any toys. All of the toys she has now are old toys from my sister and friends. Those that are battery-operated, electronic ones are still here but they’re not operating. Not buying these toys has saved us a lot of money in the process.

Second, she has learned to socialize and communicate with other kids instead of gluing her eyes on television and other gadgets. How is this financially rewarding? A lot of kids have become introvert or too shy that many of them need therapy. Adriana is as energetic and sociable as we like her to be. We never contemplated on getting her therapy because she has been above average on all her developmental skills. Not having this therapy has saved us a ton of money.

Conclusion:

My wife and I just thank Dr. Sheth for providing us these practical financial lessons. We want our daughter to grow up with the attitudes, values, and morals that we have. We want to raise her the way our parents raised us. I believe that we are doing just that. The society that Adriana lives now is way different that the society my wife and I lived. There has been a ton of developments in technology, medicine, among others but I believe that we can still impart the teachings that we learned from when we were growing up. Those teachings are what my wife and I called timeless.

 

Allan Liwanag

Allan Liwanag is a personal finance blogger who paid off at least $40K debt in 3 years by adopting simple and extreme saving techniques while ensuring his family's needs were taken care of. An analyst by day and dedicated blogger by night, he loves to share his thoughts - based on his research, personal knowledge, and experience - on topics related to family, life, and money. Allan lives with his family in Maryland, USA.

8 Comments

  1. We try not to let our kids watch too much television, either. It’s harder during cold weather months but easy in the spring, summer, and fall. They would rather be outdoors most of the time anyway.

    • I believe that’s the best way to develop and/or improve their skills. Kids, nowadays, are glued to gadgets that they tend to not socialize with other kids the way yesterday’s generation did.

  2. kids should be outside, playing with friends and being kids again. technology has kind of stolen that aspect of their youth. when I have kids, I am minimizing television time a lot. and definetly no tv in their rooms…ever. I think tv dulls the mind. I want my kids to be readers.

    • That’s what the doctor told us to. When I was young, I learned a lot playing outside and interact with kids. I plan to do it for my daughter.

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