“The one topic of conversation we had even prior to ever having kids was always, ‘How do you raise a child to not be an ass?’”
Because Mila and husband Ashton Kutcher are keen to make sure their 22-month-old daughter Wyatt and her unborn sibling don’t grow up feeling entitled.
“It’s so important because we both came from pretty solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth. Nothing’s been handed to us,” she admitted.
“It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, ‘mummy and daddy may have a dollar, but you’re poor. You are very poor, you have nothing. Mummy and daddy have a bank account.’”
It almost goes without saying that Mila and Ashton’s kids will have a nice upbringing regardless, and surely opportunities in life many other kids won’t be lucky enough to have.
But it is still admirable that the actors are planning on raising their kids to understand the value of money, and to know they’ve got to earn a living.
It’s a question many of us think about too, even though it’s obviously on a different scale: How do we give our kids all the things we never had, while at the same time teaching them about money, a strong work ethic – and, crucially, how to support themselves when we’re gone?
Mila and Ashton aren’t the only celeb parents who’ve made their stance on these matters clear…
Elton John revealed he’s teaching his kids to save and give back to charity using a rather nifty piggybank system.
Chef/ businesswoman Nigella Lawson told My Weekly magazine that “it ruins people not having to earn money” so her 2 children, while they won’t be left to starve, “should have no financial security” from her.
Simon Cowell once said he “doesn’t believe in” passing down wealth through generations – so it seems 2-year-old son Eric will have to become a high-flying mogul just like his dad.
Warren Buffet and Microsoft’s Bill Gates are both billionaires, and have said they’ll leave the vast majority of their fortunes to charity – rather than their kids – when they die.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, in a letter to their then-newborn daughter Max, that he and wife Priscilla Chan will give away 99% of their Facebook shares during their lifetime to numerous causes, in order to “promote equality” and make the world a better place.
Keep in mind that, at the time of the letter’s publication, those shares were worth around $45 billion.
And rock musician Sting reportedly told his kids “there won’t be much money left [when I’m dead] because we’re spending it”. Luckily, he reckons he’s instilled a great work ethic in his kids, so they’ll be fine.
What do you think?
If it’s your money, then it’s your decision – but what’s your take on all this?
Would you leave your (hypothetical or otherwise) fortune behind for your kids?
Do you reckon you can spoil your kids AND teach them that a nice life isn’t free, or do boundaries need to be put in place at an early age?