Question of the Week: The Money Tree
August 9, 2013
“What do you think? We have a money tree in the backyard?” It’s hard not to wonder if people really do think that money grows on trees, particularly in this day and age.
“What do you think? We have a money tree in the backyard?” It’s hard not to wonder if people really do think that money grows on trees, particularly in this day and age. Over the past several decades, our culture has really changed from that perspective. We want it now and we want it fast and we want it to be the best of the best. Oh, and when it’s outdated, we’ll just get a new one. You know, like next week.
Did you know that annually $17 billion is spent by companies advertising to children in the U.S.? Kids are inundated by images of toys, trinkets and gadgets and face pressure to have the latest and greatest items. Children transfer this pressure to adults (that’s you and me) who indulge their requests, a cycle that gives children enormous buying power.
While we want our children to have the best, we also don’t want them to be out of touch with reality. Research illustrates increases of entitlement in our society. In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits, like sense of entitlement, self-absorption and lack of empathy, rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980’s to the present1. Kind of shocking.
We’re not saying that indulgences are wrong. But by committing to raising generous, community-minded children and teaching them about money management and sharing, we can offer a great reality check about the value of a dollar. So what is your attitude about money? Do your kids think you have a bottomless bank account? Initiate the conversation using the Question of the Week!
Sources: 1Twenge and Campbell. 2009. “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement.” Free Press.