Nowadays, children tend to be fond of gadgets (tablets and smartphones) and sophisticated toys that are mostly advertised on the internet, from social media to the web ads. Or simply, children want things because others have them. They notice that those children who have most things seem happiest and they start to envy. Children then will ask for the same thing their friends have or more.
So how can we raise non-materialistic children in our materialistic world? It should start at home. The whole family should be aware of the driving forces that tend to push children to be materialistic. If we can’t totally eliminate these factors then we can explain to the children why all their wants can’t be granted. There is a big difference between the needs of the whole family from the wishes of each one.
Here are some tips to guide them
Let yourself be an example
Children imitate what they see and hear within the household. Be an example for them in being cautious with how you spend your money. Be careful with your own desire to buy stuff.
Spend Time with the Children
For working parents, there is limited time for the holidays but as much as possible you need to spend time with your children. You can simply play indoor games, help them with their schoolwork or school activities or just hangout and help them prepare something in the kitchen.
Spend money wisely
Give them a regular allowance. Discuss with them how they can spend it with food or maybe saving a part of it. Take them with you when you go to the groceries and show how you carefully choose the things most needed at home.
It’s not bad to be cheap
You can spend time with them even if it’s cheap. Find out their interest and start from there. You can still have fun without spending too much. You can go just watch a movie and have popcorn and enjoy the rest of the day at the park with the family.
Teach them to be thankful. Be thankful for what they have now or what was given to them. Happiness comes when people are satisfied.
Listen to them
You can first ask them what they want then start from there. It doesn’t mean that they can get all the things they want. Discuss with them the possibilities of these things being given to them or not. They can either get it only on a special occasion or maybe earn money for it.
Share and Give to others
Teach them the value of sharing or giving. I’m sure they have a stockpile of toys that they don’t want anymore. They can give to charity or they can learn to share with their siblings or friends. Show them how other kids appreciate old and used things from them.
Work for It
If the child wants something, tell them to work for it. They can do some chores or save money for what they want and you can help them do it. It would feel more rewarding for them when they have worked hard for something they wanted.
Teach them to think about others
Inform them that there are other people around to consider in purchasing things. They are not the center of the universe and there are other people to think about. Respect each and every one so that they will get the respect they want.
Children should understand how money works. Parents work hard to earn it thus, it should be spent wisely and economically. If there is more to spend then it doesn’t mean it should all be spent at once. Prioritize which ones to buy first and what is needed badly. Teach them to save for the future and continue discussing with them the value of money and eventually, they will learn to be careful in spending it.
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