Don’t Screw up Your Kids’ Future

dilan patel

Do you want your kids to be successful? Although there is no foolproof way to ensure that, it doesn’t mean you can’t increase the odds of them succeeding.

When I was growing up, my parents did a lot of things that helped spearhead me into success. These things weren’t done intentionally, but if you replicate them with your kids, I think you’ll be able to increase their odds of success as well.

Pick your friends wisely

My parents are big discriminators. No, not against a specific race. They hate dumb people. When I was growing up, they always encouraged me to hang out with the smart kids. They never allowed me to hang out with kids that just wanted to mess around because they felt that I would pick up bad habits from them.

By hanging out with people who were smarter than me, I had to push myself to do well in school. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in the same classes that my friends were in. And as you well know, the last thing a young kid wants is to be a loner.

Education is everything

In my family, you only had one responsibility as a kid. It wasn’t to keep your room clean or to help around in the house. It was to do well in school. Education was so important in my family that during my summer vacation my parents would give me homework to complete every day.

Most of the homework they gave me was math-related, which sucked. It did come in handy in the future as the only thing I am really good at, other than counting money, is solving problems. And if I didn’t spend as many hours as I did doing math homework, I probably wouldn’t be a good problem solver.

The best cartoons are on CNBC

Technically, CNBC doesn’t have any cartoons, but that was the channel I used to watch every morning before I went to school. It wasn’t that I enjoyed watching it. It’s that my parents loved the stock market so much that the TV was always tuned to CNBC.

From the day I started elementary school to the day I went off to college, CNBC was on every morning. And even though I hated CNBC, I ended up picking up a few things here and there. For example, I learned that profit is much more important than revenue or that you can make a profit by trading currency.

I know these things sound obvious, but when you are 12 or 13 years old, you don’t really think about Forex trading.

Money doesn’t grow on trees

I know, technically it does, but you get my point. The way my parents encouraged me to save all of the money I got for Christmas or Birthday presents was by matching it. So, for every dollar I placed in a bank account, they matched it with a dollar.

Throughout my childhood, I was able to save up to $1,000, which isn’t too shabby for a young kid. Although I never really used that money for anything, it taught me the value of having a bank balance.

You never know when the shit will hit the fan, so you should always save money, especially in business. That way, when times are bad, at least you won’t have to close your doors.

Financial statements are meant to be shared

Very few of my friends know about their parents’ financial situation. Throughout my childhood, my parents always shared with me how much money they made, how much savings they had, and how much of any losses or gains they encountered through the stock market.

The cool part about knowing your parents finances as a child is that it lets you know what you need to do. Should you be getting a job and helping out or should you be thinking about ways to invest their money?

Luckily enough, I didn’t need to get a job, and although my parents weren’t the richest people out there, it didn’t stop me from thinking about how I could make more money from their money. For example, one thing I dreamed about was to own a Taco Bell – an idea my parents always encouraged.

Spoil your child, but not too much

As I mentioned above, my parents are neither rich nor poor. They fit somewhere right in the middle. So, when I was growing up, they didn’t ask me to pay for my clothes, food, car, or college tuition.

Although it seems like things were just handed to me on a silver platter, I wasn’t spoiled. For example, I never had the latest gaming system or a TV in my bedroom.

I didn’t have to worry about the basic necessities in life, which meant that I could focus on my education and on building a business. If I had to worry about making car or rent payments, I wouldn’t be where I am today in life. Instead, I would probably be working for Microsoft.

I know, spoiling your children sounds like a bad thing, but it allows them to take more risks in life. You just have to be careful and not spoil them too much.

Encourage business, even if it isn’t legal

No, my parents would have never let me sell drugs. But they did let me sell bootleg cable boxes, which is kind of in the gray area.

At that point, it was the only business I was interested in. So, they let me do what I wanted as long as I didn’t get into trouble. Eventually, I made the transition into more ethical businesses, but if my parents would have stopped me initally, who knows where I would be today.

So, if your kids want to sell lemonade, even though it requires a city permit, let them do it. As long as there is no risk of them going to jail or getting into other serious trouble, it’s good to encourage entrepreneurship.

The best policy is an open policy

By the time I was ready to start my first real business, I needed some money. I had some money saved up from some part-time jobs, but I didn’t have enough.

Lucky for me, my parents had an open policy, meaning they opened their bank account to me. They had saved up money for their retirement, but they trusted me with it, and it was enough to get me up and running.

