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Will I raise my future kids as spoiled brats?

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Is it really fair that I have a special number I call to get impossible-to-get reservations and concert tickets?

Or that I get to cut in line at the airport and Vegas clubs?

Or look at this email I got from my bookkeeper:

Hi Ramit,

I am in the process of setting up an appt for you and XYZ at XXX BANK for Monday at 5pm. The bank does close at 5pm, but they will be happy to stay open for you to open this account. I will give them as much information as I can, so you won’t have to do too much when you get there.

I will give you more information as soon as I have it.

Apparently now banks stay open late for me.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

When I have kids one day, do I want them to get used to living a life of privilege? I joke around with my friends that I’m going to sit in the front of the plane and they can sit in the back (“Oh, you want to sit up here? LEARN HOW TO START A BLOG”). That’s right. Learn from daddy.

But seriously, how do you prevent your kids from being spoiled brats? And do we even want to live in a society where there’s so much stratification?

Think about it.

On one hand, this special treatment isn’t because I’m a better person. They’re just giving me elite service because I spend more with them. I do the same thing with my students! I recently brought a group of 20 elite students to New York and taught them advanced consulting strategies. I paid for their food, their drinks, even their night out. But they were more than worth it to me.

On the other hand, do we really want to go to amusements parks and watch people going in a special line they paid for…instead of standing with everyone else? Isn’t that part of life?

When I was a kid, I remember my parents stopping at a bank to get a money order. They came out laughing. I asked what happened, and they said, “The bank said we could get this money order free if we had $10,000 in our bank account.” Then they laughed. It was LAUGHABLE that they would ever have $10,000 in their account…ever.

And that idea made me HUNGRY as I grew up. I wanted to dominate in academics, business, and tons of other areas. The entire idea of my parents having 4 kids on one income made us make tough choices all the time. We hardly ever ate out. We nervously asked my dad for 2 quarters to play video games…but never more. “That’s too much,” we’d say to each other.

Yet if we ever had any educational expenses — trips, sports teams, SAT classes — somehow, my parents would find the money.

And now…everything is different. Not just for me individually, but even for society.

This isn’t as simple as complaining that things have gotten worse. Here’s a great article, “Roller Coasters for the Rich,” that illustrates the tension:

“…more people are living a fast pass Life. Getting a special queue with special service isn’t a rare treat, something to indulge in on your first vacation in three years. It’s a permanent condition. Jump the security queue at the airport because you’re a frequent flyer. Walk straight into your rental car because you’re a Hertz#1 Club Gold member. Don’t like the kids your children are hanging around with? Push them into an elite program, or buy a house in a more exclusive school district. Join a gated community so the wrong people can’t even walk near you.

The economic elite used to just buy more of the things we all enjoyed. Now they have access to a different set of experiences entirely. No, that’s not quite true — of course the rich used to be able to afford better vacations and nicer cars. But increasingly they’re enjoying an exclusive version of the things we all do — right there in front of us, where we can resent them for it.

The other problem with fast passes is that once you have tasted the delights of line-free roller-coaster riding, it’s hard to give them up. No one wants to throw their lot in with the entitled jerks of the world. But no one wants to spend hours in line, either.

I want to know what you think.

By the way, I’m looking for real debate, not bloviating nonsense. it’s too easy to accuse “rich jerks” of taking advantage of these perks. The truth is, if you could, you would, too!

If you could get these perks, would you use them?

What do you think of other people using them?

What kind of society do we want to live in?

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91 Comments on "Will I raise my future kids as spoiled brats?"

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Kenneth
Kenneth
3 years 1 month ago

Yes, I would use them. Doesn’t it fall under the same category of seeing the game being played around you? Learning to play that game has been a focus of Ramit for awhile now.

As to the spoiled kids, if they have the special privileges because of daddy, then that will probably spoil them. Of you teach them the game and its rules, you explain how to get it, then I think you can give them access. As they get older, make them work for it and they’ll appreciate it.

Chris Hess
3 years 1 month ago
I am confident that I will sufficient for my families needs. What this means though is that at times we will need to not spend money even though we have it so we have it later. I also figure sometimes we will skip lines. If we go to Disney World every year, we won’t skip lines every time, but if we think we will only go once, then indulge ourselves so we get the most from that trip. Enjoy the fact you are able to be privileged once in a while. If you do it every time though you create… Read more »
Erik
Erik
3 years 1 month ago
My wife and I are both successful consultants. We have a family income that puts us in the top 5%. I got to an income of ~$200K per year around age 28. We’re expecting our first kid in December. This is a great topic, and I’m glad that you bring it up not just because it’s important, but because it also says something important about you, Ramit. What I mean by that is that one of the problems with our current society is pure, blinding ambition. The reason for all of these “shortcuts” for the well-to-do is because people with… Read more »
Rachel
Rachel
3 years 1 month ago

I agree with pretty much completely. As someone in their 20s, I am working my ass off now so that I will hopefully have enough money and ‘leverage’ to balance work and family later in life.

Its all about priorities. I see wealth as a means to an end. Money itself is not the overall goal.

