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Are We Raising Materialistic Children?


From elaborate birthday parties to trophies for everyone to punishments focused on taking things away, we are teaching our children that “things” matter.


Let’s start with before they are even born, there are gender reveals, baby showers, diaper parties, book parties and baby registries. We want to make sure that our babies have all the latest, greatest things. We focus on their nurseries and make sure everything is perfect before their arrival.


I can say that half of the baby items I had, I never even used. I only needed basic items. The wipe warmer and diaper disposal system weren’t needed. My daughter grew out of her clothes so quickly that some weren’t even used. Baby shoes and fancy clothes just made her uncomfortable and cranky.


As they grow and learn

Children really don’t need much to be entertained. They appreciate a box more than what’s in it sometimes. Pots, pans, and spoons can provide hours of entertainment for a child.

Songs are great for learning their alphabet and colors. Build a fort out of sheets and blankets, and a child is in heaven.


So why do we continue to buy our children so many toys? I’m guilty of it, too. I thought my daughter needed every educational toy out there. Turns out I was wrong. It was the things we did together that had the biggest impact on her development.


Punishment

There was a time when parents were told to take things away from their children if they misbehaved. With that method, we are teaching our children that things matter.

We are teaching them that they can only be happy if they have certain things. We are also teaching them that to have things means they are a good person.

Later in life, when they lose a job or can’t afford to purchase something, they think they are failing.


What can we do instead?

Instead of focusing on things, we can focus on our interactions with our children.

Talk to them about their actions and explain why their actions were wrong.

Don’t run out to purchase the new “great toy”. Teach them how to use their imaginations and encourage them to play.

Everything we model and teach our children today has an impact on who they will become later in life. Let’s create healthy, happy children who aren’t looking to keep up with those around them.

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