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The Opposite of Spoiled

Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money

By Ron Lieber
  • Read in 12 minutes
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  • Contains 7 key ideas
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The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber

The Opposite of Spoiled (2015) is the essential guide to raising patient, generous children through financial education. These blinks will show you how to guide your child’s development by talking to them about money, involving them in financial decisions and showing them the importance of generosity and work.

Key idea 1 of 7

Teach your children about money to make sure they don’t grow up spoiled.

What would you say is the most unlikeable trait of kids today? Some parents would say stupidity, un-exceptionality and even violence. But the most common answer by far is that they’re spoiled.

Oftentimes when people think “spoiled” their next thought is “money.” This leads many parents to believe that focusing on money when raising their kids will spoil them. But this simply isn’t the case.

By definition, being spoiled has little to do with money. Actually, there are four basic qualities that all spoiled children have in common.

First, they tend to have practically no chores, tasks or responsibilities to others. Second, they don’t have to follow rules or adhere to schedules. Third, they receive too much time and attention from their parents. And fourth, they often have many material possessions.

With the exception of the last point, none of these have anything to do with money.

In fact, money, whether an education in it, or responsibility for it, can actually help prevent your kids from growing up spoiled. Because children who learn about money also learn thrift, curiosity, generosity and patience – qualities that most would consider the opposite of “spoiled.”

For instance, what better way to teach generosity than by giving the opportunity to give? Not just that, you can also promote patience and thrift by encouraging children to save money or learn to make do with the money they have.

Unfortunately today, talking to children about money is taboo.


Because we’re embarrassed to discuss our wealth or how it compares to that of our neighbors with anyone, much less our children. So we put the topic off-limits. This in turn denies kids the opportunity to learn about money and they become spoiled.

In order to ensure your kids grow up to be well-rounded people it’s essential to break down these barriers. But how?

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