Teaching Kids to be Poor

Parents want the best for their children; oftentimes parents state that they want more for their children than they grew up with. While this statement means well, many parents are teaching their children the wrong lessons regarding money. Some teach their children entitlement and rationalize their poor choices by saying, “I never got anything new when I was growing up and I never want my kids to go without”. Others make comments that have their children thinking that they’ll never get ahead in life, which diminishes their dreams and makes them believe they will always be average or below average. Statements such as, “Rich people are so lucky” may seem innocuous, but in fact those are the statements that teach children that rich people are rich because they are lucky, not because they work hard and earn their success. These mistakes are the ones that parents make, often without realizing what a negative affect it will have on their children’s financial futures.

It Will Work Itself Out

Not planning ahead is something that it detrimental to everyone involved. When a parent consistently informs their child that they aren’t saving for retirement because it isn’t important, or that saving money isn’t important because “these things always manage to work themselves out”, they are only teaching their child that saving isn’t important. Children will adopt that attitude and find that they have financial troubles in their adult life.

You Have to Buy a House

While it is far better to be a homeowner than a renter, not everyone is ready to buy a house at this exact moment in time. Parents who encourage their children to buy homes are often teaching their kids to be poor. A recent college graduate with his first real job living in New York City is not ready to buy a house. The cost of buying a home in many places is astronomical (have you watched the news about foreclosure rates in, oh, say, the past four years) and not everyone is ready to buy. Someone making $50,000 a year in a city where home prices are very high will end up living paycheck to paycheck and not have enough left over to save or enjoy. Sometimes it is wiser to wait to buy, and parents need to remember that advice.

Hoarding Money

There is a fine line between living a life you can’t afford and living a life you can afford many times over. Some people take saving to the extreme, which can teach children the wrong lessons. A person who spends only what needs to be spent to pay bills and feed their family is sending the wrong message to children. A child who is walking around in secondhand clothes and worn shoes despite the fact that their parents can afford to buy them nicer items is going to learn that they have to act poor even if they have plenty of money. On the other hand, that child might grow up and waste their own money on all the things they never had as a child to compensate. Either way, this form of hoarding is a money habit that teaches children to be poor.


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