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Do you dream of having household help and being able to provide your kids with everything their hearts desire? Money and privilege certainly make life easier, and that ease extends into parenting. Some of the changes are obvious, but others aren’t what you might expect. Here are some of the ways parenting might be a different experience if you had great wealth at your disposal.
Your Kids Would Whine More
Affluent families tend to cultivate their children very deliberately, with lots of scheduled activities and experiences, while working-class families give kids more freedom and independence. All that activity help kids build a strong resume and develop the skills they need to succeed in Ivy League schools, but it also leaves them with a low boredom threshold and an expectation that their parents will solve all their problems for them. Working-class kids tend to whine less and are generally happier, but may struggle more when going to college and joining the labor force.
Your Neighborhood Would Be Less Diverse
Nowhere is the widening income equality gap in the United States more apparent than in the lives of children. A recent study looking at income segregation found that families with children are more than twice as likely to segregate themselves into high-income neighborhoods, while childless families are more likely to live in neighborhoods with more diversity. So if you had more money, your kids could grow up in manicured, crime-free streets and attend the finest schools, but they would also have less experience of diversity and less understanding of the world most of the country is living in.
You’d Have to Worry About “Affluenza”
The pitfalls of growing up in a culture of affluence have recently come under the microscope. About a half-dozen studies have documented that kids in high-income homes who also experience emotional neglect are more likely than their peers to fall victim to depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse than their working-class peers. Most people sense intuitively that great wealth can lead to a great sense of entitlement, as evidenced by athletes and celebrities who commit crimes and wealthy sociopaths who abuse people and show no remorse.
You Would Achieve More
Ruth Bader Ginsberg once gave a famous talk about her personal history, describing the conundrum she faced as a young mother who also wanted to attend law school. Her solution to the problem was to hire a full-time nanny. That’s not an option that’s available to working-class parents who want to advance in life. Middle-class families can’t afford law school, much less the nanny. Having access to household help and resources means that mothers, in particular, are free to pursue their own dreams and lead lives outside their role as mothers, whether that means a career, a leadership role in a charity, or advocating for their children’s education.
Having lots of money as a parent unlocks resources like household help and great school districts that aren’t available to most people. But like everything in life, there are both pros and cons to raising kids in great wealth.
Author Bio: Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer and serial entrepreneur currently based in St. Louis, MO.