17 Core Values ‘Poor’ Parents Emphasize That ‘Rich’ Parents Often Don’t

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Parents usually teach their children things that are important to them or things they have had to navigate and deal with themselves. It would make sense, therefore, that poor parents and wealthy parents might have different lessons to pass down from one generation to the next. These are critical things that poor parents have to teach their children that rich people don’t.


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When you don’t have money to call a plumber, mechanic, or electrician, then you have to be versatile and learn to use what you have for what you need. Resourcefulness is a trait whereby you find solutions to your problems using all that you have at your disposal. It takes a lot more energy, but if you don’t have the resources you need, you have to use the resources you have differently.

Hard Work Will Get You Where You Need to Be

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When you aren’t born with money, you usually have to work harder to get what you want and to get ahead. A catch-22 in the American system is often that it takes money to make money. People who don’t have money need to work twice as hard to get their needs met. Therefore, many poor people value and teach the virtues of a hard day’s work and the importance of work ethic.


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Rich people have boundless amounts of money and tend to write checks and figure out the cost later. When you don’t have enough money for the basics, you learn to make due on a tight budget. It takes a lot of craft to make a dollar stretch a month, and that is something that not many wealthy parents have to be concerned with. It is also not a lesson that they have to teach their children.


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Being frugal is about making smart monetary decisions that are based on common sense. When someone is frugal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have the money. They just choose to prioritize what they want versus what they need. Rich people often don’t have to worry about making smart financial decisions, but poor people make a life out of it. Many poor people, after becoming rich, however, still use frugal choices.


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When you have everything you could ever want or think of, it is easy to take things for granted. Rich kids tend to get what they want without having to work for it. The more they get, the less appreciation they tend to have for what they do have. Poor children are more appreciative of the small things in life. Often, they can see things for what they are rather than what they cost.


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Poor people tend to be more empathetic to other people who are struggling or have problems. It takes experience to know what it feels like to be down and out. Not many rich people have a clue what it is like to not be able to keep a roof over their heads or to feed their children. Therefore, they have a hard time sympathizing with people who are having a hard time. Poor children have been there and tend to understand the experiences of those suffering more than rich children do.


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Wealthy people tend to do for themselves. They aren’t reliant on other people, so they rarely are concerned with those who they share a community with. Poor people are usually surrounded by others who need help at times and will chip in to help those around them. They understand the concept of what goes around comes around and lend a hand to help out, usually without being asked.

Economic Inequality

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Wealthy people do what they want and get what they want without having to consider other people having more than them. There aren’t many occasions for rich parents to teach their kids that not everyone has what they do. Poor children grow up knowing and experiencing firsthand that economic inequality is a thing. Most also understand that only they can change their own circumstances.


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Many poor families don’t have the help and support of those around them and make do as they can. That means many children are latch-key kids who learn to make their own food, let themselves in at the end of the school day, and do their own homework. There aren’t as many resources for poor children, so they learn early on that they can do it themselves, or it doesn’t get done.

Education is Essential

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Rich people get into college or don’t, but they don’t have to worry about a quality education. Whether they take advantage of it or not, they often have the best schooling money can buy. Poor children understand that the road out of poverty starts with an excellent education. They also know that college is probably going to be a possibility only if they work hard and get a scholarship. They don’t take their education for granted.


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Many poor families have to go to bat many times to save themselves. Poor children are used to having to fight for what they want and to learn how to negotiate. No one comes and hands them anything, so they become experts at finding resources and learning how to play the game. They can be masterful in using survival skills that most adults can’t even navigate.


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Poor families often have to advocate for their life situation, their aid, and paying bills that might not otherwise be paid. Children learn early on how to use their interpersonal skills to get what they need.

Long Term Gratification

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Children who come from poor families often have to wait for what they want. They usually only get gifts for their birthdays or holidays and if they want something outside of that, they usually know that the way to get it is through saving and the long-term game of waiting it out. With that comes skills such as sacrificing for what you want and goal setting and goal achievement.


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Whether it is through role modeling or from experience, children who come from poor homes tend to use persuasion to get what they want. They learn very early that they have to talk their way through some situations to get what they need and often become masterful at using communication to effectively get what they want.

Using the System

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The show Extreme Couponing might be entertaining to those people who have never had to use a coupon to afford their weekly groceries. Using the system by learning how to navigate and plan well includes saving coupons and doing the research to know what days and what stores will honor what are all the planning techniques that take savvy and cunningness, which are usually taught to those who need it most.

Being the Jack of All Trades

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When you don’t have money to repair or fix things, you become good at research. The internet is a wealth bank of information for those who want or have to do things alone. Before there was the internet, however, poor parents have been teaching their children that they can do anything they put their minds to and giving them the skills to know where to educate themselves alone.


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Many poor children have a deep sense of responsibility for their siblings and the rest of their family. Many times, poor families work together to keep the lights on and pitch in by taking care of things that rich children would never need to take care of. That teaches them to be responsible for those people they love and to pitch in whenever they can.

A Lot of What Parents Teach Comes From Experiences

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Parents often teach their children either through role modeling or by instructing them personally. A lot of what people teach their kids comes out of experience and necessity. Poor people tend to have to be more resilient and work to find answers to problems, and in doing so, they learn invaluable lessons that rich children might not.

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