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Materialistic Tweens and Teens

Years ago, Madonna sang that we live in a material world. And things have only gotten more materialistic since those words rang out! Materialism is the act of putting material objects and possessions above what is on the inside. Kids who are materialistic may focus on wanting all the top name brand fashions, video game systems, or shoes. They focus more on wanting more and better things than on the more important issues on which most parents want them focused.

Why are Kids Materialistic

Materialism often becomes an issue as a result of what kids are being exposed to in the media or because of their friends. If your child watches television or reads magazines, she will be bombarded with images of "things" that seem to be what everyone wants and needs. Her friends may add to the mix by getting new things and placing a high social importance on those possessions.

Tips for Parents to Avoid Materialism and Avoid Spoiling Kids:

  • Pay attention to what your child is watching and reading. If she is watching shows that have ads for a lot of things, those ads may prompt her to want more.
  • Check her influences to see if she is picking up on materialism from others. Culprits may include her friends, relatives, or even the parents of her friends.
  • Speak to your child about materialism, including what it is, why she feel she needs more and more things, and on what she should be focused. Help her identify materialism in society and take the time to discuss that.
  • Help build her self confidence and focus on her good qualities. That way, she may not feel she needs so many "things" to feel good or worthy.
  • Teach her the value of a dollar and how materialism will break the bank. You can do this by using an allowance or chore chart so that she can earn some money of her own to spend.
  • Avoid supporting materialism. If you tell her you don't want her to be materialistic and then you indulge her repeatedly, you are sending mixed messages.
  • Encourage her to do some volunteer work in a local shelter so she can see that, while she is being materialistic, there are some people who would be happy just to get the basic essentials.

There are many parents who are also materialistic, which is where children sometimes get it. It is important for parents to avoid materialism so kids will follow suit. You can successfully raise a child who is not materialistic; you just need to make it a goal and be consistent in working toward it!