In the highly competitive world like the one we survive in today, it’s always about the concept of the
more the merrier. Yes, survive, not live. Because somewhere down the line we’ve forgotten how to
live. It is only I have this, I own that, I possess this, I bought that. It’s a medley of ‘I’ and worldly
possessions. When did this happen? Probably sometime between ease of buying and lack of
personal time. Somewhere between making time for our own and replacing presence with presents,
we became selfish and greedy.
Do we want to go back? Now that’s a question we ought to ask ourselves. But are we ready to pass
on this act or habit on to our little ambassadors, our children? For real? Perhaps not. As parents, the
biggest dilemma is when you want to give them something they truly want but in your heart of
hearts you know it isn’t ideal for them in one way or the other. It’s either not the right time, age-inappropriate or high on investment. So why do we still give it to them?
Are we trying to make up for things we couldn’t have back in our own childhood? It’s a known fact
that the earning and spending capacity today as compared to say 30 years ago is much higher. So is the availability of commodities. Latest gadgets are a click away, fancy doll houses, gear bikes or even wave-boards. Are we even taking the time to see the implication of these gifts? Their impact on the physical aspects of the lives of our beloved, their mental development and shaping their mindsets should be our priority. Instead, we enter these children into a rat race of their own, so as not to feel inferior in any capacity.
Children need to feel secure and powered, no doubt but they also need to experience failure and
disappointment. If they do not face the negative, the appreciation for the positive will never
develop, or it will develop but will probably be distorted and incomplete. Target this by creating a
divide between the Need vs. the Want. Help them recognize priorities and the importance of
categorization. This doesn’t take long, just a little bit of customizing, that’s all.
Explain to them why something needs to wait to be bought and why the waiting is good for them.
Present your case with positivity and conviction. Once you make them see reason and
interconnectivity of action to consequence, the reshaping of cognition has begun. This is only going
to fuel reasoning in the long run and pragmatism that instills itself into their system.
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels
Don’t get this wrong, it’s not the same as curbing. You simply want to suppress the greed from
showing up. The occasional gifts and presents will always bring a smile to their sweet faces, but a
little control will bring home the right message of practicality and not of binging. After all, you want
them to grow into responsible individuals, so begin with introducing that responsibility early in life.
Before long, you would have started the winds of change and inculcated values of respect and
accountability, values that will shape their thinking ahead.