Erik
Erik
3 years 1 month ago
I just thought of a concise way of saying what I was trying to say above: Most self-aware people vaguely plan on getting “out” at some point. However, it’s often a matter of having a number set for “$%#& you money”. The problem is, as the years go by, that number gets higher and higher. The treadmill accelerates. The key is to have one eye on the exit the whole time and not to buy into the lifestyle, the material things, etc. While you’re young and have the money take amazing vacations. Have great experiences. Don’t buy the “step-up” house… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago
I pretty much agree with you. It’s way way more important to spend time with your kids than than anything else. For example, public and private schools. I don’t think, given the right parents, a public school education is bad for kids (well, sort of, I have really complicated vies on this that are counter to most people’s views), no worse than a typical private school, anyway. BUT the problem lies when you have two parents working crappy jobs spending all of their time away from their kids. They can provide neither time nor money. I think it is extremely… Read more »
TJ
TJ
3 years 1 month ago

Erik,

Outstanding post. In regards to your last paragraph, I notice the same phenomenon occurring at my job. There is a huge amount of talent that seems to peak out around the 100-150K range and middle management range (myself included)…while we watch our more driven (sociopathic might be a good term as well) peers employ every trick in the book to get that extra promotion. Pretty disgusting.

JimE
JimE
3 years 23 days ago

Well said, the interesting thing about your solution is if the village you went looking for to raise your kids will really exist. We are trying a similar track and active in our church ministry and neighborhood because of it. What we are finding are several people in a similar boat looking for help and willing to help but in general not used to the time commitment.

Sam Elbonias
Sam Elbonias
8 months 24 days ago
When you die you will face God, like all of us. And you will face Him alone. He will know whether your name is in the Book of Life or not before you meet with Him. If you have spent your entire life chasing pieces of fiat paper and the seductive toys they bring, and have not thought about chasing God at all; what do you think will happen to you when you meet Him? According to Jesus, if we refuse to trust in Him in this life (and Jesus stated that He is God when asked directly by the… Read more »
Nick
3 years 1 month ago
What a great article, Ramit! I see this happen all the time and the kids turn out to be rotten. I think it’s important to make sure they know the value of money. When you go on vacation, there’s no problem to use these perks to enjoy yourselves. But when you’re not on vacation, make sure they realize how much things actually cost. For example, If they want the newest electronic and don’t have the money for it, try not to give in and just buy it for them. Or if your child is the social butterfly and likes to… Read more »
Meg Sylvia
3 years 1 month ago
Yes, I would use these perks if I could get them. My goal isn’t to be treated as “elite” and jump through all of the lines, but I’m more than happy to take advantage of time savers when they’re available. I’m fine with other people using perks. If you are investing a lot into a service, you should get certain rewards. It’s good customer service. However, I don’t like the sense of entitlement that is so common in our culture. I don’t want to be handed the golden key and have access to all of the fast lanes in life.… Read more »
Meghan
3 years 1 month ago
I didn’t know it at the time, but after meeting and marrying my husband, I found out I grew up rich. We had maids clean our house once a week and we took annual vacations to Disney. We took limos to the airport and I flew first class as a little girl. At the time, I thought most people grew up like that. I think that experience definitely made me more spoiled than my husband, who grew up with much less. But I also think financial circumstances impact kids less than we think. Research shows genetics plays a far, far… Read more »
Raj Shah
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit, I’m glad you brought this topic up, because it’s one that my friends and I struggle with. On the one hand, you work hard trying to build the wealth and lifestyle that you want for yourself and your family. But once you, “make it”, you fear that your children aren’t going to realize how lucky they are compared 99% of the world. How we teach them to have perspective and honor hard work is definitely a challenge. I have no issues with “rich” people taking advantage of the perks like shorter lines, etc. especially if they have been earned.… Read more »
Doug
Doug
3 years 1 month ago

“at the expense of the middle class and poor.”
There you have the hidden script and the assumption. If someone does well providing affordable housing, is it at the expense of the poor.
The thinking is that the size of the pie is set, so for someone to have more, someone else has less. Just not true.

Brian Baute
3 years 1 month ago

Great thoughts as always – and you won’t be the first to have your kids sit in the back of the plane. In October I was on the same commercial flight from Denver to Charlotte as Gary Busey – he was in first class, and his manager was sitting next to me in coach, and Busey’s son was a couple rows behind us. It was such a weird dynamic. But, you know, it was Gary Busey, so it all kind of made sense.

Jesse
Jesse
3 years 1 month ago

I worry about this too. I spent my childhood working. I don’t want my children to work as much during their childhood as I did. At the same time, will they have the same work ethic I do?