Without their money, I would have never built a company that hit 7 figures in revenue. So, if your kids need some money, don’t be afraid to open your bank account to them.

Granted, your kids could lose your money, just like I lost my parents’ money the first few times. But if you don’t keep on encouraging them and helping them out, they’ll never succeed.

Business is business

While in high school, I had a few ventures. Many of them didn’t work out, but one of them did. So, by the time I entered college, I continued to expand my mini-empire. As I was expanding, I had a habit of being a nice guy.

I always wanted to please people, which caused me to lose around a million dollars. And I probably would still be a people pleaser if it wasn’t for my parents.

See, my parents always told me that I have to look out for my best interests. They always told me to watch out for others, or else I can get screwed. I never really believed them until I got screwed really badly and lost a lot of money.

More importantly, they taught me that if I was doing business with friends or family, I shouldn’t let that affect anything as business is business. If the other party can’t accept that, then they aren’t worth doing business with.

I know it sounds bad to be a cutthroat businessperson, but sometimes you have to. I used to think that everyone’s problems were my problems. But my parents taught me that they weren’t and that if you aren’t a cutthroat person when time requires it, people will just walk all over you.

Criticism may be annoying, but it’s helpful

To this day, my parents criticize what I am doing. They always point out my mistakes and never forget them.

If they didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have learned from most of my mistakes. Although I hate it when my mom tells me that I was wrong and she was right, it truly keeps me grounded.

No matter what your kids do in life, make sure you give them useful criticism. The key isn’t to be a pest, but it is to give them feedback they can learn from. Your kids may hate or ignore you, but remember that the criticism is making them better people. They may not like it now, but they’ll appreciate it in the future.

Closing thoughts

I wish I could look into a crystal ball and tell you that your child is going to be successful, but reality is I can’t. The average income for someone in the US is $32,140 a year. Only 6.24% of people who live in the US make more than $100,000 a year.

Although the odds are against your child’s success, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to change it. Whether it is following what my parents did with me or doing what you feel fits your child, it’s up to you to help make your child successful.

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Comments

  1. Great post man! My parents are the same way as I am Indian as well :) They remind me everyday to study and do well in school.

    I am well on my way to be that 6.24% of the people :)

  2. Saurav Rimal :

    Is that your tie, that Dilan is wearing.

    I agree with your post completely not sure how many percent make more than £100,000 in the UK but I am sure its about 99.9% lol

    We quite enjoy our shops, takeaways and off licenses lol

  3. I wish my parents had this blog post when I was growing up ;)

    I didn’t quite understand the spoilt line? “I know spoiling your child sounds like a bad thing, but it allows them to take more risks in life”.

    How do you equate spoiling your child with them taking more risks? Confused? I was an only child…technically I could go under the hat, of being spoilt, but somehow that didn’t equate to me taking risks.

    • I had several things taken care of that allowed me to be comfortable without stressing about money when I was younger. That allowed for me to focus on higher risk opportunities.

  4. Love this article. Sounds like you have awesome parents. I’m not a parent yet, but I’m definitely going to revisit this article once I have a kid. I love how your parents matched every dollar you saved. That’s an awesome way to provide encouragement to save.

  5. Nice tie Neil.

    All good points and if you don’t mind I’ll add a few in as well. (since I am now raising a child myself)

    – Reading. I am making it a point to read to my child every day. When she begins to read herself I will make it also a point that she will be reading books on a regular basis. Then I will have discussions with her on what she read.

    – Learn By Doing. While everyone may not agree to this statement it is going to be my position to let my child learn a bit of things in life by doing. This will also include mistakes. Hopefully with my oversight and not from far they will learn to fall, scrap their knee, get caught in a lie and how hard work will bring great value to their life. Now I am not going to let them cut off a finger on a table saw but I think your readers will get where I am coming from.

    I am now 35 and I am amazed and how much I look back on the lessons that I have learned in life, and the new ones I learn each day.

    I am also grateful at times that I learned how to “fall” so I now have the mentality to better analyze things before making a decision and when I do make a lousy decision (still happens) I am able to quickly assess the situation and make corrections.

  6. Shocked to know that only 6.24% people in US do that.

  7. great post and timely (wife and I having first child any day.) i like that your parents only let you “hang” with smart kids, but how did they do that without creating resentment?

