5 Simple Ways to Raise Non-Materialistic Children
In today’s modern society, people are more worried about what we have than who we are. We seem to have an addiction to obtaining something that is valuable and desirable to others. We thought that the only way to be completely happy is by making a lot of money, buy the coolest gadgets, the trendiest clothes and having all of the best and newest accessories. Women spend a lot of their hard earned money on shoes, clothes, jewelries, make-ups, bags; and men are the same, except they spend their money on cars, sneaker shoes, action figures; and parents are always spending thousands on toys and games for their children, which will all go to waste as they will be outdated or unusable a couple months after buying them. The trend of mankind seeking satisfaction, happiness and sometimes pleasing others is the result of having a materialistic society.
My husband and I are not millionaires so we couldn’t spoil our son as far as our financial status is concerned. So we’ll do our best to raise our son a humble and non-materialistic, no matter our circumstances. If you want to raise children who don’t wrap their self-esteem in their possessions, here are some ways to raise non-materialistic children.
- Be a role model
- Children learn many habits from their parents. If parents do nothing but shop and buy things for themselves, your children will follow it. When you keep on buying expensive gadgets, brand new cars and more jewelries, your children may think that these items determine one’s status in life. Set a good example, practice what you preach.
- Limit exposure to TV commercials
- According to study, TV commercials are catalyst to materialism. In order to discourage this, monitor the programs they watch even on YouTube, that way you can limit the time they are bombarded with commercials. When your child is old enough to understand, discuss with them about how advertisements are meant to trick into buying things which you don’t really need.
- Make gratitude a habit
- Gratitude is a reminder especially to children about how much blessed and contented with what they have. Teach them about gratitude and giving at a young age. We need to let them know that whatever they receive in life, regardless of the price, should be appreciated. You can also expose your children to people who are much less fortunate than themselves and let them understand that they find happiness in the simplest of things.
- Spend time with your children
- If you want your kids to be happy, spend more time with them. Material gifts are short-lived happiness but memories (experience gifts) last forever. Remember that your children grow up so fast, so treasure every moment that you spend with them.
- Do not give in to every request
- As a parent, we have a tendency to give in to our children. But always remember that if you do succumb to their every request, it could make them unappreciative and dissatisfied in life. We can teach them to work on what they desire. In this way they can be more appreciative and learn the value of determination.
Let’s admit it, raising non-materialistic children is a difficult task for us parents. Especially with what’s happening around us, and how technology controls most of our lives, these ways may appear to be counter-cultural. However, it is important for every parent to raise a humble, compassionate, appreciative and responsible adult who will not value happiness from material things but from experience, other people, and their own selves.
These are just few ways. Can you share me your ways on how you are helping your children avoid materialism? I’d love to hear your insights in the comment section below!