Thanks for posting, Tere! I'm going to share this story with my girls the next time they are envying friends who have more "stuff." It's sad but true that some kids will not be friends with others who don't have as much money as they do. At least when I was growing up, that stuff didn't really come into play until at least middle school. I am just shocked that it happens even with very young kids now.
Kudos to you and your daughter. You know, maybe something good will come out of this recession. Maybe people will realize that they don't need so much stuff.
My daughter, now age 18, said to me the other day: gee, mom, my friends are REALLY suffering with all the cutbacks. We haven't had any!
Well, that's not exactly true -- I lost 1/2 of MY income and hubby is only working part time -- but it hasn't hit us AS hard. We've lived frugally all our marriage. She's not missing what she never had. She's showing her friends tricks she's learned over the years. Friends who weren't friends because she didn't have the most current make up are flocking to her now: how do you do it?
I've had neighbors do this, too. HOW DO YOU DO IT? I just do, I say. This is how.
We shop at Goodwill, too. We also did shoeboxes for the less fortunate at our church. Sounds like we're on the same wavelength.
When they get a little older, I want them to volunteer with me at homeless shelters or feed the hungry at Thanksgiving, things like that. I like your Christmas idea and agree that actions speak louder than words.
One thing that was popular in our house when my kids were growing up (and now my grandkids) is planning Christmas presents that all must be home made or homegrown on our farm. We also pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. the kids pick out gifts (Dollar Tree, letters, pictures) for less fortunate children around the world.
We all shop at consignment shops, yard sales, Goodwill, Salvation Army. It isn't that we lecture about it, but it is just the accepted way.
I have two young daughters, one is in first grade, the other is in kindergarten. I am constantly amazed at how materialistic their classmates are, even at this young age. I am constantly preaching to my kids that you don't have to spend money to have fun and that people are more important than things, but they still feel left out when their little friends get expensive gifts like Nintendo DS or Wii players, or even have their own cell phones. I guess I would envy that stuff, too, if I were a kid growing up today.
We spend a great deal of time together, playing games and going for walks, or biking on trails. We make things like homemade play doh or melting our broken crayons together to make new colors. I emphasize doing things together that don't cost much, if anything. I am hoping these kind of activities will show them you don't have to spend money to have fun.
Does anyone have any additional suggestions on how to prevent my kids from becoming materialistic? I lecture them about it so much, I know it falls on deaf ears sometimes.
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