Adam Ultraberg
Adam Ultraberg
3 years 1 month ago
Wealthy vs poor isn’t a binary, it’s a paradigm. The rich life is only valuable in that it compares to something else — whether it’s the poverty of never having 10k in the bank or eating rice and beans for 5 years after college. But like anything else (beauty, health, a good sex life), you only have it when it’s as contrast. If you want your kids not to be spoiled, make sure they give back to the community. Clean up the park with them. Visit an Audubon society, go out for a five buck pizza, have them rake and… Read more »
Ian Pickering
Ian Pickering
3 years 1 month ago
I now have 2 children, and I grew up without a father so I have had the advantage of making 100% of my own decisions when it comes to being a Dad. Not that I think that I am making 100% of the RIGHT decisions- but at least they are my own. Anyways, I grew up poor, and I am still working to get away from the poor mentality when it comes to money. I have always been frugal, but at the same time I believe in enjoying life. I just don’t feel that material possessions really represent true enjoyment.… Read more »
Mike
3 years 1 month ago
Great topic! I believe that businesses are having a hard time separating elite experiences for higher paying customers because in our “buy now pay later” world, folks are willing to pay for the upgraded experience. This forces the businesses to come up with more advanced, creative experiences for their highest paying customers. I personally think it is great for all involved. It serves as a motivator for those that cannot afford it (as it did for you Ramit). We all want to be able to provide MORE for our kids and their kids. To me, that is what it means… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago

It’s funny, I came from a poor family, but I did end up doing that stuff, you would be surprised the resources out there for those who don’t have! Sure it’s harder, but I remember filling out applications to get admissions waived, and I went to a public school and had free resources associated with that, anyway.

The thing is, I don’t really think money is what kids need more of.

rkt88edmo
rkt88edmo
3 years 1 month ago

If you could get these perks, would you use them?
I’ve used them and foregone them

What do you think of other people using them?
I’m fine with it, I think it is up to the enterprise to manage all of their customers experiences, both those in and out of such programs.

What kind of society do we want to live in?
A society that values individual freedom.
A society that rewards producers of value.
A society that is compassionate and cares about all of it’s members.

Veronica
3 years 1 month ago
I do have many perks, and I think many of us have more than we realize just by having access to paved roads, public police departments, school systems, etc. paid for by taxes (in the US at least). That said, I was “lucky” enough to be exposed to many different economic/social levels when I was growing up and that taught me to 1) appreciate what I have, 2) realize that wealth is not only financial. My travels around the world helped me to see that most of people living outside the US are much happier than those living here despite… Read more »
DZ
DZ
3 years 1 month ago
For a period I was a bartender in one of the richest towns in the eastern US. The wealth was astonishing and pretty much everyone gave their kids the best of educations, vacations abroad, clothing, leisure activities and so on. A lot of the mothers stayed at home so they got a lot of attention too. Many of the families had kids who were polite, worked hard, tried in sporting activities and turned out as contributing members of society (or, y’know, hedge fund managers) and others had kids who turned into rude, entitled bums who were biding their time on… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago

Part of it is just going to be the individual. I have 5 brothers and I wish I could say they were all as driven as I am. Definitely NOT the case.

I think in my family, I am the odd one out, as we were NOT taught to be driven, but it’s not just how someone is raised, though it is a big contributor.

Jen @ Daycare In Demand
3 years 1 month ago
Another thought-provoking post from Ramit! To me, this is pretty cut-and-dried: Absolutely, you use your money for whatever perks and goodies you want your family to enjoy. But – and this is huge – you make it very clear to your children that having more money than other people does not, in any way, shape, or form, make you *better* than anyone else. Lack of understanding of this fundamental point is where the spoiling process begins. You also need to make it clear to your kids that their having landed in a family with money (through birth or adoption or… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago

It’s definitely about that not making them better, but also about what they can do as an influential person. How are they choosing to use that wealth? For the greater good or to just completely drown themselves in “stuff” that isn’t going to make their lives any better?

