Teach Your Child to be Less Materialistic

Let’s be honest with ourselves; parents can admit to spoiling their little ones.  Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with advertisements for the latest and greatest toy with all the latest bells and whistles.  Every time we walk past the children’s clothing section at the department store, we see a new outfit that would look adorable on our little cutie.  The fact is, we are programmed to want more and more, and that desire is setting up our children to become very materialistic.

From the very first day your child can understand what they are looking at, marketing messages are directed straight for them.  From TV commercials to food boxes, their brains are filled with messages promoting the idea of more stuff.  It all looks and sounds great because that is the job of marketing.  You see a huge spike in child directed marketing around the holidays, especially.  Teaching your child to think strongly and question marketing will go a long way.  Explain to them, as soon as they are able to understand, that marketing is meant to create a sense of want and that the product doesn’t always meet the high expectation. 

Come the holidays it is important to take time and teach your children about family and that gift giving is so much more than just going out and buying something off the shelves.  This is a time where your child can show off their creativity and talents give a homemade present.  The gift of family togetherness is one that can never be gotten back once it is gone.  Focusing on family traditions and building new ones will teach your children what is truly important this holiday season. 

Giving back by donating old toys, clothes and things that no longer have need around the house is a great way to help out others in need.  Employing the “one in, one out” technique is a great way to question whether something is really a need versus a want.  When your child is asking for a new toy, let him know that for everything new they bring in, they must donate one old toy to a child less fortunate. 

Teaching your child that material possessions are just that, will help build a strong and self-confident person.  The ability to say no to mass marketing as they grow from child into a young adult will pay huge dividends down the round.