16 Ways Parents Pre-Program Their Children To Be Poor

Tip of the Morning

 

 

 

When I travel the country speaking to high school and college students about exactly what they need to do to become financially successful in life, I like to begin my presentation by asking the same three questions:

“How many want to be financially successful in life?”

“How many think they will be financially successful in life?”

Almost every time I ask the first two questions, every hand rises in the air. Then I ask the magic third question:

“How many have taken a course in school on how to be financially successful in life?”

Not one hand rises in the air, ever.

Clearly every student wants to be successful and thinks they will be successful, but none have been taught how. Not by their parents and not by their teachers.

Not only are there no courses on basic financial success principles, but there are no structured courses teaching basic financial literacy.

Is it any wonder that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck? That most Americans accumulate more debt than assets?  That many Americans lose their homes when they lose their job? Is it any wonder that most Americans cannot afford college for their children and that student loan debt is now the largest type of consumer debt? 

We are raising our children to be financially illiterate and that leads to financial struggles later in life.

Parents who are success mentors to their children, teach them specific good daily habits. And these habits put them on autopilot for financial success as adults. 

In my five-year study of the daily habits of the rich and the poor, I uncovered specific habits that were common among those struggling financially.

Below are 16 ways parents pre-program their children for poverty, extracted from my bestselling books, Rich Habits, Rich Kids and Rich Habits Poor Habits:

  1. Not Reading to Learn – 63% of self-made millionaires in my study were required by their parents to read to learn. Their parents made them read two or more books every month on topics such as: history, biographies of successful people, science, self-improvement, etc. 97% of the poor in my study said their parents never made them read to learn and thus never forged this Rich Habit. 
  2. Gambling – 6% of the wealthy in my study played the lottery vs. 77% of the poor. Worse, the poor admitted to playing the lottery regularly. According to Nicolas Christakas Habits (Yale University researcher), habits spread like a virus within your social network. Children are constantly observing what their parents do. If parents gamble, their children will very likely gamble as adults.
  3. No Dreams or Goals – 82% of the self-made millionaires had a clear vision of who they wanted to be. They had dreams and goals that motivated them to forge Rich Habits which enabled them to realize their dreams and achieve their goals. Conversely, 97% of the poor had no dreams or goals. They lacked a clear vision of who they wanted to be in the future.
  4. Failure to ExperimentParents who push their children to experiment with different activities during childhood, increase the likelihood that their children will discover an innate talent or something they enjoy doing, which could lead to a lifelong vocation. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts institutionalize experimentation through their badge system. This enables scouts to explore things that interest them so that they can learn valuable marketable skills.
  5. Eating Unhealthy Food – 21% of the wealthy in my study were overweight vs. 66% of the poor. 78% of self-made millionaires ate little to no junk food (less than calories a day). 97% of the poor consistently ate too much junk food (more than 300 calories a day). Children eat what their parents eat. If their parents are heating junk food, their kids will eat junk food. Junk food includes fast food.
  6. Do-Nothing Habits – 63% of the wealthy in my study spent less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use. 74% of the poor spent more than an hour a day in the Internet. 67% of the wealthy watched less than 1 hour of TV per day vs 23% of the poor. 9% of the wealthy watched reality TV shows vs. 78% of the poor. Besides, TV and the Internet, time wasting habits also include Snapchat, Instagram, video games, etc.
  7. Absentee Parents – 83% of the wealthy in my study attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor. 29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor. When parents are engaged with teachers and the school. they become accountability partners to their children.
  8. No Daily Self-Improvement – The drive to improve was a hallmark of the self-made millionaires in my study. Daily self-improvement was a habit forged in their childhood years thanks to their parents. The poor in my study said their parents did not make self-improvement a priority growing up.
  9. Poor Money Habits – 73% of the wealthy in my study had smart money habits, long before they became wealthy. 95% of the poor did not. Many were, in fact, financially illiterate, as were their parents. This is the main reason so many who struggle financially, fall into the credit debt trap as young adults. They just don’t know any better.
  10. Toxic Friends – 79% of the wealthy surrounded themselves with like-minded, upbeat individuals who were pursuing similar dreams and goals. Only 16% of the poor said they did this. Habits spread like a virus throughout your social network. How well do you know the friends of your children? Do they possess the traits or habits you are trying to instill in your children?
  11. Anti-Rich Bias – 78% of the wealthy in my study said they believed the wealthy were good, hardworking and persistent individuals. created their own good luck through hard work, persistence, daily practice, determination and goal achievement. 95% of the poor believed the rich were not good, hardworking people. 52% of the poor believed the rich were rich primarily because of random good luck. They did not believe the pursuit of wealth is what made that luck possible.
  12. Victim Mindset – 79% of the wealthy in my study said that they believed they were personally responsible for their success or failure in life. 82% of the poor believed they were poor because of factors outside their control, such as Wall Street, banks, the rich, government policies, circumstances they were born into, etc. Are you raising your children to take individual responsibility for their life circumstances? Do you, as a parent, constantly blame rich people, employers, the government, Wall Street or society for your poverty? Do your children see poverty as dictated by fate, which only leads to a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness?
  13. Entitlement Mindset – Children must be taught to work for the things they want, such as cell phones, video games, toys, etc. When they are given everything they want by their parents, it’s easy for kids to develop an Entitlement Mindset. having a Victim Mindset leads to an Entitlement Mindset, especially when you look to government to solve your financial problems. The adult world punishes those with an Entitlement Mindset.
  14. Lack of Consistent Exercise – 95% of self-made millionaires in my study exercised aerobically 30 minutes or more per day, four days a week. Only 23% of poor did the same. Studies have shown that daily aerobic exercise improves brain health, brain efficiency and IQ. Children mimic the habits of their parents. Do you, as a parent, exercise daily? Do you make your children exercise daily?
  15. No Success Mentors – Almost all of the self-made millionaires in my study had some success mentor in life. Success mentors put you on the fast track for success. They teach you what to do and what not to do. They also teach you the habits you’ll need in order to succeed in life. The mentors of my millionaires were one of their parents (56%), a career mentor (24%), a teacher (8%) or someone else (4%). Parents are often the only shot most have at having a success mentor in life. Only 4% of the poor said that they had a success mentor in their lives. Are you a success mentor for your child? Do you actively seek success mentors for your children? You can find success mentors in the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and other similar organizations. Are your children part of any mentoring organizations within your community?
  16. Negative Mindset – 63% of the wealthy in my study had a positive, optimistic, upbeat mindset. 94% of the poor had a negative, pessimistic, hopeless mindset. Studies, such as the Broaden and Build Study, have shown that a negative mental outlook inhibits and depresses the ability to focus, creativity and certain other brain functions. The expression of emotions and your positive or negative outlook on life are habits. Children pick up the habits of their parents. Are your Parent emotions and mindset negative or positive?

