This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 14, 13, 10, 7, and 3.

If high school is supposed to prepare you for the real world, I am glad I don’t live by their definition of the real world. Because in the real world:

1.  No one cares how popular you were.

2.  No one cares how much you spent on your degree.

3.  Your degree does not guarantee job opportunities.

4.  If you don’t pay your bills, you don’t eat.

Some kids become screw ups and others are fine. I don’t think it always has to do with if you have money available or not, abusive home or not, etc. The difference is how you prepare your kids. And I think the best way to prepare your kids to enter into the real world is to understand the difference between rich thinking and poor thinking.

I grew up so poor. We sat under blankets on the couch because a breeze would blow across the floor and we couldn’t afford the heat to combat the air leaks. This was after we put plastic on the windows. When my mom and I would drive into the nice neighborhoods she would tell me how one day I would live in a house nicer than those. She never told me we were poor, instead she said she made the choice not to buy something. So I saw no difference between me and the rich kids. In fact, I even hung out with the rich kids.

The difference between kids being rich or poor is the standard the parent sets for the kids. If parents expect the kids to be rich, to act rich, and to make money then they will. Parents need to give their kids permission to make money, and kids need to see parents not resenting them for making money.

If you want your kids to make money, don’t establish “blocks” in them. In the book Your Money Your Life, the authors talk about learning to let yourself. You find the reasons why you reach for the credit card, or why you feel no matter how much you make it’s not enough. However, once you figure out what is blocking your thinking, money will flow better regardless your income.

My mom was poor, but my dad lived in a rich neighborhood. He had a homeowner’s association and a big fancy house. The catch was that he was relying on credit cards to make it look like he was making money. He still had the poor mindset even though he lived a rich life.

If we want to solve the mindset of poverty in America, then schools need to give permission to the poor to make money. They need to encourage the mindset of making money, and give hope to the child that they can. And it’s pretty clear that forced curriculum is not encouraging this spirited shift in the poor. In fact, because US schools are segregated by housing costs, school reinforces that a poor student belongs with the poor.

If you want your kids to grow up to make money and be successful, then treat them like they will. It does not matter whether they come from a rich family or a poor family. Success in America is based on your mindset, not your social status.