  8. When i was kid i never got a chance to get pocketmoney. I got my first pocket money when i was 17 year old. Weird ? Yes it is. I only got money to buy books or something that is related to academics. So that was too stretched from my parents to make me good boy lol. I’ll make sure my kids get few dollars to spend on their startups before they hit 17. And oh yes, i’ll not spoil my kids by giving them pocketmoney to spend on videogames. :P See, history is about repeat itself with few modifications. ;)

  9. Email Marketing Resource :

    6.24% of hundreds of millions is a pretty big population making $100,000 or more. Although I agree with you saying that spoiling a child too much makes them unmotivated to create their own wealth or businesses.

  10. Email Marketing Resource :

    And is it something they criticize? :)

  11. This is some seriously good advice. I always remember sitting in my college social work class when the professor asked me how much my parents made. I had no idea. Then he asked the girl next to me, and so on. No one seemed to know (and I should have known because I filled out the FAFSA student aid forms). At my first job interview after getting my degree, the employer asked me how much I wanted to make. I said $7 an hour. She said, “wow, you’re cheap” – I was totally clueless!

    I agree with your “spoiling” statement in the sense that it freed you up to focus on things other than your basic needs. But I don’t think it would have done any good had your parents not ingrained the rest of these core values to begin with.

  12. I think the openess about your parents financial situation is a good point. I can see how it would assist in giving children a better understanding of the financial world and helping them to learn about it form a young age which lets them be ahead of the game as they grow older.

  13. Fantastic article! Thank you for taking the time to think it through and publish it for us to enjoy.

  14. I think the openess about your parents financial situation is a good point. I can see how it would assist in giving children a better understanding of the financial world and helping them to learn about it form a young age which lets them be ahead of the game as they grow older.

  15. Don Vong, China :

    Under One Child Policy in China, my wife & I are very eager to give a bright & better future for our son. Let him be a successful & rich person is our whole life hope.

    But sometimes we are afraid we have pushed more pressure on him, and caused him only always would like to find “Short Cut” to grow rich unmorally. All are our parent’s fault?!

    Neil, have you felt your parents given any pressure on you before? I think the State has given you the CHANCE! And you are the smartest guy to catch it.

  16. I’m only 13 and I own and run multiple websites that, in my mind, are very successful.

    Throughout my life, I’ve been taught the value of a dollar, how the world works, and much like you, the stock market. I understand how stocks work and how business is, not the made up fairy tales that people put out to steer others in a false theory.

    I really enjoyed the post and I can relate to almost every you’ve mentioned. Great post, Neil!

  17. hey neil,
    firstly, thanks for such a motivational post.
    somehow, my family fits as how you have personally described yours. well they are some factors that was not included but i suppose overally, its quite similar.
    i am not too sure about your father but my father has a huge man-ego and he believes that he will always be right in whatever he does. But its not.
    therefore, from such, instead of wailing and wonder why on earth someone as such as a father, i took his negative points and motivated myself to be better. I became the complete opposite of him from the negative point of view.
    his good points however, i have managed to turn and amplify it even greater for myself. i was quite a spendthrift. not because the fact that i have lots of money to spend, but the fact is that i enjoy such life where there are no worries when it comes to spending. to counter my lost, i did whatever it takes to replenish it back. i know the consequences of spending and i will make up for it.
    from there, i have learnt to maintained balance and harmony. Now the fact that i am making money online today, i hope to be able to succeed greatly in it. hopefully within just a few years or so, i will be able to live an independent and luxurious life many could only have dream of.
    its quite a goal to achieve but i am every effort spent will be worth it in the end. =)
    nope my parents don’t know about this. in fact, not many does. why because , i believe action speaks louder than words.

    cheers, mate.

    • wow, thanks for sharing that… it’s great to see that what motivated you most was the pain in becoming what you wanted to stay away from… interesting. Congrats on all your success and success to come.

    • This is the reason I said that the way you are raised affects your future. Good for you that you were able to repair the negative parts from your childhood and transformed in something profitable for you.

  18. Great advise. You are who you hang with. There was a study that show your five to ten thousand dollars away from who you hang around with. The advise is as old as time. You are who you associaite with. Thanks for the post and the comments. I would add actions speak louder than words and Fortune Favors the Bold

  19. Brian Kevin Johnston :

    Neil- EXCELLENT post… I enJOYed reading this Story… Especially the part about education.. Until we connect again soon, enJOY your day.. Best, Brian-

  20. Many parents are employees and raise their kids as future employees. Encouraging your children to create and implement ideas… that’s priceless real world education.

