Teaching Our Children To Be Happy With Less
As I sit here writing this, my two boys are on ebay looking at football cards. Clearly, it wasn’t the smartest of ideas downloading the ebay app for the ipad. One minute ago they were playing educational maths games but now they are begging me to buy them things with “Look mum, it’s only $1!”
When I realised my 4 and 6 year old children knew how to use ebay I was horrified because they didn’t teach themselves – they learnt it from me. It probably came from standing behind me while they patiently (?) waited for me to finish my all important quest for a shopping bargain.
I recently read this short post about not giving in to the “I wants.” The post from Tricia at litte eco footprints made the powerful statement that she wants her daughter to know that happiness is something she can create – it’s not something she can buy.
I agree wholeheartedly with her post. I agree that it is unwise to give into a child’s every want as it does very little but spoil them and teach them how to be materialistic consumers.
Whilst I try really hard not to spoil my children it is something I have to mindful of constantly. It’s all too easy to get caught up in “Wow – this is cool. 5yo would love this!”. But it’s not just what I choose to buy (or not buy) for my children it’s what sort of behavior I model to them. I know all too well I’m not a perfect example for my children to follow in this area.
It’s all well and good to say we don’t want to give in to our child’s every ‘want’ but what about ourselves? How often do we say no to the things we convince ourselves we just HAVE to have. How often do our children hear us discussing all the things we NEED like a new couch, clothes, an ipad or a new phone? Do we actually know the difference between a need and a want or do the lines get blurred sometimes?
It is important we ourselves reflect the values we want to instill in our children. We can’t just tell them what to do, think or feel – we have to show them through the way we live our own lives.
Sometimes we just need to avoid the shops, avoid wasting money on impulse purchases and show our children that we don’t need possessions to be happy. We can show them that anyone can be happy with little even if clever marketing and advertising tells us otherwise. One of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children is that posessions don’t define you and you CAN be happy with less!Children, consumerism, happy with less, living with less, parenting, parents, spoilt, spoilt children, values