Extreme Blessing Can Be An Extreme Curse

Valerie's 17-year-old son has about $800,000 saved up. Valerie and her husband are concerned about guiding him with this money. Dave coaches her on how to talk to her son about this wealth.

QUESTION: Valerie in Los Angeles has three kids involved in the entertainment industry. Her 17-year-old son has about $800,000 saved up. Valerie and her husband are concerned about guiding him with this money. Dave talks through options with Valerie and coaches her on how to talk to her son about this wealth.

ANSWER: Extreme blessing can also turn into extreme curse. It sounds like in talking to you that we’re dealing with a pretty levelheaded young man and a pretty levelheaded mom. As you know, in the world that you’re in, that is sadly, most of the time, not the case. This level of money can destroy someone’s life rather than bless it. That’s my first concern when I hear something like this. It sounds like you guys are pretty well rooted in a good value system.

The thing you don’t want to do as his mom and dad, I think, is to allow this money to cause you to emotionally release your grip on him even though he’s 18. He still needs your guidance. He’s still a kid. The trick is to retain his respect. If he continues to respect your wisdom and take your guidance, then we’ve got a sharp young man who’s got a golden future. Otherwise, he runs off and becomes some story in a tabloid.

The return on him standing in front of some lights and cameras has been really sweet. He’s almost hit the lottery here. Sometimes when I speak with young football stars or musicians, their wealth has far outpaced their emotional and intellectual wisdom. I would recommend that they pretend like it’s not there until their emotional and intellectual wisdom catches up. Otherwise, it will destroy him because he doesn’t grow the skeletal system of his character and his spirit. I would coach him to go very slowly with the wealth, and if he wants to go and serve somewhere and use the income off of this on a very limited basis to support him to do that, that’s fine. But if he wants to start buying $100,000 or $200,000 cars, we’re going to have a problem.