  21. I think the number one factor for me was growing up middle class. Although my parents tried to cover as much from me as possible as far as finances, I always observed the importance of being frugal as possible. Living month to month also taught me the value of money. Also, watching my dad bust his butt every day made no sense to me, but taught me the value of time and how money can change that. I grew up around bad peers primarily driven by playing sports all through out school, so I don’t think it impacted much, but to show me what I DON’T NEED TO BE..

    I think as far as the entrepreneurial side, I got this instinct to do my own thing and be my own boss from my genes. I think the ‘hustling’ bug is instilled in some people naturally.

    I don’t think you should force upon them to be a entrepreneur or force upon them the worries of finances and the real power of money. They should gain enough from observation, especially if you’re lower or middle class.

    The most important trait (ACTION) you can’t teach your child, they can only do this themselves. And I’m not sure what motivates some to sit on their ass and do the same stuff they do in high school, and others who try to start million dollar businesses.

    – James F.

    • They have to find within themselves what they’re motivator is…. it all comes over time. Just hopefully the parents are able to show them why it’s great to be ambitious and wanting more in life.

  22. Great article.
    I however do not agree with paying your child’s college tuition the reasons being;

    1. There are plenty of college students that pay for their own tuition. It may take longer to graduate, but at least they did it on their own.

    2. Do you really want to see your parent spend $40,000-80,000 a year of there hard earned money?

    3. We can be our own best teachers!

    4. Many people have become financially successful and never set foot in college. With the amazing libraries we have in this country there is not a subject you can not teach yourself, maybe with the exception of medicine; which by seeing the fluctuation of our current health care system maybe it would be better if we did our own medical procedures.

    and finally,

    5. You get more value when you pay for something yourself.

    I do agree with everything else Neil.

    My 2 cents :)

  23. Great post, THANKS!

    It may be an odd thing to notice, but after reading through the comments I realized that everyone that commented was articulate and spoke in complete sentences, and that I had only noticed one or two minor spelling errors (and that was including the post from China!), and that there was NO “text message speak” language other than an occasional LOL or two! Education IS important, and congratulations to all of you for paying attention to your writing and speaking skills! And THANK YOU for not speaking in “text message”! I used to work for a person that had atrocious spelling and grammar and it made my skin crawl when I realized that he was managing our group while sending out e-mails that encouraged everyone to “do they’re best!” in our department.

    I grew up very middle class and my father worked two jobs while my mother worked one. But I never felt “poor” or “underpriveleged”. They encouraged us to work hard and to be honest and to treat others with the same measure that we expected to be treated, but also to stay away from the kinds of people that would use us and drag us down. I attribute all of my sucess to them and to my school teachers!!!

    • Congrats on all your success! I would say that a majority of my readers are articulate and the ones who comment are relativity active in some type of online business.

  24. sell textbooks :

    This is an awesome Post one of your best yet. It is so important to look out for our future generations. My mom and dad did many things to help me as did yours. I modeled when I was younger and my dad matched every dollar I made and by the time i was out of high school. I had over 20,000 to go to college as my spending money. My dad also when I was six asked me what company I thought was cool and would make lots of money, he asked my brother the same question. I said Disney, my brother said Image Comics. He then put money into those stocks for us and explained how the market worked. I made tons off of Disney by the time I sold it it had split and doubled 4 times over. My brother sold Image comics before they sold out to DC and he made out really well too. We learned and had fun too. We also played the stock market game in private school, a national competition, and that helped to.

    • wow, that sounds like a great concept and idea. Ask your kids about their favorite companies and invest in them. Then the kids feel like they are part of it when you explain to them how the market is doing. Very smart.

      • sell textbooks :

        The funny thing I remember was getting the yearly update book and I would pretend to understand what it said while all the time i was just looking at the cartoons all over the book. But I looked at the NYSE every morning learned why BerkHa Berskhire and Hathaway had such ups and downs. It was great.

  25. awesome post, I am going to use some of your kids tips towards my kids. thanks

  26. My parents secret bookkeeping nearly stunted me financially. Not that I want to blame them…but who else am I supposed to learn this from…my rich dad…sorry, didn’t have one.

    Neil, you’ve pointed out something that’s been obvious to me for some time now.

  27. Some good advice there…

    It goes to show that Parents are just as much Mentors as they are Parents.

  28. I feel that parents often overlook the importants of financial education and this is detrimental to children especially given the fact that it is not exactly one of the things taught in school when most people would expect that it should be. Good to hear your parents took it upon themselves to offer advice and education to you on financial matters.

    • Some do…. but I would say now a days it’s more common for them to take more action and work a bit harder toward getting their kids to understand what goes on in the world. We have many more resources available.

