This post is by regular contributor Tricia Hogbin of Little Eco Footprints.
I want her to know that happiness is something she can create…
I worry that we are raising a generation of consumers. Today’s children are increasingly targeted by advertising and marketing. They are marketed to when walking down the street, watching television, on the internet, and even when at school.
I can understand why our children may think that all their needs can be met by a purchase.
But I want more for my daughter. I want her to know that happiness is something she can create. It’s not something she can buy.
I want to give her the opportunity to be so much more than a consumer. I want her to be defined by who she is, what she creates, and how she contributes. Not by how she spends her money.
Ignoring the ‘I want’, ‘I want’, ‘I want’
There’s numerous ways I’m trying to help my daughter be more than a consumer, like avoiding branded toys and encouraging outdoor and imaginary play, but my main focus recently has been on refusing to give in to each and every one of her requests for something. Some days I feel like all she says is ‘I want’, ‘I want’ and ‘I want’. I used to give in to these requests more often than not and she knew it. I appreciate now that by doing so I wasn’t doing her any favours.
I’m finally learning how to say no. Now, if there’s something she really wants, we save up for it or wait for a special occasion like a birthday. More often than not, that toy she really had to have is forgotten about, much like it would have been if we had bought it.
I’m helping her appreciate that if there’s something she really wants then it is worth waiting for. I know that by saying no I’m helping her learn how to create her own happiness and am teaching her that she doesn’t need ‘stuff’ to be happy.
Do you feel obliged to buy your child everything they want?