How to Raise a Child in this Consumerist Generation
Today’s child gets everything very easily- right from sophisticated play stations to melting pizzas, he knows anything can be bought with the swipe of a card. Such an easy, consumerist life is fraught with its own pitfalls. A child becomes lazy, selfish and self-centered. Read this article to know, how you can inculcate the right values in your child.
Consumerism is the opposite of philanthropy or charity. In a consumerist society, people equate happiness with acquisition and hoarding of material possessions. Finer values like sharing, giving and simplicity are shoved into the background and people compete with each other to own more and more of mostly everything. To raise a child in such a culture is quite a challenge, but not an impossible dream.
Ways to Inculcate Good Values in Children
1. Teach your child about spending time in wholesome ways
Teach your child that inner happiness does not come from acquiring a certain toy, video game or car. It comes from being compassionate and kind. Encourage your child to spend time with old, needy people in your community. Enrich his life with experiences. Take him to an orphanage to donate old clothes. Spend a day in the company of less fortunate children. Ask him if he would like to make a donation from his pocket money. Ignite the compassionate streak in him.
2. Make an early beginning
Teach your child about the joys of giving and sharing. Encourage him to divide his earnings between spending, investing and charity in whatever proportion he deems fit. Educate him about the NGOs which might find his small donation useful.
3. Tell your child about the harsh realities of life
This requires a lot of tact and sensitivity on the part of a parent. Tell your child that there are some children out there on streets who cannot even afford one square meal a day and have no roof over their heads. Also, tell your child that orphanages and libraries are run by good souls who find joy and happiness in such sharing.
4. Appeal to his Rational, Creative Self
Many parents like to believe that their children are spoiled little creatures who do not see a reason. But the fact is children appreciate logic when used gently and with a smile.
- If your child is demanding that you buy her a certain expensive toy, ask him in a friendly tone whether he really needs it.
- Remind him of all the toys in his closet space which lie untouched.
- Tell him that the money can be spent in better ways like buying a meal or clothes for a hungry child.
- Always appreciate your child when he goes beyond the call of his age and does something kind and compassionate.
5. Set an Example
Online shopping portals, more disposable income and the saturating advertisements are all responsible for the thriving of a consumerist culture. In such a scenario, as a parent you need to set an example and step back from mindless purchasing and splurging. To initiate, you can involve yourself in a noble cause like rescuing stray animals, planting trees or even making your community a cleaner, healthier space to live in.
Finally, remember no journey is an easy one. When choosing the path of philanthropy and charity, learn to appreciate your child’s point of view although it might not always agree with yours. Make a connection with your child as you teach her about the deeper aspects of living away from the glitter of a consumerist society.