  29. I see a lot of parents making this mistake of choosing their kids future

  30. Neil,

    You are so right. There are way too few parents that talk to their kids about business, mostly because they themselves do not know about business. It’s an endless cycle. I think it’s being broken with this new wave of entrepreneurs, however.

    Picking you friends and mentors is critical. Most of us make exactly the same amounf of money (or really close) to that of the people that we spend the most time with. If you want to increase your bank account, hang out with people who’s bank account is bigger than yours.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

    • At the end of the day, that’s probably the best way on how you can learn to become successful.

    • Email Marketing Resources :

      I think the internet also opens up doors for the new generation of kids – starting a website is one of the easiest things to do, whereas back in the previous generations, it was very difficult to become entrepreneurial. It also required a lot of capital to start as well. :)

      I wonder what it will look like in 20 years.. haha.

  31. Lovely article Neil. Sometimes some parents forget how vital they are in a child’s future :(

  32. great post neil…
    but let me annoy you with a criticism (actually, more of a correction):
    “Criticism maybe annoying, but it’s helpful”
    should be:
    “Criticism may be annoying, but it’s helpful”

    kinda funny eh? hope it was helpful.

  33. latest gadgets :

    Inspiring write-up for me…parents should try to make their children excel in those aspects in which their inclination lies.

    Indulging children in all type of activities – studies, sports, finances can really help them in building a versatile personality which is so very important!

  34. Very true and inspiring. Parents shouldn’t hold their children back from making mistakes in their childs’ early adventures, but to provide enhanced support and guidance. This way, they learn the value of experience and giving things a try.

    And also, teaching a child to save should begin from a very young age. Inculcate a thrifty mind and the child will learn that savings and investments will reap dividends.

    Good post.

  35. Most people do end up screwing up their kids future because they want them to live their lives

  36. Nice post.

    I’m Rob, 18, from Belgium.

    I know that this blog is business-related, but when going through your post, I think you’re a bit too close to your dollars.

    Absolutely, it’s rewarding to make money and start things, but don’t you think you’ll definitely miss some interesting things if you’re too focused on “Making more and more $ ?”

    I mean, I’m an entrepreneur and I’m working a LOT. After class I don’t go for beers with my friends, I usually stay on Skype with my developers and partners. I make sacrifices to have a better future.

    You could just enjoy stag weekends, cooking, riding a bike, climbing, or whatever! But staying in the computer trying to make more and more money sounds insane to me. I strongly believe that thinking about profit all the time can prevent you from doing good free things.

    See, time is money, the time you spent doing other things than trying to make profits can be considered as time that makes you losing bucks. Sounds ackward huh?

    That’s my opinion. I love money, but I just work 15hours/day for my startups to have a better future, less centered around money.

    (P.-S : Sorry for my bad grammar, I’m not a native english speaker)

    • Email Marketing Resources :

      Robin – I agree with what you’ve said. The only thing I can add is finding that equilibrium point that satisfies your life with both work and play. For some it will be significantly higher than others – it’s all about what feels right to you.

    • I think what you said is great…. you don’t have to spend 20 hours working every single day…. maybe certain days you might need to while others you don’t. But either way, I get what you mean and agree with you.

  37. Dude, your parents rock. Are they in the market for another son? I’m a sexy bald-headed mocha muffin of a man. And I smell good too. My room won’t stay clean, but I make up for that with charm. I’m available for adopting anytime. :D

  38. @Tee: LOL you will have to get in line mate – there are plenty of us out here that would have loved that same opporunity.

  39. Great post! I hope my parents would have read it while upbringing me.

    I always thought that I wont do the same thing to my child and I suppose this post reflects the same idea.

  40. Well, I think this all thing is all above poverty or richness. It dosen’t metter, you are poor or rich, your children should have valuse of their own.

  41. Spoiling your child is right on the money I believe. I have a pretty serious lady friend right now and we have totally different views on this.

    I grew up like you Neil. Cloths, Food, Tuition all paid for.
    She grew up paying for everything.

    If I wanted something else I had to work for if I wanted.
    I could not have said this any better than you have said and will tell her this next time this conversation comes up.

    Thanks man for fuel to feed my fire in my debate.

    • Those extras help in life…. they give you that slight advantage which allows you to get that jump start. You can do the same for your kids to when you have them.

  42. I always want to please people, which caused me to lose around a million dollars. And I probably would still be a people pleaser if it wasn’t for my parents.