Kath C.
3 years 1 month ago
We live in one of the wealthiest areas in the country and the kids here are VERY, VERY spoiled, so this is an issue I worry about a lot. Here’s how I address it: First, I monitor their friends and try to make sure my kids spend time with kids whose parents’ values reflect ours and limit play dates with the most spoiled or their classmates. Second, I try to teach them three key lessons: a) You can learn anything you need to know to accomplish your goals. Whether it’s how to build a tower in Minecraft or how to… Read more »
Ed
Ed
3 years 1 month ago
Since you’re asking the question “Will I raise my future kids as spoiled brats?”, the answer is probably “No.” We just had a real-life example of this exact issue. We took a vacation to Alaska, and on one of our stops, we were in an American Airlines lounge with our 4 y.o. daughter. I was looking at the flight status board when an older guy said something to the effect that “you don’t want to let the kid get used to this”. I asked the guy what he meant, and he said he had been taking his daughter into lounges… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago
This post sounds sweet and I feel like your 4y.o. will do well 🙂 One thing that came to mind for me is: MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL SPOILED! I used to work at a yogurt shop, for way too many years of my life, and I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of people who came in (who were almost definitely not high income based on geographical location as well as where they were) with kids and told them what size they were getting. The kids throw a fit and the parent says “If you keep acting like… Read more »
Tlb
Tlb
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit, I believe that we should be able to spend the money that we earn how we choose to spend it. When the wealthy spend the extra money to have an experience that fits within their budget and life style, it is their choice as it is their money that they are spending. The additional money that is paid to the theme parks, the airlines or wherever certainly helps the business and the economy. My personal opinion is that we can raise spoiled brats whether we are “rich” or financially challenged. It is all relative. In all honesty, just because… Read more »
Larraine
3 years 1 month ago
Raising your kids with morals (or without, for that matter), has nothing to do with being privileged or not. You’re damn right I would use those perks. And use them for friends and family as well. And those few colleagues who really work their asses off for me or others but don’t necessarily know how to play the game. There’s been a recent scandal in the paper about how the uber rich are using the handicapped to bypass lines at Disney and other parks. Everyone is up in arms–the outrage! Why? the girl these families are using are paying her… Read more »
Chris
3 years 1 month ago
I guess, first things first, I don’t care what other people think of me and the choices I’m making. I just don’t have the time to worry about that. Here are the answers to your questions: If you could get these perks, would you use them? Yes, but not for the reasons that anyone here has really stated yet. The fast pass, banking after hours, first class, the hertz line, and all of these are a reflection of one thing to me – my time is valuable and I’m willing to pay more to keep and do with it what… Read more »
N. Price
N. Price
3 years 1 month ago
This post is particularly amusing coming from Ramit, whom is the advocate for learning secret motivators behind what we do and caring about money as a means to achieve the style of life we want. As long as they are loved, fed, and feel physically secure, kids will be happy. It isn’t until we teach them (or culture teaches them) that they are rich, poor, smart, successful, failures, etc. that they learn to be better or worse than other people. Same for how to treat their fellow man. So as other posters commented, as long as they are taught (a)… Read more »
Alex Shorts
Alex Shorts
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit, I love this post as I just had a son and will be struggling with these questions now and in the future. In order to tackle this question I think one needs to take a step back and look at the bigger picture first. Influenced by those who have gone before us, my wife and I have decided to raise our children to be fully autonomous adults. We will do this by striving to implement the values, skills and knowledge that they need to function in the world around us. I would argue that as a culture this is… Read more »
Adam H
Adam H
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit – per our email conversation, here are my answers, your comments/questions with a “*” in front: *The truth is, if you could, you would, too! As an Officer in the Navy I get head of line privileges in the small ship’s store. In a hot, busy environment, I can jump in front of all of the sailors who have spent hours turning wrenches on the steam plant, sweating their asses off and getting no sleep, while I’ve been shuffling paperwork in my office, and probably enjoying a more comfortable life than them. Is that fair? I didn’t know that… Read more »
Kacie
3 years 1 month ago

Does that mean you’ve met a ladyfriend, Ramit!? Oh, your mother and I sure hope so. Get to it, already. That next chapter of your life is sure to be awesome.

Gary
3 years 1 month ago
I think there is a balance to be found. Just like parents that don’t have a lot, they can still have spoiled brats. Just because you could get them tickets to every concert, are you going to? You could take them to Disney several times a year, but will you? If they answer is “yes” then you’ll probably get spoiled kids 🙂 But how do you make them earn these rewards. And I mean EARN, cleaning their room does not earn a concert, that gets them food and a place to live! When kids get older, I’ve always been a… Read more »
Ray
Ray
3 years 1 month ago
As a father of two (going on three!) I think a lot about the way I want to teach my kids to view the world. About how I want them to view the success of others, as well as the failure of even more. In life, there will always be those who have more success and privilege than you, and always those with less. The pitfall, as I see it, does lie in the iniquity of their privilege as it relates to mine. The real pitfall is envy. I want my kids to be skilled in the art of having… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
3 years 1 month ago
I have to agree with the thoughtful comments of some of the other posters. If you do not have an ‘entitled’ attitude, you will probably try to raise your future children the same way that you were raised. I have two children, and for the most part, so far they are good kids (ages 9 and 11). However, they do get used to situations, even when they are explained. Case in point, I work for an airline, and have had the opportunity to travel in Executive class on some flights with the children. Although they of course would like every… Read more »
Leah
Leah
3 years 1 month ago
You have less control over what your kids interperet from the “fast pass” life than you think you do. For example, the founder/CEO at my asset management firm is massively wealthy–houses across the globe, a yacht, private plane service, and all the “fast pass” manifestations of a rich life. His oldest son grew up, went to a mediocre university, got a mediocre MBA, works in middle management at one of his dad’s firms, and blows every cent he gets on upgrading his BMW every year, buying comically obscene “Hamptons” outfits, dining out at the fanciest restaurants, and is a Grade… Read more »
Tim Hofmann
3 years 1 month ago
The perks are fine- I can see myself choosing to purchase them if the value is correct. These kid-spoiling parents are failing to teach their offspring compassion. Compassion is independent of wealth. It doesn’t take any money to teach someone to take care of others and treat them as human beings who deserve respect. As my family grows and as our wealth grows, a major goal of mine is to show my kids that money is a lever- and you can use that lever to do awesome things. And I will show them that doing awesome things for other people… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago

Yay! Good post.