Thanks to something called mirror neurons, children are hardwired to mimic the habits of their parents. Good or bad, they will mimic your habits. If those habits are good, your children will mimic your good habits. If those habits are bad, they will mimic your bad habits. 

According to a Brown University Study, in which the habits of 50,000 families were analyzed, the author of the study, Dr. Pressman, found that most of our adult habits were forged by the age of nine.

In another study by Nicholas Christakis, he found that habits spread throughout our social network. Parents are a big part of that social network.

Since children spend most of their early lives with their parents, these two studies show the critical role parents play in the habits all of us forge in life.

We don’t have a wealth gap in this country, we have a habit gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have habit inequality.

If parents have too many Poor Habits, what’s the remedy? 

Teachers can fill the void. The school system can step in and instill in their students good habits. Habit education must, therefore, become a structured part of our education system.  

Furthermore, high schools should be teaching very specific financial education courses to students beginning in freshman year:

  • How to Pay Bills and Balance a Checkbook (freshman year)
  • How to Save and Invest Your Savings (sophomore year)
  • How Insurance Works – Auto Insurance, Home Owners Insurance, Health Insurance (junior year)
  • Understanding Student Loans (junior year)
  • Personal Income Tax Fundamentals (senior year)

Schools teach what they are required to teach and nothing more. It’s unfortunate, but few financial education courses are a requirement in most schools.

