It’s important to have rich children.
There I said it.
Now, before you tell me there are more important things in life, let me clarify what I mean.
Rich children grow into adults who are wealthy, yes, but they’re also resilient, curious, independent and compassionate.
Being rich is about wealth in all facets of our life.
Too often we focus on one aspect, usually money, not realizing that financial wealth, good relationships and happiness are all linked.
So how do you go about creating a rich child?
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Kids learn from their parents.
They do this by taking in not just what we teach them, but what we do. This is very powerful.
If a child sees their parents going off to work every day miserable, or even just complacent, then that will have an impact on them.
They’ll see work or a career as something you endure, that you turn up for, but don’t necessarily embrace.
On the other hand, if you’re ambitious, if you take calculated risks and follow what you’re passionate about, this is going to have a lasting impression on your child.
YOU NEED TO TEACH THEM THAT AMBITION IS OK
We spend a lot of time telling our kids what not to do. Don’t be rude, don’t be messy, don’t be disrespectful to others.
These are all very important qualities. But what about ambition?
We never teach our children to dream because we think that’s something that can’t be taught.
But it can.
You teach a child to dream by encouraging them to think of things they would like to achieve in the future and then help them plot their course.
IDENTIFY THEIR INTERESTS
As a parent, you need to be on high alert for your children’s skills and interests.
What are they drawn to?
Do they love painting? Do they have a tendency towards figures and maths? Maybe they’re obsessed with animals.
Once you identify the areas of interest, you need to encourage them to think about how they could work in these fields when they’re older.
You could point out how they could use their creative side to create their own business.
Above all, you are teaching them the important like the skill of identifying interests and strengths and building a career from them.
You are also teaching them to not worry about what other people do with their lives — it’s about identifying their own interests and passion.
TEACH THEM PATIENCE
There are a lot of talented young people in the world, but often what trips them up and stops them from succeeding is a lack of patience.
They want success now. They want it yesterday.
Teach your child the importance of hanging in there. Sometimes they will have to tread water. Sometimes they will feel like they’re going backwards.
Rarely, will things proceed in a straight line.
Patience makes all the difference.
TEACH THEM TO BE CURIOUS
An open mind is the only way to have a truly great idea.
And truly great ideas make the best businesses.
Teach your child to ask questions.
Expose them to different places and people. Show them how big and interesting the world is.
A curious child will grow into an adult who is never bored and is constantly engaged.
SHOW THEM HOW TO LOSE
Children often struggle with losing.
They haven’t developed the full range of social skills and behaviours that makes them good losers, and, if I’m honest, some never do.
This is where you come in.
Show them how to praise others when they’ve been beaten at something.
Show them how to compete with others, but remain friendly and civil.
And, most importantly, show them how to bounce back after a setback.
LET THEM BE
At a certain age, you’ll need to show your children how to answer their own questions. Independence is an important skill, too, so occasionally you need to ask them what they think. If they routinely come to you for answers, bat the ball back to them and see what they suggest.
It’s often said that children are sponges, absorbing what they see and the world around them. This is true, and their biggest influence is you as a parent.
Show them how to win, lose, think and explore, and they will turn out to be thoughtful, independent, and, yes, rich children.
Guest contributor Michael Yardney is Australia's leading expert in wealth creation and a director of Metropole Property Strategists. He is a best-selling author, and frequently challenges traditional finance advice with innovative ideas on personal finance and wealth creation. Michael writes the Property Update blog.