Heather
Heather
3 years 1 month ago
This topic concerns me as well. I definitely think that the attitudes we have about what we feel entitled to (whether it’s things, privileges, reputation, etc) or how hard we should have to work are shaped by our experiences growing up. My husband and I both grew up without much financial certainty; that’s probably what made us work our butts off in school (perhaps to the point of paranoia) to avoid the same worries that our parents have. I think it also made us pragmatic and strategic about our career paths. Since we finished school, our families have given us… Read more »
Adrien
Adrien
3 years 1 month ago
My issue is with the people who let their privilege go to their heads. I worked customer service at a place where many affluent people came in. Some were amazing. Others treated me like dirt. I got fired because a man came in and REFUSED to check in, which is a requirement. I wasn’t rude. I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I had co-workers and other members wonder what his problem was, and they were all there to back me up. He complained to the right people, probably donated a lot of money – I got fired. The real… Read more »
Scott
Scott
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit, dare I ask of we’re looking at the glass as half empty? I would argue that these “perks” and the people who take advantage of them are actually drivers of social progress. Let’s face it. Today’s luxuries invariably become tomorrow’s commodities. During the Roman Empire, things like salt and purple cloth were high-status items. During the Middle Ages, books cost the equivalent of many thousands of dollars to produce by hand for the educated elite. Just a few decades ago, cell phones were owned only by masters of the universe like Gordon Gekko. Does anyone consider any of those… Read more »
Jack
Jack
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit, I have to say I enjoy the fast pass lifestyle. When I take my kids to disneyland we like to splurge a bit and spend less time waiting in line. That means we spend more money at the park. Basically, we’re PAYING for additional services. How is paying for a shorter line different than getting a full service car wash as opposed to the basic wash? Or supersizing instead of the regular size meal. You’ve said in your classes that we’re going to work harder than the other 99% and that because we do that we’ll get results that… Read more »
Dee
Dee
3 years 1 month ago
” The truth is, if you could, you would, too!” Actually, that is not my truth. I’m not sure if I would use the perk in Disneyland. I can’t see myself walking past children who are waiting in line and to jump ahead. We teach children fairness and equality and then they get to witness how this is not really true if you have money. Imagine you are the parent whom has to explain why his child has to wait in line while someone gets to go ahead because of money. I wouldn’t want to place any parent in that… Read more »
Jessica
Jessica
3 years 1 month ago
Anyone who has seen poor parents take out loans/use credit cards to buy their children the latest gadgets and toys for Christmas “because they deserve it” should know that ‘spoiled’ is not something that only happens to rich children. Regardless of how much money you have, if you raise your children to expect unfettered access to the fruits of other people’s labor (in this case, your money) or give them the idea that they are better than others because of what they have (or worse than others because of what they don’t have) you are likely to end up with… Read more »
Vikki
Vikki
3 years 1 month ago
Hi Ramit … I’ve been lurking in the background for a while on your mailing list, because I’m a bit older than you, and whereas I have learned a lot from you, I feel that this is a topic about which I feel knowledgeable. Ramit … these are all material THINGS!!! Not important to happiness. now don’t get me wrong, I like materal things a LOT, but they are not as important as the intangibles in life, such as love, health, integrity, world peace, and an all-consuming self confidence. First, I’d like to thank you for your articles. They have… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago

Right on! This is so great that you realize that you can have influence over her entitlement at ANY age. It’s so so hard for most parents to remove what they have been pampering their children with, even when they are old enough to be making their own money and are completely careless with money.

JimE
JimE
3 years 23 days ago

Good luck, in my view it’s better they learn to sink or swim earlier than later so don’t wait for the right time.

Hayley
3 years 1 month ago
You know what, I would use them, im only human. But there is something to be said for taking the time to smell the roses too. For instance Ramit is a busy guy…is it conceivable that along with the staying late for him it would be hard for him to get there at any other time? possibly. And by keeping Ramit happy they have a more secure chance of gaining or keeping his business than if they did not. I dont consider myself special or above other people, and if say there was a line of 10 people waiting to… Read more »
Darya
3 years 1 month ago
I think the values you instill in a child are what determine if they come out rotten. If a child feels entitled it will be a monster. If it sees the world as full of opportunity and understands that consequences come from actions, he/she may stand a chance. Interestingly the most well-behaved, intelligent, engaging and all around awesome kids I’ve met have been the children of the very wealthy (top 0.0001%). Whereas many of the upper middle class children I meet make we want to drop kick them. I seriously doubt money and privilege itself is the problem, but it… Read more »
MItch
MItch
3 years 1 month ago
You know, I really don’t care. I’ve had the experience you describe, of seeing the “privileged” enjoy perks that the rest of us don’t have access to, though I wasn’t watching a stranger. Instead, it was the general manager of a store I used to work at*. It didn’t really bother me that all the managers got a meal when they worked more than x number of hours. What bothered me was that this guy chose to take this meal when the store was closed & we were all trying to get it cleaned up and he was about to… Read more »
doug
doug
3 years 1 month ago

I got some good advice from an older friend: A man must provide for his family, but a man must also see his family.