How to Trick Your Lazy Brain Into Embracing New Year’s Resolutions

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According to a University of Scranton New Year’s resolutions study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2014, just 8% of those who set New Year’s resolutions stick to them.

New Year’s resolutions are nothing more than habit change.

Why is habit change so hard? [Read more…]

Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as an Author

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Prior to writing my first book, I had never written a book before, never promoted a book before and I knew no one who did any of those things.

My journey has been the most difficult undertaking of my life. Everything I learned, I learned through the School of Hard Knocks.

But, eventually, I figured things out. I learned what to do and what not to do.

And then I sold a lot of books.

[Read more…]

A Father’s Day Letter to His Children on Living Happy, Successful Lives

Dear Kids:

It’s Father’s Day. Usually I’m the one getting the cards and letters from you guys but I thought I’d turn the tables & send each of you a letter instead, as my days of parenting are coming to an end. All of you are fast becoming adults. I want you to know I loved every minute being your dad.

Each of you has given your mom and I so much joy, happiness and laughter. I would gladly do it all over again but time marches on. How we spend that time determines if we have happy, successful lives or unhappy, poor lives and that is why I am writing this letter to each of you.

I want each of you to have happy, successful lives. But happiness and success just don’t happen. You need to create happiness and success by doing specific things. Here’s a list of some of those things that will help put you on the track towards happiness and success: [Read more…]

You Deserve a Life Filled With Abundance

You Deserve a Life Filled With Abundance!

Every time I tell someone the title of my book they’re curious. That’s because “Strategies for Cats” is a metaphor. Yes, it is a story about “Kitty”, a homeless cat who receives a life filled with abundance, and I guess I could have used a person instead of my cat, but you may not fall in love with her like a lot of readers already have. [Read more…]

Parent Habits Become Children Habits

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Why is there so much unrest in America’s inner cities? The experts are quick to point the finger of blame at a variety of causes: low wages, racial discrimination, Police gone wild, America’s shrinking manufacturing base, U.S. companies moving oversees, China stealing our jobs, illegal immigrants stealing our jobs, poor education system, the rich exploiting the poor, insufficient taxation of the rich, etc.

But none of these pundits ever address the real source of this unrest – bad parenting.

America’s growing discontent among the poor of the inner cities and the growing disparity nationwide between the rich and the poor is a reflection of how America’s have’s and have-not’s were raised by their parents. [Read more…]

14 Signs You Might Become a Millionaire

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Most everyone wants to become rich. According to my Rich Habits research, being rich eliminates 67% of the problems that plague most people. So, besides being able to buy that house by the beach, a Rolex watch or travel to exotic places, being rich means fewer problems in life. Fewer problems equals less stress. Less stress equals a healthier and happier life.

There are 14 signs that will lead to success and wealth. If you possess all 14 your chances for becoming rich increase geometrically: [Read more…]

Success Beliefs of the Rich

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In my Rich Habits study I discovered that your beliefs dictate your circumstances in life. Those who are wealthy have different beliefs than those who are poor or stuck in the middle-class.

Beliefs represent the acceptance of something without any proof to back up what we accept as fact. They are inherited unconscious programming. We adopt the beliefs of our parents, family, mentors culture and our environment (neighborhood, town, city, state, country). Most who were raised in poverty, inherited limiting beliefs that hold them back in life.

Those who are able to rise from poverty and become wealthy found mentors who possessed success beliefs or employed certain strategies that enabled them to remove their limiting beliefs and implant success beliefs, effectively re-programming their entire belief system.

The wealthy adopt certain beliefs that promote success:

  • I must read to learn.
  • I am responsible for the circumstances of my life.
  • Money and wealth are good.
  • There is an abundance of money and wealth to go around.
  • Anyone has the ability to become wealthy. I can become wealthy.
  • I can solve any problem.
  • I can overcome any obstacle.
  • I create my own luck.
  • Opportunities are everywhere.
  • Opportunity does not knock. I have to go out and find it and take action.
  • I must earn respect.
  • Failure is just another way to learn.
  • Failure is the stepping stone to success.
  • Risk is good when it is calculated risk.
  • There is good debt and bad debt.
  • No one succeeds on their own. I can only succeed if I surround myself with other success-minded people.
  • I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
  • Time is the most valuable resource. I must make efficient use of my time. Wasting it is a crime.
  • Birds of a feather flock together. I will avoid toxic people and surround myself with success-minded people.
  • Dreams and goals are the rungs on the ladder of success.
  • If I help others succeed, I will succeed.
  • If I improve the lives of others, I will improve my life.
  • Always exceed the expectations of others.
  • I am in control of my thoughts and emotions.
  • Never quit on a dream.
  • Success takes time.
  • I must save more than I earn and invest my savings in my dreams and goals.
  • I am amazing and unstoppable.

