Materialism and Kids

How many times we go into our child’s room and we cannot find an empty place to put a book or hang a painting or locate an item? How many shelves and cabinets we added to their rooms? How much space is left so they can play? How much stuff do they need more?

Possessions we bought after demands that have been placed on us by our kids. The main question here is when to draw the line?

How can we as parents be able to say “No”? How can we explain to a whining, nagging and demanding child that we are not going to buy this item for him? Children do not understand how much their parents are working hard and struggling at work. They do get the habit of getting anything when they claim it. As parents, we struggle between making our children happy and limit this habit.

We should start at an early stage to differentiate between stuff that our children need and stuff they can pass by. We should teach them how to evaluate and value their things. Sometimes we end up facing a social pressure where our kids want to be like their peers. They want to look and wear like them and have the same stuff as them. In this case, as parents, we should rank the needs according to priorities and help our kids understand which need is more important than others.

Here are some believes on how to overcome this habit:
-          Teach your child how to value people more than things, how to spend quality time with their family, friends and relatives. Spend quality time with your kids. Do not shower them with gifts to cover your absence. One hour per day spent fully with your child makes him realize how important relationships are.
-          Limit the amount of toys that you purchase to your child.
-          Make your child value and enjoy his new toy or game. Take some time to enjoy the new one before getting something else.
-          Encourage your child to donate toys or stuff that he is not using.
-          Reduce the gift list during holidays. Ask your child to write 1 to 2 new gifts he needs. Let him prioritize his wishes.
-          Teach your kids how to use money wisely. Educate them how to value money without burdening him with your financial issues. They should know that money does not come with rain. They have to work to earn it.
-          Sometimes it is helpful to talk to your child about your expenses and teach him how to manage his every day expenditures.

With the right coaching and appreciation of things that surrounds us, your kids will grow up with a sense of responsibility, respect and value for people. Teach your child that gifts come to those who work hard and behave nicely. Enjoy your parenting and your time with your kids!