Amber
Amber
3 years 1 month ago
I am a mom of 3 kids. From the age of 2 our children have jobs around the home. They are in charge of taking care of themselves. They are responsible for their actions. We follow through on every consequence we make. We only make consequences that we will follow through on as well. The money my husband and I earn will be spent how we decide to spend it. If they would like to earn some money outside our home, then they can decide how to spend it. My kids are not spoiled brats because we do not allow… Read more »
Ezzie Spencer
3 years 1 month ago
This is really thought-provoking. I will definitely share my privilege with my children on the foundations of growth, eg, quality education, excellent nutrition and a peaceful environment. Beyond that, what I will help them with in terms of mindset and life experiences will be most valuable. So yes, they will fly at the back of the plane 😉 I am grateful for my own ‘unspoilt’ childhood, although it was rich in love. This fuelled the fire of success, and allowed me to understand the importance of service. The society I want? Compassionate, healthy and abundant. I’ll bring up my future… Read more »
Chris
Chris
3 years 1 month ago
Of course I would use the ‘free pass’ if offered. I know, as I have. To claim otherwise is pious at best and pure BS at worst. So, what do you do? A fair number of posts have rightfully pointed out that you HAVE to make your children earn something towards the reward. Sure, there are times when they ride the coat tails, but LOOK for the 100’s of ways they can be taught to be contributors. Little things like their turn to wash/clean around the house. Even when you have a housekeeper, there are plenty of tasks they can… Read more »
Wilding
3 years 1 month ago
This just comes down to 1 thing: 1. Evolution. We evolved to want power and to feel superior to others. Survival of the fittest and all that. Just look at the studies done on social hierarchy of bonobos as a perfect example. Heck, look at OUR culture! Hard stuff to deny. As humans we are literally DYING for power and superiority. So, naturally we devised the financial system to reflect that exact same mentality. The perfect system with which to dominate others and to feel superior at the same time. Now, nobody is going to deny how awesome commerce is… Read more »
Josh
3 years 1 month ago
Ramit, Great points. I am a strength coach and was working a college baseball showcase for high school athletes this past weekend. These families spend hundreds of dollars to get the opportunity to be evaluated by college coaches from all levels and academic backgrounds. I’d say at least ¼ of the athletes didn’t hustle, didn’t smile/look like they were having fun, and showed complete lack of ability. I’m not one to think everyone has to be gifted or even good at sports, but for Christ’s sake fn hustle and show some pride! Back to your question, these perks you speak… Read more »
Diane
Diane
3 years 1 month ago
Forgive me but it’s early. I just read some of the replies and scanned through the rest. I’m older than a lot of you and frankly, was bemused at all the folks who would grab the fast pass. One of the big problems we have now-a-days is the sense of entitlement many people have. And, guess what folks, we are all the same. No one is better than anyone else. If you want to raise a spoiled child, just wait until life smacks them hard in the face. And, it will. Will they have the courage and character to handle… Read more »
Hannah Ransom
3 years 1 month ago

🙂
Yes yes yes.

Mark
3 years 1 month ago
Great debate going on here. I think many of us in the 40-50 year old range were raised by parents that prided themselves on working hard and “waiting your turn”. For some reason there was perceived value and morals in that. Probably because that was what you were “supposed” to do. By that logic, is it fair that someone making $30k per year pays the same for gas as someone making $150k? If people have the means, why can’t they pay for that upgraded experience. For those waiting in lines at the amusement park, there are also those that cannot… Read more »
NewEnglandDevil
NewEnglandDevil
3 years 1 month ago
Enjoyed the post! and the many thoughtful responses. Wanted to chime in with a thought or two and an example. 1) Our current polity focuses on stratification and demonizes “haves” for having. This is explicitly contra the 10th commandment and is only purposeful for sowing discord. It ultimately drags everyone down to the LCD. (Yea! Let’s all be poor together! See also, results of communism.) 2) Stratification is not a problem. What is morally repugnant is permanence of stratification. Whether it is by law (slavery), birth (patents of nobility, hereditary titles), or social engineering circumstance (generational welfare). 3) There’s a… Read more »
Tiffany
Tiffany
3 years 1 month ago
If you could get these perks, would you use them? Yes but I’d try to enjoy them without attaching to them. One thing I am afraid of is that the exclusive experiences might become a need instead of a want, and I am unable to distinguish the two. I was reading somewhere that every time someone gets a dopamine release from a repeated activity, the brain makes this action into a habit. As a result, not doing that can lead to distress. I think it’s easy for luxurious activities to become my new baseline to be comfortable and I don’t… Read more »
Rocky
Rocky
3 years 1 month ago
My children are living the life you speak of. They have flown around the world multiple times and stay in fancy places not small hotel rooms. They have flown first class and cut the lines. They have been to Disney more times than I can count. They have had a nanny. They eat at expensive restaurants. Attend private schools. Ski all winter long. I will use the perks! However these things don’t matter. Raising children is about teaching them to be men and woman. They eat at fancy places to learn to eat in such a place. They see the… Read more »
Matt
Matt
3 years 1 month ago
If you could get these perks, would you use them? — Yes. Absolutely. Unapologetically. Because I can’t afford such perks now, being able to afford them in the future will mean I’ve earned my way into them. What do you think of other people using them? — Pre-Ramit: “Man, I wish I could do that.” (I’ve never been a jealous type, just a ‘wisher.’) — Post-Ramit: “I wonder who that is. What do they do to be able to afford first-class? I wonder who I know who could introduce me. Maybe I should just go say hi myself. Let’s see… Read more »
Eliot W. Collins
Eliot W. Collins
3 years 1 month ago

I have not been to an airport in over 10 years. I do not go to movies, clubs, concerts or restaurants. As the wise sage said, “The man is the richest who pleasures are the cheapest.” As always, “Money you don’t have to spend is money you don’t have to make.”

