7.02.2009

{ spending hiatus - month 3: week 1 }


As mentioned before one of the reasons I have been doing this {official} spending hiatus and avoiding Target and Anthropologie like the plague is that I want Sam to understand that it is more important to be DOING instead of BUYING. I realize this will be a harder concept as she gets in school and feels the pressure to own certain things. It doesn't feel like that long ago, that I was there begging my mom for a pair of Guess Jeans because EVERYONE had them. ;-)

Here are some action tips on this topic from the New American Dream:

  • Get rid of the TV.
  • Expose kids to other media - surrealist films, art exhibits, museums, gatherings of interesting adult friends with non-mainstream stories to tell.
  • Parents who resist consumerism for themselves are the ones who teach their children to resist it.
  • Teach children to be doers and creators rather than shoppers and buyers.
  • Supply them with sidewalk chalk, old cardboard boxes and other makings of creative play.
  • Grow your own food. Involve the kids. Teach your child of the connections within the natural world. Experience their beauty together. Talk about where things come from, who made them, what they are made of.
  • Teach by example and conviction a set of values that allow kids to make their own choices.
  • Teach kids empathy for others. Instead of buying toys, suggest they spend the money bringing some groceries to the local food bank.
My children are seduced into believing that if they have the right things or more things, they will not just be happier, but also more popular. This culture that sees kids mostly as consumers is creating a future generation of kids that have not felt valued for their character or their contributions to the greater community.” - Jane Brolsma, Oregon via the New American Dream.

What tips do you have for teaching your children mindful consumption?

{ps - my spending hiatus update from this week... I got a pedicure and we ate out 2 times as we were on the road for a fun, spontaneous trip to Moab. A little break {from work + the meal plan which was great}. Spent the last few days in Moab hiking, swimming & biking (and not shopping) - athough if any of you have ever been to Moab you'd know that avoid shopping when there aren't many stores isn't much of a feat in itself!)

image via flickr

6 comments:

dmoms said...

love everything about this post. I am especially loving the look of your blog : )

I read a good quote this week in regards to $$$. Instead of telling kids things like "we can't afford that" - you can say "we don't spend our money on that" - I love that. let's them know that we value our money and we are not just going to throw it down on stuff.

LobotoME said...

Thanks Denise! Yes, that's a great way to explain to kids...we talk a lot with sam about how we can either by more stuff we don't need or we can save our money to go on trips (and since she loves traveling more than any of us) that is a pretty good motivator to not ask, whine or beg for things! J :)

sweetbeets said...

I agree that framing it in terms of choices is really important. Have you read Your Money or Your Life? Good stuff.

We got rid of the TV 4 years ago and I think this does really help. My oldest child is 7 so we haven't yet hit the "Guess jeans" stage yet!

I'm really loving your blog! :)

liz jenkins said...

The points made in this post are right on. I involve my daughter in many of our spending choices - I "talk things through" out loud when I'm with her. I go through my thought process about purchases and have her go through the same ones if there is something she wants. At 7, now, I'm starting to see that it's working a bit. I went to Old Navy to grab a couple of t-shirts for work and she kept asking why I was getting them when I already have some t-shirts (hmmm-the old ones are stained and ripped). TV is the worst - I've started letting her watch a bit more now that she's a bit older, and the commercials are ramping up her interest in stuff. It's a constant battle but I think it is well worth it to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. When kids understand the rationale behind our purchases (wants vs. needs) then they can make better choices.
I do enjoy shopping sometimes just for fun but we live in a very small house so we must be very particular about what comes in it.
Overall, I think that by being open with kids about why we buy things, money, and our thoughts on purchasing can make a huge difference - maybe not right away but over time it'll sink in.

LobotoME said...

Hi Lisa & Liz - Thanks for your great comments and suggestions! I agree that the important thing is to talk about it and not make it a foreign or taboo subject when they are young...Lisa I admire the no tv land...we rarely watch ours but do still have it...must get rid of it... Thanks again for your great comments and feedback ~ I appreciate your time.
Best, jenny :)

paula said...

we don't have tv, but we do allow an occasional movie just because its fun. The no tv also helps me, probably even more than them.