Spoiling your children may turn them into money hungry adults

There’s no right or wrong way to bring up your kids.angry kid spoiled child

I bet you’ve looked at some of your friend’s children and considered them spoilt brats.

Well research by Roy Morgan  found children who have all the toys they want are more likely to grow up to want money, not happiness.

The New Daily report the survey found kids aged between six and 13 years old who always get the toys they want are considerably more likely than those who don’t to say they would rather be rich than happy when they grow up.

Kids with all the toys who wanted to be rich were thought by experts to be in part of the cult of instant gratification and possibly be likely to flaunt their possessions

Motherpaedia reports similar findings, saying that children perceive and use money differently depending, in large part, on their family’s household income.

A survey of almost 4,000 6-13 year olds by Roy Morgan Research found that there are strong – and maybe surprising – connections between a family’s household income and a child’s attitude to shopping and saving.

“Many of our adult financial attitudes and habits may be determined in these formative years,” says CEO of Roy Morgan Research, Michele Levine.

“We learn about money and observe our parents working, saving, and paying bills.”

Children’s income kids money learn teach coin child lesson school piggy bank mum mother parent

The survey found that Australian children receive an average of $11.27 a week in pocket money, paid work and extra money for school expenses, ranging from $5 for the average 6-year-old to $20 for the average 13-year-old.

Children in the lowest income households (earning less than $50,000 a year) receive the most money – $14.81 per week on average.

While the amount children receive is not necessarily an indication of whether they’re ‘underprivileged’ or ‘spoilt rotten’, the way they perceive and spend their money varies by household income level.

What children spend their money on

Overall, 46% of children say they use some of their money to buy toys ahead of 40% who put some in the bank, 30% who use it on snacks and drinks and 28% who are saving for a big item – such as a bike.

Toys are the most common expenditure for children in households earning less than $150,000 a year, while those in households earning more are more likely to be putting it in the bank or saving for something significant.

While it is tempting to suggest this is because children in higher income households get the toys they want, according to Roy Morgan Research this is not the case: 24% of the kids in lower income households say they “always get the toys they want” compared with 16% in higher income households.

Wealth over happiness

The proportion of kids who “would rather be rich than happy” also decreases across each increasing income bracket.

Across all household incomes, children who agree that they “always get the toys they want” are considerably more likely than those who don’t to want to be rich rather than happy when they grow up.

Importance of parents

Regardless of the household income level, or how much pocket money an individual child receives, 90% of kids agree that “I admire my parents”.

Also published on Medium.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

'Spoiling your children may turn them into money hungry adults' have 4 comments

  1. February 17, 2014 @ 8:14 am Phil B

    There is also the overriding factor that poor Aussie battlers have more to fight for to survive. A child brought up in underwhelming conditions may be more compelled to succeed than one that is handed an above average lifestyle on a plate. This fits in with your argument because the very poor simply cannot provide everything a child desires

    In terms of happiness, I think it’s important to add in the variable of love and affection given to a child by his or her parents. With little or no love, a child may seek happiness through financial security rather than love, not really knowing any better, and regardless of whether they got the toys they wanted


    • February 17, 2014 @ 8:19 am Michael Yardney

      There is no question at all about your last comment – giving your children love and affection and instilling self confidence in them is critical to their healthy development


  2. March 28, 2015 @ 11:00 am David

    Rich and happy is what we are aiming for.


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