J. Delancy
3 years 1 month ago

The book entitled, “The Millionaire Next Door” had lots to say about the mindset imparted to children by their parents. The book used empirical evidence to explain why some of the children of the wealthy were not as successful as their parents. Those children who had more ‘perks’ were less likely to be striving, ambitious adults.
I don’t think line jumpers at Disney had this outcome in mind.

Another, even more disturbing phenomena is that the wealthy are more likely to commit suicide than the poor. An explanation of that would make a truly interesting post.

Taylor
Taylor
3 years 1 month ago
I like this question. My Grandfather was first generation money. His hard work, discipline and drive surmounted the poverty mindset and lack he had growing up and as a direct result, I grew up more privileged than most. We would go skiing, to all inclusive resorts, I attended private schools and lessons, our family went out to eat often, etc. I would always notice the “members” on our vacations with the black bands, gold cards and platinum passes and all the sudden it wasn’t good enough that I was just there. I wanted VIP access, I wanted an unlimited pass,… Read more »
Paul
3 years 1 month ago

You have to teach your kids to work hard and be honest. Raise them to also be smart and have morals. Teach your kids to live like Jesus lived in the bible. Do all this and you will have successful children that make great money.

Barbara McKinney
3 years 1 month ago

I think the best thing to do is to let your child explore the world.Let them work for the things that they want to have.For example,they want to have a new phone.Explain to them that you will only give them what they want if they got good grades in school.This is one way of disciplining our kids.

Maggie
Maggie
3 years 30 days ago
See, the problem with things like private schools is that the people who can afford them are the very people with the resources (e.g. time and networks) to effectively campaign for improvements in PUBLIC schools. If your response to your kid’s school not being good enough is to put them in a special school rather than lobbying the government to spend money on textbooks or improve the curriculum, you’re actively contributing to the economic stratification of society. And yet, that kind of change can take a long time. Do you leave your kid in a situation that might be harming… Read more »
Claudia
3 years 30 days ago
Before I say any more, I want to point out that when we flew as kids, my parents would often be in business or first class and we would sit in economy. The only time we got to sit in business/first was when we were on a plane for 12 hours. Yeah, we got a little annoyed, but it really wasn’t a big deal. So yes, you can absolutely send your kids to the back of the plane. Perks I see a little differently though (I don’t consider a business/first class ticket a perk since you generally pay for it).… Read more »
Maggie
Maggie
3 years 30 days ago
Yep, I would use the privileges of fast-cutting the line (in fact, last weekend i did when a family member in super-frequent-flyer status got me a ticket and cut me through all the airport lines… to get upgraded to 1st class). But I am unsure of what I would do with kids in that scenario. The one thing that comes to mind? When I was a kid I really loved those historical American Girl Dolls – and my family never knew what to get me for Christmas, so my big gift one year was one of the dolls. And then… Read more »
Eric
Eric
3 years 30 days ago
I think the fast passes are of a piece with the greater stratification of wealth. They’re nice to have, but not a must have. To the extent they corrode the “we’re all in this together” notion that is central to life in these United States, I’m against them. I don’t recall where the study was taken, but I do recall a recent study showing that in previous generations people mixed more across educational and income lines than they do currently. You would have the big executive with the college education married to a high school-educated spouse, for example. And they… Read more »
Rachel
Rachel
3 years 30 days ago
It’s important to make sure you aren’t a spoiled brat first. Children learn entitlement from their parents being d-bags. Look for opportunities to give and be kind, even if you aren’t giving money. I would constantly remind myself and my kids how lucky we are. Like Claudia mentions, you don’t have to do everything the privileged way just because you can; spend the money/take advantage based on the things you value. When I was in 5th grade the Principal visited our class & reminded us of how lucky we were. Lucky to be able to walk, lucky to be in… Read more »
Andrew
Andrew
3 years 30 days ago
Ramit — Doubt you’ll read this. It’s simple really. Life is a game we all play. Some choose to play and others sit on the sidelines and complain. Businesses have tiered pricing models for different levels of service; some people value them and others don’t. I wouldn’t call them perks when you actually pay for them. I’ve used the perks and will continue. AA miles, Hertz Gold, Disney Fastpass, etc. I earned it with my cash! I don’t care what other people do with their money. Why do we care so much about what other people are doing? I don’t.… Read more »
SamB
SamB
3 years 30 days ago
When I used to assist with sales, and specifically upselling, I used value a lot of the time. People who want the best don’t usually worry about the cost, and people who want the lowest cost don’t usually worry about having the best. That said, would I use the perks? Probably not. Some of my best memories, as a child and even now, are of standing in lines (or other lower class curses, like staying in hostels instead of all-inclusives, or eating in cafeterias, drinking at happy-hours, and waiting outside the theatre for wait-list or student tickets), being forced to… Read more »
Greg
3 years 30 days ago
“Spoiled kids” means different things to different people. In some places it means having an iPad and phone at age 7 and in others it means having shoes. Other people in this thread have defined it in terms of how you treat or interact with others. Like any investment, you define what you want to get out of your children and work accordingly. Unlike any investment, they have free will to reject you and drive you crazy. My three have both impressed me and disappointed me. As for fast pass/line saving, I don’t think I would use those perks, but… Read more »
Hilary
Hilary
3 years 29 days ago
It’s possible to raise children in a life of privilege without making them into entitled assholes. Reward them when they earn it rather than to shut them up, just like you would with a dog, and they will be more likely to strive for success. Put them in a good school and give them the benefits of what you can afford. Spend family vacations together how you want to – and sure, let vacations include EXTRA privileges (shopping sprees, gifts, etc) but a routine of school/homework/extra curricular will create a more balanced human who is accustomed to working (at least… Read more »
RS
RS
3 years 29 days ago

