Good on David and Victoria Beckham. News that their 15-year-old son Brooklyn has got a part-time job in a coffee shop in London is a sign that his parents are trying to keep him grounded, despite their mega-stardom. It’s refreshing to see, and also brave – because when you’re that famous, everyone has an opinion. Brooklyn is never going to be a normal lad in a coffee shop: the world’s media will be popping in for a cappuccino every day. His mistakes, whether too much milk in a latte or forgetting the chocolate sprinkles, will be very public. I hope, for his sake, they respect his right to be normal.
Learn to make it on their own
Indeed, it’s never easy for children with parents who are famous or millionaires. I should know; I joined their ranks earlier this year when my company, AO.com, was listed on the London Stock Exchange. I have five children, aged between two and 17, who had absolutely no idea how much the business was worth. When it all hit the papers in February, I sat them down and said, “Don’t think for a minute anything’s going to change”. From that day on, we haven’t mentioned money once.
My wife and I just want our kids to be happy. You see teenagers who have lots of money handed to them by their rich parents, and they’re not happy. They tend to be defined by their wealth. For example, my eldest daughter wants to be a teacher. If she’s fantastic at standing up in front of a room full of kids, then that’s an amazing achievement. But if I gave her £50 million to kick-start her career, she’d be sitting in the staffroom with everyone looking at her differently.
The last thing I want is for money to diminish my children’s achievements: they are more than capable of making their own way. People think life is so easy for them, but they only see the cash, not how brilliant they are in their own right.
My eldest son wants to do something outdoorsy when he grows up and I’d love for him to explore that on his own terms, starting in the same way as any other youngster from any other background – I don’t want to bankroll him, because that’s not the way I was brought up. We just want to support him as any parents would.
Read full article: I'm a millionaire but my kids still have Saturday jobs