If you want to succeed in life, if you want to become rich, you need to understand the beliefs you currently have and then do some surgery. For a week, write down in a notepad every belief that pops in your head. This belief awareness exercise enables you to isolate any limiting beliefs that are likely holding you back in life. Once you’ve identified those limiting beliefs, then it’s time to remove them and add the beliefs that will enable you to become rich and successful.

So, how do you remove limiting beliefs and implant success beliefs?

  • Associate with individuals who do not have your limiting beliefs and who possess the success beliefs you want to adopt.
  • Read books and articles on self-made millionaires.
  • Read inspirational books and articles.
  • Listen to inspirational podcasts.
  • Watch and listen to inspirational TEDx talks.
  • Create daily affirmations around the success beliefs you want to adopt.
  • Meditate and focus on your new success beliefs (10-15 minutes a day is all it takes).

Your existing beliefs were formed over many years. It takes time to re-program you belief system. How long? At least one year of dedicated effort. But that one year investment will pay you dividends for the rest of your life. Your future you will thank you.

 

Change Your Habits, Change Your Life #1 on Amazon and iTunes – Here’s Why

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I spend a great deal of time reading the Amazon reviews of my books. Particularly, the 1 and 2 star reviews. Rich Habits, 1st Edition had some critics, although 67% awarded it mostly 5 stars. Almost 100% of the criticism had one common theme: Where’s The Beef? We fixed that with my upcoming book Rich Habits Poor Habits, which expands the number of Rich Habits and Poor Habits from 10 to 30. Also, we have included two bonuses:

  • The Research Summary, listing the data on over 200 habits that separate the rich and the poor. This Research Summary has received an enormous amount of media attention in the U.S. and in 24 other countries.
  • Rich Habits Poor Habits Test – a 50 question test you can take to find out if you are on the path to wealth or poverty or fall somewhere in the middle.

We will be releasing Rich Habits Poor Habits in the fall of 2016. We believe it will become a blockbuster, international best seller, right up there with Think and Grow Rich and other timeless classics.

My newest book – Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, continues to receive 5 star reviews. right out the gate. What readers love about this book is it’s ability to boil down complex topics into simple to understand language, making it easier to apply the strategies included in the book. It’s a powerful book and I was fortunate to get a back cover endorsement from none other than Jack Canfield, bestselling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jack is in the Guinness World Book of Records – he holds the record for the most books ever published by an author: 500 million books! Jack doesn’t endorse books without good reason. Within two weeks of releasing Change Your Habits it rose to #1 on Amazon  and iTunes and stayed there for two weeks. I am getting calls and emails from the media in all parts of the world who love the book and I am receiving astonishing reviews on Amazon. Here are some recent reviews from my readers on Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: [Read more…]

Courage Attracts Luck and Allies

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It was an early morning on the first day of spring. The farmer had just finished planting the last of his sunflower seeds. The ground was still cold and hard from a long, cold winter. The frosty, damp morning soon gave way to a strong morning sun rising slowly over the horizon. Its warm rays stroked the ground, stirring the newly planted sunflower seeds to life.

“Is it time? Is it time?” an anxious sunflower seed called out to his brothers and sisters. “No. It’s still too cold.” Thousands of sunflower seeds buried just beneath the earth echoed the refrain. “It’s too cold, it’s too cold.”

The next day the anxious sunflower seed called out once again, “is it time?”.  “Not yet. It’s too cold,” rang out, one after the other from every seed. Day after day, the anxious sunflower seed called out to his brothers and sisters and each time their answer was always the same. [Read more…]