……Coach

james
james
3 years 29 days ago
To me the term spoiled deals more with a sense of entitlement than having material wealth. There are plenty of fortunate folks out there who have material wealth and success but also possess humility. They eagerly live a modest lifestyle, give generously to charity, and appreciate the values associated with the hard work and effort involved in creating the wealth that they have. They also pass along these values on to their children by not over indulging their every whim and teach them the value of a dollar. Parents should teach children to value hard work and to help others… Read more »
Paola
Paola
3 years 28 days ago
I rarely if ever post on blogs, but after reading your post, felt I needed to do so. I believe there is a total imbalance in the way the wealth/education/health in our society has been divided. As an immigrant myself, and an adoptive New Yorker, I’ve experienced the bad/ugly and best. I believe it s really easy to get carried away by the need to have, but my question is, what is that person looking for. I can t really believe at the end of the day, being a platinum frequent flier or traveling always first class makes you happier.… Read more »
Karen Rundlet
3 years 27 days ago
I honestly can say there are many I would reject, but there are some I’m certain I couldn’t resist. I would love to get almost all the hours back of my life that I’ve sat at airports, waited in security lines, sat on planes while passengers took too long to put luggage into overhead bins. Groan. I’ve always hated the chore of waiting and feeling cramped. (God bless the poor sucker who sits in seat B between two snoring slugs — and that’s been me before!) And yes, I recall a few interesting conversations with strangers on planes. And yes,… Read more »
Flavius Ghilea
3 years 25 days ago
Hello Ramit, I assume you described the situation in the US. I`m from Romania (though I was there 2 times in the last 5 years), but I guess things are not much different here in terms of basic human nature. Regarding privilege, I would argue that it is not enough for one to benefit from privilege if the ones around him somehow don`t envy him/her. Sounds pretty basic but I guess it`s true. So for the guy will less access to privilege, the best way to deal with it is to turn resentment into motivation and to realize that probably… Read more »
Heather
3 years 24 days ago
I have one idea: take public transit. Make your kids take public transit, even if you can afford not to. You will see a great cross section of society, and that helps develop empathy. You don’t need take public transit all the time, but I’ve done it on vacations here and there and to school about once a week. Oh, and I have no problems going first class WITH the kid. Because coach is HELL. And no problems with paying extra to park near the entrance at amusement parks with a toddler. Hey, she still naps, so time is money!!
Ray
Ray
3 years 23 days ago
Would I use the perks? of course. I think a good majority of people would. I think what irritates us is not that some get privileges and others don’t, but more that when priviledged people use perks, they make a big show of it. So essentially bringing the focus on their vulgar behaviour and not perhaps of the years of hard work they had to endure to get there. We all want good role models to asprire to. I only fully realized this distinction when I lived in Saudia Arabia for 2 years. With not much else for distraction (ie:… Read more »
Cheap Rockets Howard Jerseys For Sale Getting Wholesale Price Online

Hmmm…I think she looks better in the towel.

Monique
Monique
3 years 16 days ago
Getting exceptional service because you are a gold card member or able to live in an affluent area doesn’t bother me as much as getting service at the bank or anywhere else after regular business hours. When anyone goes to a business after hours, what ramifications does this have on the person waiting on them? Maybe the bank associate has a family or other duties after 5 but is required to stay. He/she may be making one fifth of what the client is making but does that make he/she less of a person without duties and obligations? If the bank… Read more »
DJ
DJ
3 years 15 days ago

The fact that you say this:
“it’s too easy to accuse “rich jerks” of taking advantage of these perks. The truth is, if you could, you would, too!”

Shows that you WILL raise entitled brats, because you assume 1. everyone would want to be first first first and 2. that others are envying them for being first.

Some of us are altruistic. You are not, apparently.

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