Money

Barbara Corcoran: The simple way to make sure your kids don't grow up spoiled

Self-made millionaire and "Shark Tank" star Barbara Corcoran had a very different upbringing than her own kids. She and her nine siblings grew up in a cramped apartment in Edgewater, New Jersey. By age 23, she had already worked 22 jobs.

"We all had to contribute. We all had to hustle. We all had to show respect," Corcoran recalls. "I wouldn't say it was easy for my mom to raise 10 kids without enough money to go around, but in a way it was easy to raise good kids."

Corcoran, who turned a $1,000 loan into a $66 million real estate empire, says she "couldn't care less" about what her two kids think about her and her business. "What I care about is they grow up and not be spoiled rotten," she tells journalist Farnoosh Torabi for CNBC Make It.

Barbara Corcoran (top row center) and her family
Courtesy of Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran (top row center) and her family

"When you have rich kids — which, if you think about it, I have rich kids — you have to be very, very careful. It's complicated not to let them feel privileged."

The key to making sure they don't grow up "spoiled rotten," says Corcoran, is to encourage them to earn their own money from a young age: "Getting a kid a job early on, versus another day camp or something, is more important than education in the schoolhouse, which parents are very willing to spend a ton of money on."

Corcoran's 12-year-old daughter works two hours a week at a dog spa, where she cleans the kennels and takes the dogs for walks. She recently got a raise from $10 an hour to $12.50 an hour and came home with $25 rather than $20, Corcoran says, and "she knew the difference was another $5 in the envelope. Her pride! That does more for a kid that any pumping up you could do for a kid as a parent."

My kids! The best birthday gift a mom could hope for.

A post shared by Barbara Corcoran (@barbaracorcoran) on

When your kids start making their own money, they'll also learn to start managing it, and you can lead them into conversations around saving and investing.

Corcoran's daughter mostly "hoards" her earnings, the "Shark Tank" star tells Torabi, because her dream is to someday buy herself a car. "She wants to have a checking account with a credit card. ... She has her little box, she stacks up her little 20s and she's almost up to $200."

Once your children are old enough, urge them to work, because odds are that a kid who learns how to hustle will be successful, says Corcoran.

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Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo