One of the rewards of being successful is that it allows you to give your children things you may never have dreamed of having when you were growing up. But just how much should you give them and still expect them to develop into financially responsible, well-grounded adults? That’s the tricky part, and parents often wonder if wealth runs counter to teaching children about the value of hard work.
An Inventory of Ideas
Looking over advice from a variety of different sources yields plenty of good tips on how to raise financially responsible children when you have considerable wealth. Here are some highlights:
One difficult subject, experts agree, that wealthy parents need to broach is the understanding that their level of wealth is far from ordinary. This understanding is necessary in order to instill a sense of appreciation for the advantages wealthy kids have, and empathy for those who don’t have those advantages.
More than Money
Whether your idea of how much financial support to give to your kids falls on the frugal or the lavish end of the scale, it is important to remember that successful parents can give their kids advantages beyond money.
For all his celebrated frugality, Warren Buffett gave each of his three children a billion dollars to put towards philanthropic pursuits. This gives kids management responsibility and a reminder that money can be used for more than just personal consumption.
Education is another long-term advantage parents can give their kids. Providing your child with access to a good education is a huge leg up in life. Further, your day-to-day example will show not just the importance of a strong work ethic, but also the great things that are possible if you strive for achievements beyond the ordinary. In short, investing in your children’s future involves much more than simply giving them money.
Ultimately, perhaps the best gift you can give is to help your children find is their sense of purpose in life.
A Sense of Purpose
As a successful entrepreneur, you are now in a position to do for your children, but there is one experience that you can never fully give them, which is the experience of rising from modest means to comfortable wealth. Successful people often say that the initial climb to success is one of the most rewarding parts of their life’s journey, yet the irony of having made that climb is that you can never give your kids quite the same experience.
While it’s good that your kids might not have to fight to make it, that struggle gives a clear sense of purpose. For children who are born into advantage, perhaps the crucial mission for parents is to make sure that those kids find their own sense of purpose.
That purpose may be to follow in your footsteps in the business world, or it may be to pursue a different career. Their purpose might be to use their advantages to help others, or it may be to work in the creative arts. The point is that beyond any specific piece of advice helping your kids find something they are passionate about and dedicated to pursuing is critical.
After all, parents often wonder how hard to push their kids. Once those children find their own sense of purpose though, they won’t need to be pushed because they will be driving themselves—just perhaps in a different direction than you once chose.