How to Avoid Raising Spoiled Brats
I hosted a Q&A a while back through another one of my platforms, Go Far With Kovar, and I couldn’t help but appreciate one of the questions that came in from a parent asking what to do to make sure that you don’t raise your children to be spoiled and entitled.
Check it out below!
Q: Hey Taylor – Neither my husband nor I grew up silver spooners but we both now have very lucrative careers (combined we make over $400k per year). With our first baby due in January, we are concerned that with the world we live in, he is going to grow up to be a selfish and entitled brat. What can we do to ensure he doesn’t act like a “rich kid of Instagram” when he grows up? – Natalie in Austin
A: Hey Natalie – I love the way you phrased your question and for any readers who aren’t familiar with what she mentioned in the last sentence, just do a quick Google search to see why she is so concerned.
On a more serious note, congratulations on expecting your first child and for having the foresight to realize that it is going to take some effort on you and your husband’s part to ensure he grows up to be a respectable member of society.
It’s all in the attitude.
Kids have a natural tendency to emulate their parents. If you have an attitude of gratitude, your son will probably have the same attitude. This means that besides just talking the talk, you have to walk the walk. With that being said, below is a list of items I learned from some of the clients of my financial planning practice that have successfully raised thankful children.
- Teach them to use manners from the moment they start talking. Instill in them the importance of saying please and thank you.
- Instead of buying them something they want, make them earn money to pay for it by doing chores.
- Starting at a young age, make them send thank you notes for gifts.
- Have them tell you three things they are thankful for at the end of each day with at least one of them not being something material.
- Encourage giving. When they get a new toy, have them donate an old toy to the Salvation Army or someone less fortunate.
- Bake cookies and take them to the local fire and police departments to thank them for their service.
- No participation trophies. With all of the news about whining college kids, I don’t think I have to explain this one. In the grown-up world, you have to earn your rewards.
- Teach them to appreciate other people’s hard work in the world around us. Who cleaned the sidewalk or mowed the grass along the highway to look pretty for us?
- Make some days just “look days” where you don’t buy anything.
- Have them write down something they are thankful for on a sticky note (or draw a picture when they are young) and stick them around their room or your house.
Keep up the hard work!
Along with the tips above, continue to keep your current mindset and look for ways on a daily basis to be the example of a grateful adult. The next few years will be trying at times but remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and it’ll all work out. Good luck!
Have any questions, comments, or thoughts on how to avoid raising a “Rich Kid of Instagram?” Let us know in the comments!
Taylor & Megan Kovar
The Money Couple
P.S. Learn about your child’s money personality HERE and get a head start on how to help them cultivate their money habits! You can also follow us on Facebook for more money topics and advice.