There is a certain stereotype involved with children growing up in rich families. They are viewed as spoiled, pretentious, and even brats. Though not all wealthy family raise their children to be this way, you see some that fit into this mold. As a parent, you have earned your wealth and have worked for the success you have. Your children, might not have the same work ethic as you since they know they’ll be receiving an inheritance that could possibly take care of them for the rest of their lives.
Author Michael Hopf wrote, “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” This is another way of expressing the “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” saying.
The difficulty with financially successful people is that they want to enjoy their wealth. And as parents, it’s only natural for them to want to enjoy their hard-earned lifestyle with their close loved ones (including their children and grandchildren). The problem with this is that produces weak and unmotivated children who often don’t know how to solve their own problems (because problems always get solved for them).
So how do you motivate your minor kids to have goals and aspirations, and to become fully-functioning, strong, resilient adults?
Chores for your minor
Step one is to fire the housekeeper (or at least stop having the housekeeper clean your kids’ rooms and clothes for them. From now on, once a week your kids should be washing and putting away their own clothes and cleaning their own rooms. I imposed a rule that whatever I find on the floor gets thrown in the trash. (My kids quickly learned to start putting things away.) Also, having your children start doing chores from an early age will teach them to do things for themselves. Giving a small allowance for when children do their chores will teach them that nothing is handed to them. If they want a new pair of shoes or to go the movies with their friends, have them mow the lawn, take out the trash, or wash the dishes until they earn enough money to do those things.
After your children start getting older, typically their personal expenses start to grow. They have more responsibilities like filling their car with gas or even paying for the insurance. There are only so many house chores to do and your child may need to get a part-time job. Part-time jobs can be a way to teach your children about responsibility, taxes, and life lessons. Having a part-time job is an experience every child should have. It teaches discipline, time management, and communication skills.
Making sure your children don’t blow through their paychecks and start asking you for money is an important aspect to teach them. Budgeting can save children from being blindsided when they enter the “real world”. You have already taught them that working for their money is important, now it is time to teach them how to save and budget for life events. Let them shadow you when you are doing taxes so they’ll learn what it takes to take care of a house, car, and family.
Teaching your children young to have respect for money and having them earn it, could save them from hardships in the future when you are no longer there to help. Changing a lifestyle can be difficult. If you start teaching these life skills young, it will benefit your children in the long-run.