4 Ways to Raise Non-Materialistic Children


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In a world where great value is placed on “things,” it can be difficult for parents to teach their children to value experiences over materialism. Seemingly throughout their days, children are awash with ads for toys, clothes and other items they grow to expect.

In this issue, the San Diego family law attorneys with the Men’s Legal Center will provide a few tips to help you teach your child to avoid becoming “gimme monsters,” and instead learn to enjoy people and experiences.

If you’re a parent thinking about divorce, having a qualified and experienced San Diego family law attorney on your side can ensure that you are positioned well for the custody and support decisions you desire.

Here at the Men’s Legal Center, we’ve earned our reputation for going above and beyond to help Californians successfully navigate their way to their post-divorce lives. You can receive a free phone consultation and make your appointment by calling 619-234-3838 or via email.

Why are most children so materialistic?

Advertisers are experts at honing their product messages to today’s children. Because your child’s peers are most likely eager to pick up on the latest trends, parents need to be particularly vigilant in emphasizing that possessions alone do not make a person happy.

If we stand back and look at the situation objectively, though, we can probably agree that the only thing that’s changed since we were children ourselves is that marketers have more ways of getting their message to today’s children than ever before.

How can I teach my child to value experiences over materialism?

Thankfully, parents can do a lot to raise their child to appreciate life and experiences over accumulating stuff.

  1. Reduce the amount of stuff you give to your child.
    There will probably never be a time when new toys and clothing aren’t being emphasized in the media. But does your child really need that latest learning tool? Probably not. Being on the endless chase for the next best thing is tiresome and teaches your child very little.
  2. Teach your child how to manage their money.
    If your child receives an allowance or payment for chores, you can teach them valuable lessons by helping them prioritize their own money. We previously posted an extended column about the value of teaching your children about money. Through this teaching, your children will learn what it truly costs to keep up with the latest material trends.
  3. Emphasize gratitude and giving to others.
    Whether it’s donating to a charity, volunteering or simply sharing with other children, your child will be encouraged to think about the needs of others rather than their own. The lesson of actually having something to give will most likely not be lost on your child.
  4. Reward your child with a special one-on-one experience.
    When your child completes a particularly tough chore or behaves especially well, offer an experience rather than a treat or money as a reward. For example, take your child to the museum, a day hike or enjoy a picnic in a place you’ve never visited.

For help with your divorce in San Diego, call the Men’s Legal Center.

We’re strong proponents of involved parents, and want to do all we can to help single-parent families thrive.

If you’re a parent considering divorce, we urge you to get in touch with us here at the Men’s Legal Center.

You can receive a free phone consultation and make your appointment by calling 619-234-3838 or via email.

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