    See, my parents always told me that I have to look out for my best interest. They always told me to watch out for others, or else you can get screwed. And I never really believed them, until I got screwed really badly and lost a lot of money.

    That sound like a page ripped right out of my life. When you work above the board, you believe everyone does, and once depending on the risk involved the lesson learned can be devastating.

    Good thing most people like us are resilient, too. :-)

  43. Steve Sanders :

    Neil – While I like and appreciate the sentiment, I struggled with some parts of your post. It sounds like your parents were PARENTS first, which I really respect. I get that all families and cultures have their own styles and values, but I disagree with you on the following points.
    1) Is money the only metric? I am in Software Sales, and I make 3x more than most Pediatricians. Does that make me more respected, successful, or happier?
    2) We require our kids (ages 5 and 8) to read, do math problems and flash cards, science projects, etc. in the summer. They also go to sports camps and play in the pool, etc. We like them to be well rounded and have some down time. They are kids.
    I am not sure if you have kids, Neil, but I know that if/when you do, they will be lucky to have someone with the parental foresight that you already have. No matter the specific style, more parents need to be parents first. I’d place that value at higher than 6.24%!
    Cheers- Steve

  44. I think parents in todays world have been selfish in many corners of world which is really bad. They just enjoy from their kids and never give them love back. But on the other hand their are many who sell everything and never enjoys so that they can spend on that kids. Hats off to those parents.

  45. Hi,
    This is a wonderful post! Summarizes my growing up years back in India perfectly and how my parents nurtured me.

  46. Haha.. my parents are doing pretty much the same. It’s always news in the morning, staying with smart kids as always ;) and working on the web has been a hobby for me.

    God, love Indian parents :D

  47. Just more ideas popping up, I believe when parents help you in the start with almost everything necessary or required at that time. They are doing best on their part.
    Doing that much and being in a middle class, that expectation would certainly grow. When they give up lot of the things they really wish to had for their children. Dont you think that it is obvious for the parents to react that ways?

  48. Some great points, especially when it comes to watching CNBC. It sure beats anything on regular programming.

  49. Kerry Fowler :

    I have tried to do the exact opposite for my kids that my parents did for me. Don’t get me wrong, they were great but they were also overprotective and I never had the chance to flourish.
    I am better off financially than my parents and I have allowed both of my teenage children to take a year out travelling. They haven’t got huge budgets as I have asked them to be creative about how they eat, drink, sleep and enjoy their time whilst away. I am hoping that this freedom will allow them to really find themselves but I guess only time will tell!

  50. Your post reminds me of my growing days in Kashmir-India. We used to watch TV serials Ramayana and Mahabharata with great interest. Those values are invaluable.

  51. Excellent post Neil. Even my parents used to criticize me when I was young. Actually they still do. At that time I used to get angry because of that but today I understood why they said it that way. Another good point here making children manage their own finances and try out new things early in life which will greatly benefit them in future.

  52. Thanks for sharing Niel…

    You taught me something very useful, I’ll be sure to apply it when I have kids.

    Until then, I’ll apply it to myself :)

  53. Neil – I generally don’t criticize others’ views but would make an exception for this post. Granted you have great parents and a privileged upbringing. Does it mean that parenting tips based on your background will apply to all? Yours are too generalized views and need a proper perspective.

    Hating dumb people IS a form of intolerance. Dumbness may be genetic or circumstantial and not every dumb kid has bad habits. Telling kids to keep ONLY smart friends and shun dumb ones is not proper. Instead, tell them to respect every kid’s individuality. Who knows, one day that very dumb kid will shine to prove you wrong.

    Good education is invaluable but it isn’t everything. Today’s pupil has better choices than before. Even so, the efficacy of modern education system is under the scan. It churns out ‘functionally illiterate’ students. Space here restricts me to supply a list of people – uneducated, average or dropouts – yet successful. Will thrusting homework or pressurizing kids improve them academically or otherwise? Haven’t we heard of ‘parent trap’? Aren’t we mistakenly linking education with the child’s future earning capacity?

    Not every family is stock market savvy. Assuming that keeping CNBC on will make your child a good investor should equally apply to inveterate kids who watch cartoons or action films. Does this make them animation artists or heroes?

    Does it make any difference if you are not one among the 6.24% earning $100,000? One can still be happy if one earns less and spends it prudently.

    Lest anyone brand me a skeptic, I am 50, a school dropout, a voracious reader keeping a large library, and a caring parent earning enough to keep the kitchen fire burning. And I am happy.

