The Talk

Examples of What to Say

Even small children love to hear simple stories about their ancestors, and as children grow into teenagers and then young adults the stories can become more complex and serious. For example, consider Great-Grandpa Henry Knox’s many shortcomings as a rancher. Or the general klutziness of the Knox men, who are disposed to walk around with …

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Tell the Right Stories to your Children

In the last few posts I’ve spent a lot of time talking about kids who grow up in wealthy families and the issues they face, as well as talking about how virtually all American kids are raised these days. I’ve devoted so much time to these subjects because I want to emphasize the many minefields that surround …

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Trust Fund Baby Syndrome: An Interesting Case

In the fall of 1997 I found myself in the spacious, many-windowed living room of a large home in a southern state I’ll call Florida, although that’s not where it was. I have also slightly modified some of the details of the family to protect their privacy. Ostensibly, I was there to discuss more aggressive …

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A Pampered Generation

The typical trust fund baby is well-known to all of us: a life devoted to spending down the family’s capital on themselves, not working, having difficulty maintaining relationships, living empty lives. The fear that people will be ruined by money is so pervasive that, following the French Revolution, trusts were abolished in virtually all civil …

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Poor Parenting Saps the Wealthy

We are talking in a roundabout way that has taken us back to first principles about the human maturation process and how it interacts with the fear of affluent parents that money will ruin their children. There are several characteristic ways that affluent families go wrong, launching the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves phenomenon that, as Jay Hughes has …

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Understanding the Trust Fund Baby

We are talking about the complex process through which infants and children are transformed from little beasts into responsible adults. More particularly, we are talking about how that process often goes wrong and never goes perfectly. In “Civilization and Its Discontents,” for example, Sigmund Freud proposed a…, well, a “Freudian” take on the issue. Freud pointed …

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