In an age where anything can be purchased from anywhere at any time, it is more important than ever to instill in your children the value of being grateful and non-materialistic. This can be very difficult when they are faced with ever evolving technology and constant competition among peers. When children leave home, it is almost impossible to control their environment and what they will be faced with when out in society. You can, though, do your utmost at home to maintain a level of humility within them.
Spend time each month going through belongings. Weed out things that are no longer used or worn and donate them to local charities. Teach your children about the less fortunate in your community and how contributing unwanted items can help so many and really make a difference. Minimalizing the value placed on material items can also help them down the road when they earn their own money; learning frugality at an early age will set them up to successfully manage their own personal finances. Fewer material items in the home also means less clutter and less time needed for house cleaning, leaving more room for quality family time.
Place abundant value on finding happiness away from material objects. It is essential that children understand that money cannot buy them happiness and self-confidence. Even if they have the latest item on the market, if they don’t feel good about themselves, no material possession can fill that void. Lead them away from frivolity and help them find other sources of joy. Help them find a hobby they enjoy and lift them up when they branch out and try new things. Introduce them to community groups and organizations that are based in giving back, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
It may be hard to turn down your child when they look at you with those puppy dog eyes and ask for the newest toy or coolest pair of shoes. If you can hold your ground, though, and steer them away from a materialistic life, they will be better for it.