Friday, February 06, 2015

How to Teach Your Kids to be Non-Materialistic

Raising non-materialistic children isn't easy in this day and age. From all the toy ads on television to their friends having the latest and greatest toys, gadget and apps, more and more kids are becoming "needy greedy."

But that is only icing on the cake for why more and more kids are becoming materialistically dysfunctional.

It seems as if there is a new learning app on the market every minute and not only are their friends bragging about it, but  their teachers are also recommending it for educational purposes. The big selling point for my boys on why they need another app for their iPod Touch is because it will teach them something.

How can a parent say no to something that can help them in their development?

Well...I'm finding I have to! Kids are learning that they can have anything with just a click of a button even if it costs a measly .99 cents. That .99 cents can add up fast for a parent, which my husband and I are finding out.

So how can you help your child continue learning and growing, while teaching them that they don't need every latest and greatest gadget (uh, like an iPhone or television in their bedroom just because their best friend has one)?

Here's how I'm teaching my kids to appreciate things in life!

How to Raise a Non-Materialistic Kid:

Lead by example: Your child learns by watching you!

Set toy, game and app purchasing limits: Our kids know that they only get a new toy on special occasions such as Christmas or their birthday. However, if we are on vacation, we allow them to get a special memory gift within a certain maximum price.

As for apps, one app per child per quarter is sufficient in my house. I have four kids. If each one get's a new app per quarter that's four apps they can download and share. I make sure I get my .99 cents worth out of every app I purchase for my kids.

Set-up a Responsibility and Reward System: If my oldest three want something during the off-toy gift season in my house, they have to purchase it themselves. The way they do that is by earning their own money.  One of my boys pet sits. My kids also have helped neighbors take out their trash, giving them a few extra dollars. And my husband and I, with the help of our kids input, have created a weekly chores calendar that they do daily to earn a few extra dollars.

Donate and then shop at a consignment store: I love consignment stores! There are so many great buys that you can find. Purchasing at a consignment store teaches kids that they don't always have to have everything brand new. Yard sales are another fantastic place for kids (and moms and dads) to shop.

Every quarter I have my kids sort through their clothes and toys. Any clothes that don't fit them and toys they no longer play with, we bag up and take them to a consignment store. Once everything has sold in the consignment store (usually a month or two later), I let my kids use that money to purchase something in the store.

Trade-in Nintendo dsi and Wii games: Twice a year, my kids and I weed through their Wii and handheld games and movies, searching for the ones that they don't play with or watch any longer. We take those to Game Stop and get store credit points that they use to purchase another video game.

Homemade DIY kid projects: Save money and build it yourself. Not everything has to be purchased. There are so many do-it-yourself projects available for kids online now.

For instance, my daughter got Juggle Bubbles for Christmas. She went through the entire bubble mixture in a few hours and was begging for more. What she didn't know (because Santa brought her the present) was that Juggle Bubbles wasn't cheap. So I looked online for how to make juggle bubbles!

Have your kids spend more time in nature: I find the more time my kids spend in nature, the less time they ask me for stuff. There is something about nature that stimulates their creativity and feeds their natural need of wanting more. There is so much kids can learn from nature. And any questions they have can easily be researched on the Internet.

Parents spend time with your children: All kids want is to spend time with their parents. Make time! Have a family game night weekly. Read to them. Cuddle on the couch and watch a movie with them. Have your child help you cook a meal. Kids need their parents to be involved in their lives. There are so many ways a parent can do that.

Volunteer with your kids: This is one of the best things you could teach your child. It teaches them to be compassionate and to be a good citizen. They learn the value of selflessness and generosity. Volunteering can be as simple as making a meal for someone in need to helping out at a soup kitchen. This is such a wonderful thing to do with your child.

Sponsor a Child in Foreign Country: A neighbor of mine gave a child in Ethiopia the most wonderful gift, sponsorship. What I loved about it was that her entire family was involved, including her two children. They even spent Christmas with the child in Ethiopia by raising enough money to be able to travel over there.

The above tips are suggestions. Please share any tips that have worked for you on how you are raising a non-materialistic kid.

Also, many of you may know that I write children's books. The Wunderkind Family children's book collection teaches kids how special they are, using humor and fantasy. Hope you'll check them out on Amazon Award Winning Childrens Book!

Melissa Childrens Book

No comments:

Post a Comment