Educating for conscious consumerism should begin in early childhood. Children’s consumer society is growing, where the children glorify the leading brands and quality products, so they don’t want to wear simple clothes and shoes. They want everything and immediately. What can parents do under this pressure? It's really important to be conscious and create a restrained attitude in terms shopping.
If the child does not learn to handle money in time, then later, he will easily be addicted to shopping. Cool jeans, designer sneakers, renowned fashion designer t-shirts and of course, the coolest cell phone - those are what our sons and daughters are demanding today.
While the parents are running out of money, our kids take their designer bags and go shopping.
They become consumers.
The most recent statistics shows that the 6-17-year-old's purchasing power run up to the skies. We spent billions on them, and the main problem is that our wallet will get thinner and our children's expectations will get higher.
It is not the parents that are main targets. Advertisements target those in school to show them more and more objects that they have to buy, by saying that they can only be cool if they have it.
So, the question comes up: Do I really have to give the child whatever he wishes for? What is it that they really need?
The trend mania is a parental pattern, there are families where well-being don't include the parent-child relationship. This is a societal problem. In this case, the parents have to examine themselves and their relation to money and their shopping habits.
- How am I spending money?
- Am I a classic consumer?
- Do I insist on having particular brands?
- Do I welcome the idea of following the latest fashion?
Let’s make a deal with our child
It is obvious that if the parents are suffering a shopping mania, then they can’t expect the opposite from their child. And it is also true that if the parents feel obliged to fulfill a wish list, the child will never be happy if he gets anything. Additionally, these children will never learn how to handle money, they will fall into the trap of undisciplined consumerism. This is quite bad enough for a teenager or adult. There is no question, it doesn't mean preaching against consumption, but rather parents have to be low-key and consistent.
A few advices:
- Watch the advertisements and examine them. What do they want?
- Shopping is a fake glittering world and there are downsides to it.
- Try to compare prices together.
- Ask, "Is the discount really a discount?"
- Ask, "Is there a place where you might get it even cheaper?"
- If your child wants to buy something quickly… ask, "Is it really that important? Why? What do you want to do with it? Why is it good for you?" - If you can run through these questions, you will discover at the end that that thing is not so vital, and your child can survive without it.
- Talk to your child, wake doubts in him. Bring up rational arguments against the purchase of the product.
- Suggest financial settlement: "if you do something, you can have it" – like by letting him wash the car for 8 weeks, so he/she can get the money.
- Say NO definitely, if something does not match your personal lifestyle or with your pedagogical principle.
- Remind your child that if he/she will save money, he/she can buy what he/she wants, and do not need to ask for it.
- Stay firm!
- And know that consequence is priceless!!!