  54. I’ve got a two year old and she’s just starting to understand what’s going on around here. It takes a very disciplined parent to not just let their kid watch or do what they want… it’s a lot easier that way, but doesn’t do anything for the kid.

  55. Team Sales Training :

    Great post Neil…

    It goes along the saying ‘The Rich get Richer’ and the ‘Poor get Poorer’.

    A very common quoted saying, within that is what are the Rich teaching their kids and what are the Poor teaching their kids.

    The are examples in books of the Rockerfeller family giving their kids an ($) allowance, they could earn more by doing jobs around the house, they had to give 10% to charity as well as keep a journal of where they spent the money.

  56. great post, i agree completely , parents should suport their children but not do everything for them, one has to learn things the hard way sometimes

  57. I agree! We must be good role models for our kids, so that they grow up as strong and independent and capable of being self-reliant.

    I have two girls and one is two and the other is one. They are definitely a handful.

  58. Great post Neil.

    The idea of “matching” what your kids earn is super smart.
    And it matters not how old the “kids” are.

    I have heard of very wealthy people doing the same for their adult kids. If “Bob” is happy to earn $20 K per annum then “Rich Dad” will kick in the same shall we say “performance bonus”.

    Meanwhile “Alice” has been much more ambitious and has pulled in $60 K. She is happy to get her “matching bonus”.

    The government also does this with certain charities and even lower levels of government.

    What gets done gets rewarded may morph into “what gets rewarded gets done.”

    • Email Marketing Blog :

      I don’t know if matching your children’s earnings is a good idea. They might only be inspired to get a job that earns $50K/Year as you know your going to be getting $50K from your parents as well. In total your getting $100K which is more than enough to live on.

      It kind of defeats the purpose of being an entrepreneur does it not?

    • I agree, it’s all because of the pleasure motivator. People are motivated by both pain and pleasure.

  59. Great post! I guess your talent lies not only in the internet marketing world eh? What I like is that you talk about radical parenting as well, not just the ‘should do’ stuff but also other possibilities

  60. Great post! I think it’s amazing how many parents are clueless about what their kids are doing and who they hang out with.

  61. Criticism is always hard to take. It’s what you do with it that makes you go farther in life.

  62. Good article Neil.

    You need not have taken an unnecessary jab at Microsoft. You are making it sound like working for Microsoft is as bad as working for Google..

    But seriously – most parents would be proud to have their kids work for Microsoft; wouldn’t they?

    Additionally – you do what you do because you like it. Most Microsoft people work for Microsoft because they like it. Not because they can’t do what you are doing..

  63. CastIronSqueegy :

    I totally agree with the open book policy. My parents made it seem like they were poor when I was growing up. I got a job for my last two years of high school because I wanted to help them out, save some, get a car (suburbs = no public transit), and have some money to go to the movies with my friends. My grades did suffer from working. Then, at 19 my parents forced me into being completely financially independent. I have a full time job and a part time job while being enrolled in college full time. Its the only way I could make it, even with good scholarships. I couldn’t get government assistance because… guess what … my parent’s income is in that 6.24% you mentioned in the article. Though college will take 6 years for me, I won’t have any school related debt. When I’m 24, I’ll finally be eligible for some government loans, but I’ll be almost done with school by then. I don’t recommend this course of action for your kids.
    But I do recommend getting them involved in business and investments at an early age. My parents would give me money to invest in the stock market when I live at home. And whatever profit I made them, they would double and give back to me to reinvest. Let’s just say, Apple stock purchased in 2004 and sold recently has enabled me to pursue my dreams.
    This was a great article! Thank you for sharing. ^_^

    • CastIronSqueegy :

      Also, I didn’t know what my parents’ income was until I applied for government school loans. If they did have an open book policy, it might not have changed the path I had to take. But I know I will be very communicative with my children about household finances. That way they don’t have to learn the hard way when they venture out and take on their own fiscal responsibilities.

    • What a great story! So how much did you make from your stock sale?

  64. You were privvy to a rare upbringing, Neil and thank you sharing your story with us. I am not a parent, but many of my friends are (and new parents too) and the universal worry is not to taint the young soul with too much residual BS from their respective upbringings. Not all discipline and leadership from parental units is bad though. Giving a child everything and teaching them no responsibility is a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

  65. Joe @ Making Money Ideas :

    I have a daughter who is ten and she’s always thinking of ways to make money. She asked the other day, ” So Dad, I can’t get a job till I’m 14, but I can start my own business right?” I answer “Yep.”

    She comes back with something like “so I can just start any old business and keep the money”?

