13 Things ‘Poor’ Parents Teach Their Children That ‘Rich’ Parents NEVER Do

The gap between affluent and less fortunate families extends beyond resources to include the values they instill in their children from an early age (whether intentionally or not).

Money Is the Root of All Evil


In economically disadvantaged families, discussions about money may be scarce or filled with tension, potentially painting money as a source of stress. Children may learn to manage money by necessity, focusing on how to spend minimally. 

In wealthier families, money talks are normalized and even encouraged. Parents discuss various financial concepts with their children (e.g. income sources, investments, and budgeting) to foster an early understanding of how money works, the significance of tax planning, and the principles of earning through value exchange.

Deprivation Over Instant Gratification


Parents who face economic hardship are often forced to prioritize deprivation and long-term planning over instant gratification—a lesson they pass on to their children as a survival strategy. This teaches kids the value of delayed gratification and strategic thinking. 

Affluent parents might also teach these values, but the context is different—often focused on building wealth or securing long-term financial stability rather than simply making ends meet.

Hard Work


Poor parents frequently work multiple jobs or long hours, not just to make ends meet but to provide for their families’ basic needs. This lifestyle instills in their children an understanding of the importance of hard work and resilience. 

On the flip side, affluent parents (possibly with more career stability or higher incomes) might emphasize work-life balance and the importance of finding a fulfilling career, which can offer a different perspective on work ethics.

Scarcity Mindset


In many poor households, children might grow up hearing complaints about financial struggles, which can embed a mindset that sees limitations rather than opportunities. This often prevents them from seeing potential ways to improve their situation. 

On the other hand, children from wealthier backgrounds are often taught to take responsibility for their financial futures. They learn from early on that they are responsible for their actions and the outcomes of their financial decisions (including adapting and finding solutions when things don’t go as planned). This cultivates an abundance mindset, where the focus is on creating and seizing opportunities rather than being constrained by circumstances.

Relying on Others


Living in economically challenged communities often nurtures a sense of empathy and solidarity among neighbors. Poor parents usually depend on this community support to weather tough times, teaching their children the importance of helping and relying on others. 

Conversely, children from more affluent backgrounds might experience a different type of community involvement, often structured around organized activities or charities, which can offer lessons in formal philanthropy rather than mutual aid.

Finding Joy in Simplicity


When financial resources are scarce, poor parents might emphasize the joy found in life’s simpler pleasures—like a family game night or a walk in the park, fostering a deep appreciation for non-materialistic rewards. 

Conversely, children from wealthier families might experience more lavish recreational activities and gifts, which can shape a different understanding and expectation of what brings happiness.



For many poor families, education is seen as an escape from poverty, and parents often stress its importance as the key to a better future. 

In wealthier households, the approach to education can be more about optimizing opportunities and enhancing personal growth and development, rather than viewing it as a singular escape route from difficult circumstances. Some affluent families might even encourage their kids to find their unique path to success without high education.



Poor parents often teach their children how to stretch a dollar out of necessity (like repurposing items or finding low-cost solutions). 

In contrast, children from more affluent backgrounds might not encounter such resource constraints, often having the luxury of new or specialized solutions for their problems.

Budgeting Skills


Parents living with financial limitations often pass down essential budgeting and frugality skills to their children, teaching them how to prioritize spending and save for the future. 

In wealthier households, the focus might shift from strict budgeting to financial planning and investment strategies, preparing children to manage abundance rather than scarcity.

Negotiation Skills


Children from poorer backgrounds often learn to negotiate and advocate for themselves from a young age—skills born out of necessity, like negotiating additional time to pay a bill. 

This contrasts with children from more affluent families, who might learn negotiation and advocacy in more formal settings, such as debating clubs or leadership roles in school, preparing them for different types of advocacy in their futures.

Economic ‘Inequality’ 


In environments where resources are scant, poor parents teach their children self-sufficiency as a necessity. This involves ‘educating’ their kids about the stark realities of economic inequality (possibly cultivating the ‘victim’ mindest in them).

Children in more affluent families may learn about these disparities through education rather than direct experience, which can lead to a different but equally important understanding of societal issues.



Children from economically disadvantaged households may unconsciously adopt a habit of frequently complaining and placing blame externally for their financial struggles. This mindset can hinder their ability to identify actionable steps to improve their circumstances and achieve their goals. 

Conversely, children from affluent backgrounds are often taught the importance of personal responsibility. They learn early on to own their actions and the outcomes, especially when situations deviate from their plans or expectations. 

How to Spend Money (or Not Spend)


In less affluent households, the need to carefully manage every penny is a stark reality. Parents teach their children to handle money wisely due to scarcity, instilling a mindset that every financial decision carries weight. 

Conversely, affluent parents often emphasize that money should be managed wisely because it is hard-earned and also as a legacy of their ancestors, imparting a sense of stewardship over wealth that has been accumulated over generations.

Up Next


1: Teacher fired after refusing to use student’s preferred pronouns scores major legal victory

2: 20 Expenses Parents Should Stop Covering for Their Adult Children

Similar Posts