Cover image for The opposite of spoiled : raising kids who are grounded, generous, and smart about money
The opposite of spoiled : raising kids who are grounded, generous, and smart about money
Lieber, Ron, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]

Physical Description:
xii, 240 pages ; 24 cm
We may not realize it, but children are hyperaware of money. They have scores of questions about its nuances that parents often don't answer, or know how to answer well. But for Ron Lieber, a personal finance columnist and father, good parenting means talking about money with our kids much more often. When parents avoid these conversations, they lose a tremendous opportunity -- not just to model important financial behaviors, but also to imprint lessons about what their family cares about most. Lieber covers the basics: allowance, chores, the Tooth Fairy, charity, savings, birthdays, holidays, cell phones, splurging, clothing, cars, part-time jobs, and college tuition. But he also identifies a set of traits and virtues -- modesty, patience, generosity, and perspective -- that parents hope their young adults will carry with them out into the world. Grounded in real-world stories from families with a range of incomes, The Opposite of Spoiled is a practical guidebook for parents that is rooted in timeless values.
Why we need to talk about money -- How to start the money conversations -- The allowance debates -- The smartest ways for kids to spend -- Are we raising materialistic kids? -- How to talk about giving -- Why kids should work -- The luckiest -- How much is enough?

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Audubon Library HG179 .L483 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Parenting
Central Library HG179 .L483 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Orchard Park Library HG179 .L483 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library HG179 .L483 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library HG179 .L483 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In the spirit of Wendy Mogel's The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's Nurture Shock, New York Times "Your Money" columnist Ron Lieber delivers a taboo-shattering manifesto that explains how talking openly to children about money can help parents raise modest, patient, grounded young adults who are financially wise beyond their years.

For Ron Lieber, a personal finance columnist and father, good parenting means talking about money with our kids. Children are hyper-aware of money, and they have scores of questions about its nuances. But when parents shy away from the topic, they lose a tremendous opportunity--not just to model the basic financial behaviors that are increasingly important for young adults but also to imprint lessons about what the family truly values.

Written in a warm, accessible voice, grounded in real-world experience and stories from families with a range of incomes, The Opposite of Spoiled is both a practical guidebook and a values-based philosophy. The foundation of the book is a detailed blueprint for the best ways to handle the basics: the tooth fairy, allowance, chores, charity, saving, birthdays, holidays, cell phones, checking accounts, clothing, cars, part-time jobs, and college tuition. It identifies a set of traits and virtues that embody the opposite of spoiled, and shares how to embrace the topic of money to help parents raise kids who are more generous and less materialistic.

But The Opposite of Spoiled is also a promise to our kids that we will make them better with money than we are. It is for all of the parents who know that honest conversations about money with their curious children can help them become more patient and prudent, but who don't know how and when to start.

Author Notes

Ron Lieber joined The New York Times in 2008 and currently writes the Your Money column. He is the author or co-author of several books including Taking Time Off: Inspiring Stories of Students Who Enjoyed Successful Breaks from College and How You Can Plan Your Own and The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Next to discussions about sex and drugs, talk about money is probably the hardest for parents to have with their children. Lieber, Your Money columnist with the New York Times, answers sticky questions about matters ranging from allowances to student loan debt to deeper concerns about how to know when one's children are too obsessed with money and material things. Delving into behavioral economics, Lieber advises parents to take into account the emotional aspects of money, including the role of social media in churning desires to spend. He also tackles worries about downward mobility and how to prepare children for future prospects that may not be as secure as their parents'. Through stories of families from varied geographical locales and economic classes, Lieber focuses on values and virtues to encourage in children to ensure they will not be spoiled, including generosity, patience, and perseverance. Using those virtues, Lieber guides parents in conveying the value and significance of money and how to use it wisely, how to spend and save, how to give and invest. Parents will appreciate the sound advice and broad perspective Lieber offers on this important subject.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2015 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite a smattering of practical advice, there's more of the philosophical than the methodological to this primer from New York Times columnist Lieber (coauthor of Taking Time Off) on helping children, especially those in the upper middle class, to approach financial matters with responsibility, generosity, and gratitude. Lieber makes a strong argument that money is something that children notice and talk about. He believes modern American parents' reticence on the subject bypasses the opportunity to instill both good values and important skills. Lieber advises giving honest responses to children's questions about family finances and encouraging even affluent kids to take after-school jobs. More specific and fun suggestions include divvying up allowances between Give/Save/Spend jars, establishing the "fun per dollar" test, and making the Tooth Fairy's arrival less of a cash grab. Assorted motivational stories touch on both the mundane (collecting bottles for deposit) and the dramatic (parents who downsized their home, at their young daughter's urging, to free up $800,000 for charity). Lieber's easygoing style will encourage parents to raise a new generation that's both confident and compassionate. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher & Company. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
1 Why We Need to Talk About Moneyp. 1
The responsibilities we never faced at their age and the power of real conversations
2 How to Start the Money Conversationsp. 15
Curiosity, lies, and the single best reply to every hard question about money (and sex and drugs)
3 The Allowance Debatesp. 45
Three jars, unpaid chores, and a whole lot of patience
4 The Smartest Ways for Kids to Spendp. 71
The hours-of-fun-per-dollar test, Grandma Dana's shopping ritual, and the importance of record-store pit stops
5 Are We Raising Materialistic Kids?p. 89
The tooth fairy, the travel-team dilemma, and the making of a more modest school
6 How to Talk About Givingp. 117
Narrating your way through gifts of $1, $1,000, and $1 million
7 Why Kids Should Workp. 147
Lessons from farm work, mandatory tuition payments, and a unified theory of tin can redemption
8 The Luckiestp. 169
Instilling gratitude, grace, and perspective in our sons and daughters
9 How Much Is Enough?p. 199
All about trade-offs
Acknowledgmentsp. 209
Notesp. 215
Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 231

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