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Wealth, anxiety and privilege

How to raise un-entitled kids

Consider This: How do you explain your family wealth to young children? At what do you start this process? How do you say ‘no’ to them and place limits on their spending when they reply “but we can afford it”?

Affluenza and entitle-itis are some of the newest ‘diseases’ that afflict the wealthy, and of course there is always the ubiquitous ‘privilege’ that almost everyone is now obliged to check.

In her book Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence, Rachel Sherman, associate professor of sociology, has interviewed 50 affluent parents in and around NYC to understand the challenges they face raising children with wealth.

They are somewhat torn between stigma of wealth and the competitive environment in which they live. Attitudes to wealth have changed, and while parents want to give their children the opportunities that come with wealth, they still want to keep them ‘normal’ and able to mix comfortably in (and be accepted by) broad social circles.

As much as ‘tough love’ is needed to limit spoiling, it’s also essential to teach children to be comfortable with wealth, and to appreciate what it brings to their lives. Take it, but don’t take it for granted.

Original article:, (the book)

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