Rich kids ‘as disadvantaged as the very poorest’ says David Puttnam

Rich kids ‘as disadvantaged as the very poorest’ says David Puttnam

Be it a rich kid or a poor kid, what really matters is their mental wellbeing, which can't be guaranteed with a solid bank account. So how do you raise a child into a well-adjusted adult? Read on

Does being a rich kid automatically make you happy, well-adjusted, and successful? Do they really have a better deal as compared to their poorer counterparts? David Puttnam isn’t too sure about this.

The British film producer and educator feels strongly about this topic. According to this report, he feels the children of some of the super-rich need help because they may be “as disadvantaged” as the very poorest in society. “It’s a mistake to think that deprivation exists only with the very poorest in society: there are other forms of deprivation that go right through to the top,” David said.

He adds, “Many people will find this a totally counter-intuitive ‘first world’ problem — but check with the principals of many of our most expensive schools and most desirable universities, and you will hear the same story: mental wellbeing is a significant and growing problem.”

He believes it is tough for people with unlimited wealth to help their children to lead moderated and engaged lives and that’s a real problem. The unrealistic expectations being placed on on them by their wealthy parents may lead to mental health problems, according to this research.

Backing up his theory is another report, which more or less states the same. According to this one, Suniya Luthar, professor of psychology at Arizona State University, found that children of affluent parents had twice as much risk of developing mental problems as their poorer peers. They already have a set benchmark int he form of their super-rich and successful parents, they they are often bogged down by the pressure to reach that level.


No one ever said raising a child is child’s play. As parents, our only responsibility isn’t to ensure that we are raising a ‘professionally successful’ person. We need to also ensure that we are raising a holistically successful and happy human being. So what are some of the basic factors to be kept in mind? Read on:

  • Instill responsibilities at a young age: Don’t wait for him to get into his tweens or teens for him to help you with basic chores or setting up his room. Right from toddlerhood, kids can be asked to pick up their toys after playing. Small things like these make a big difference. At 12, tidying up his room will come naturally to him and he won’t expect someone else to do it for him.
  • Ask for their help: This will not only make them feel like you feel they are good enough to be doing a chore alongside you and also teach him how to do it. If you whine and wonder aloud why you have to do it all, he will pick up the cues and wonder why he must share the drudgery with you. Send out the right messages.
  • Model responsibility: As soon you walk in from work, if you drop your bag and jacket on the sofa and saunter into your room, expect your child to pick up those traits. Small things like these become habits. Tomorrow he will leave his dirty dish on the dining table expect ing someone else to clear up after him. Instead, model a responsible behaviour in front of your young ones.
  • Value relationships and help them how to build them: Encourage children to perform small acts of kindness to build empathy. Speak politely with the waiters or households. Give them the dignity they deserve. This not only builds essential skills and makes your kids better people, over a period of time it will make them more sensitive and receptive to simple joys in life.
  • Appreciate but don’t reward: Praise your 5-year-old for tidying up his room, however shoddy. At his age, that’s perhaps the best he could do. Appreciate the effort he took, instead of looking for perfecton. However, do not reward him for the same. he shouldn’t associate basic responsibilities as favours with returns.

Teaching kids to be responsible and self-sufficient needs time and patience. But then, most everything to do with childrearing needs both. However, following these basic dos and don’ts ensures that you have a better chance at raising a responsible child who grows into a responsible adult.

Also read: Teaching kids to save money: Practical tips from real parents!

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[Images courtesy: Pixabay]

Written by

Divya Nair

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