4 Tips To Discourage Materialism in Our Children
Nowadays, everyone seems to be attached to something that is valuable and desirable to others. It can be the latest cellular phone model that has all the best features, it may be the latest play console that has kids drooling over it, it may be the best looking bicycle in the street that gets envious stares from other children. It seems everyone has got something that would be desirable to others and we want them to be our own.
The culture of materialism has crept up to us from seemingly nowhere because we do have a lot of people who have empowered us to become people with seemingly insatiable appetites for the finer things in life. We have been seemingly conditioned to want the finest things in life – the best in everything, the best that money can buy, the best that can be offered to us. We want to acquire more and more and more things, sometimes too much and detrimental to our finances.
We do realize that materialistic and spoiled children are the product of the pervading culture and the permissiveness of parents who want their children to have the best in everything. We have to admit our guilt that we allow our children much more leeway in terms of material things than our parents did. We are in effect strengthening the idea and we must also be the ones to crush this idea in the bud.
Here are some tips to discourage materialism in our children. Remember, we have to be able to make sure that we have the ability to back up our words with our actions:
1.Teach gratitude to our children.
Make sure that our children know how to say thank you for even the slightest things that they receive. We have to condition them that whatever they receive in life should be appreciated to the full extent. We should be able to teach them that it is not always about the cost but the thought. We should be able to teach them to be grateful for everything because it is the thought that truly counts.
2. Don’t give them everything that they ask for.
Yes, I know we want to be able to give them everything that they want. But we have to curb this tendency as parents to spoil our children because the implications would definitely be huge. We can turn this into a teaching moment though – we can teach them how to work for what they want. We can teach them the value of an honest day’s sweat and how important it is to be as financially prudent as possible.
3.Focus on the time spent with each other, not on the cost and quality of toys.
In the yesteryears, everything you see was a potential toy. Coconut husks, cigarette packs, tinfoil and even plants – a few imaginative tweaks and you’d have something good to play with. What separated the experience is the camaraderie you had with your playmates – not the quality of the toys. The same principle basically applies here – spend more and more time with your children, they’d be content with your presence and what you have given them rather than the toy they have been clamoring for.
4.Set a budget and stick to it.
Show your children how it really is to be financially stable. If they know where the money goes, then they’d probably get the drift that there are more important things to consider in life. It may appear to be counterproductive but in the end, instilling the lesson is much more important.
These things may appear to be counter-cultural to what is happening around us but they are among the best things that you could possibly teach your children. In this day and age of materialism, it is quite important that you would be able to trach your children to appreciate the simple things in life that matter. While it may be important to experience the finer things in life, it is much more important that we get to experience the good things that matter most – much more than money can buy and provide.