I just saw a video where Sudha Murthy talks about how her son wanted to take his friends for birthday party to 5 star hotel and she told him instead, we can pay off our driver’s children’s school bills. How about a Samosa and Frooti birthday party? She went on to talk about how it made them both a better person. It’s all about raising our children to be non materialistic kids in the over all scheme of things.
This reminded me of the time my son said he wanted to take all his friends for a Nerf Gun party as he had recently been to one.
I LOVE celebrating everything. Which means for a good 9 years, I have done my best to make the kids’ days special in the most STRESS FREE way possible but by year 10 in all honesty I am done! I would love nothing more than outsource the celebrations but that wouldn’t be enough for him.
I know when he asked he wanted me to invite ALL his friends. He not unlike me, likes to surround himself with all his friends when he can. I told him, if we go there I can afford only two three of your friends. How about we call all your friends home instead and then he and I spent two weeks planning and prepping for his birthday.
We went from creating a Nerf gun party at home with a whole maze created to a simple Lego/Pokemon party because it ended up being bad weather to have an outdoor party.
HE did everything for his party. From sending invites to deciding food to putting up decor to planning the games and he had a BLAST! All within the budget we had finally decided.
Now there’s nothing wrong with having LAVISH parties. But when your situation does not allow it, a child should also be able to adapt their expectations to having a stressfree and economical party.
I’m glad for those days for that showed my daughter also that it’s okay to have a different kind of party. Which made THIS year’s Corona driven HOME celebrations special in their own way.
We did our first online shopping together, built her a bedazzeld fort as a surprise, pampered her with small presents all day, had a virtual bday party and a few of our closest friends came to visit in the evening for a social distanced 15 min each meet up. And it was still perfect!
That doesn’t mean both of them wouldn’t have LOVED to have a traditional birthday party.
But them willing to adjust and be happy with the little makes for life long personal growth of unexpected surprises. Raising non materialistic kids means being stronger within.
Talking to kids about money is so hard but these simple ways go a long way in making them understand the value of how much you end up paying for what.
Reward Kids With Special One-on-One Time – Did your child behave especially well in a demanding situation, or complete a tricky project or tough chore? Instead of rewarding her with the latest branded toy, treat her to a shared experience that’s more special than regular playtime, say a visit to a museum or a day hike and picnic in an area you’ve never visited.
Be Careful With What You Say – You can’t expect your kids to put ideals above iPhones and other swag unless you walk the walk. While it may seem harmless to comment enviously on a neighbor’s new Beemer or a friend’s designer shoe collection, try to resist—at least when your children are in earshot.
Teach Kids to Pay It Forward – Your child will start spending more time thinking about what others need and how he or she can help, and less time thinking about his own, often fleeting wants. Raising non materialistic kids depends on gratitude.
Limit how much stuff you give – Abundance is good… up to a point. After a while, your possessions become plain items you toss around with no meaning. Think about whether they need the latest learning tools or the best toys (they usually don’t).
Limit and deconstruct advertisements – If your child sees advertising, deconstruct the message and encourage conversation. Let her know ads are trying to sell items, and discuss the ways they’re doing so. Talk about the smiling kids, the fast toys, bright colors and big text—all techniques advertisers use to get kids to like their stuff.
Encourage gratitude and giving – Gratitude reminds children how much they’re blessed and thwarts the desire for more stuff. If your child has toys and clothes galore, remind her how thankful you are and for how much it took to give her these.
When she receives gifts, focus more on how cool it is that Aunt Jane thought of her when she gave her a new play set. Discuss how loved she is by the people who showered her with presents.
Raising non materialistic humans is an important aspect of living a multicultural life.