    I tell her to just start a business. Most adults think at about 10yr old level when it comes to just doing it. I tell my daughter if she is going to wait around for permission she’ll be working for someone who didn’t and it’s all about the choice. I’ve gotten involved and basically started little businesses for her and I’ve learned to let her do it on her own so she has a sense of ownership and responsibility. We live on a large farm and their are lots of opportunities. I try to balance my encouragement with my support of her own ideas.

    Great post. Parents really do have a great opportunity to influence how their children respond to opportunity and their own desires.

    Thanks.

    J.Crawford

  66. I am in that 6.24%.

    But my parents did almost the opposite of your advice. I achieved by seeing what they did and doing something completely different. Both had low expectations and never earned more than $40,000 annually. I barely graduated from High School and never went to college. Hard work and dedication did pay off.

    However I do like many of the things you mentioned and I am trying to instill those in my son.

  67. You had many good points on this blog, which I enjoyed and plan on sharing with my son. However, one note: if you didn’t have to worry about college tuition, you probably weren’t “in the middle”, but in a higher tax bracket. Most of us have to get loans because we can’t just pay out of pocket for it.

  68. yes,it is correct,childhood is most important time to be successful person but unfortunately,all children cannot have a good environment to be successful

  69. If the parents don’t support the children, teaching them personal responsibility and healthy values, someone else will. There’s so much “noise” and distraction in the world, so if the parents don’t know how to take control and guide properly, the result could be a very confused individual.

  70. How To Increase Sales :

    There was a documentary called ‘7 Up’ and they interviews these kids every 7 years.

    A major point of the film was the first 7 years are the most important as they are the forming of the personalty.

  71. All things in moderation…If we had to do everything that every IM guru tells us to re:SEO of our websites then we would never eat and never sleep. I think if we can all just adopt a best practice mentality and for whatever it is we do, we do it well, then that should be ok.

  72. Parents just have to be careful about spoiling kids too much. Giving them too much or too less can be harmful. A gentle balance is all that is required to push a kid in the right direction.

  73. My parents made a point to always have the news on in the morning and at night as well in my house. I since have changed the channel I watch but I always found the news interesting and felt I needed to have knowledge of what is going on in the world. I learned a lot with out even realizing it. I also was able to play the stock market game in school many years and that helped to understand that.

  74. My father and mother are completely opposite. My dad spends quite a bit and mom is very frugal. I am somewhere in between spending and being frugal. But yes, saving money has been top most priority since I turned 20 and 4 years later, I can say proudly that I am financially very happy than my fellow friends.

  75. we should allow the child to take their own decisions which helps them to think a lot.

  76. It is good to be well rounded, you make some great points here. My private school had a lot to do with how well i was able to adjust in the early years, then in high school I switched to public witch gave me an even better way to learn about people and the world.

  77. If you treat to you child as friend then you can find the every though of your child which is very helpful to mutual understand among both of you .

  78. Wow nice article again Neil. I learned so much from this. I also wanted my parents to spoil me when I was still a kid and I still want to spoil me now. I know it sounds crazy, but when I see my friends who are spoiled, they are more better than me in every way. I’m happy that my parents did good things to me but I was hoping that they gave some room for me to learn from mistakes. Thanks Neil!

    • Definitely, I think spoiling children has it’s pros and cons. Spoiling teaches them to incentive work, but doesn’t teach them to work for work’s sake.

  79. Another great post neil! That’s true we must choose our friends, as the saying goes “tell me who your friends are, and i’ll tell you who you are”. So be careful on that. And yes money doesn’t grow on trees, it is earned through hard work and perseverance so while still young learn to value everything even the smallest monetary unit you have on your pocket, spend wisely! And finally, criticisms turn to be negative on how we respond on it, so our actions depends on our reactions. Therefore face it with great enthusiasm and optimism.

  80. Great post Neil.

    I grew up in a home where both my Father and Mother were Pastors. So that already says a lot. We were always amongst the smarter kids and highly successful people.

    I have been interested in business and entrepreneurship since a young age and that even started when I was 6 selling little cardboard box cars for a few cents. I just loved making money on my own and that drive and motivation never changed.

    That is what I live for.

  81. hey neil,
    very interesting topic and detailed you shared with us. The best Cartoon on CNBC is most interesting part of this article, which actually happens to some extend in many homes.
    good thoughts.
    Thanks.
    Matt

  82. Fantastic article! Thank you for taking the time to think it through and publish it for us to enjoy.

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