As a parent, we would never want to end up having a spoiled brat for a child. This is why you have to ensure that you can raise them well with the right values and a happy disposition from the start. This begins with making sure that they know the value of money and hard work as children.
However, the question remains: How do you raise a non-materialistic child? Fortunately, this article will tackle the issue and how you can handle it without difficulty down the line.
We will give you some tips on what you should do to ensure that your child grows up in a safe and simple environment that will allow him or her to place significance on the more essential things in life in the future.
What Causes Children to Become Materialistic?
Before you can teach your children not to become materialistic, first you have to figure out the primary cause of materialism in children, and in people in general. Many factors can contribute to becoming materialistic.
However, before going any further, we have to understand the real meaning of materialism first. The word materialism refers to the idea or belief that tangible possessions and physical comfort should be given priority over other values in life.
Materialistic people tend to place significance over riches and corporeal possessions rather than spiritual beliefs such as faith in God or love of family.
What can cause a child to develop such a belief system? As mentioned earlier, many factors can contribute to this particular development in children. These are as follows:
If a child grows up to be surrounded by expensive toys and the fact that money comes naturally to the family, he or she will not learn to value what he has. Because he believes that he can easily replace anything, he will not learn to take care of the things that are already in his life.
In addition to this, children of materialistic parents tend to grow up the same way. That is because of a thing called modeling. If a child sees that the parent values money more than anything else, the child will do the same in eventually as well. He will learn to do everything in his power to get what he wants no matter who he has to step on to get it.
These are just some of the significant causes of materialism in children. If you want to prevent your children from growing up to be materialistic, please make sure to become an excellent example for the children right from the beginning.
The next section will explain some of the things that you can do to ensure that your child doesn’t grow up putting a value on physical possessions over positive human interaction among many others.
5 Effective Ways to Raise a Non-Materialistic Child
1. Teach Them to Enjoy the Simple Things in Life
The first thing that you need to do is to show them that you can have fun activities without spending too much money. Materialistic children tend to believe that you need a lot of money to be able to enjoy life.
By teaching them the value of personal experience rather than material possession, they will learn to appreciate the simpler things in life and eventually forgo more expensive activities to have fun.
For example, instead of shopping, you can introduce your child to the joy of reading a good book. You can do this by going to the library with your children instead of going to the mall every weekend.
Another thing that you can do is to go to the park instead of allowing them to play video games in the arcade or at home. Though there’s nothing wrong with playing video games per se, using the machine and console itself requires electricity. Playing hours of video games will increase your electricity bill down the line.
If you want to teach your child to become non-materialistic, you have to show him or her that you don’t need modern conveniences to have fun. By going to the park or playing board games with your friends and family, you will be able to enjoy each other’s company while learning something new every day.
You did not even have to spend a dime for it!
2. Always Remind Them to Say Thank You
Always instill the value of saying thanks in your children. Gratitude and its expression thereof may be inconsequential to some, but it is an excellent way for a child to show appreciation for anything and everything that has been and will be done for him in the future.
By teaching your child to express his gratitude, you will make him realize that he is not entitled to everything that he has. He should learn to appreciate the people around him who can help him get to where he wants to be in life.
3. Show Them the Value of Respecting Others and the Power of Words
The third tip that you can use to teach your child to become non-materialistic is to make sure that they know the value of respect and the power of their words. You should teach your child to respect other people to allow them to become non-materialistic. How can this happen?
By teaching them the value of respecting others, they will be able to learn that not everyone is lucky enough to have everything that they would want. One way of showing respect is to make sure that you treat everyone equally.
As the adult, you should never try to badmouth someone who doesn’t have as much money as you or someone who can’t afford to have expensive and branded clothes or gadgets.
If you say a kind word to people no matter what their status is in life, your children will be able to learn this behavior through emulation.
4. Teach Them the Right Set of Values
It would also help you to teach your kids to be kind to others. If possible, train them to help whenever they can. This will take them out of their own world and focus on what other people might need instead of their own.
They will also learn to have empathy towards people with more needs than they do. You never know, they may end up sharing even more of what they have down the line. Right from the beginning, you should be able to teach your child how to share what they have with others.
This way, they will not grow up wanting everything for themselves. They will learn to care about what other people might need and put it first above their own.
5. Spend Time with Your Children and Be a Good Example
Lastly, you have to make sure that you spend time with your children as much as possible. The best way for you to teach your children to live is to go by example. If they see that you are content with what you have and value other things aside from money and material possessions, then it will be easy for them to develop the same values.
The thing to remember here is that it all comes from you. You are the child’s first role model as a parent. This is why you would have to be very careful about what you say and how you behave in front of the child. The values that they learn from you will make or break them as they grow old.
With these five tips, you will undoubtedly be able to teach your children how to lead a simple life and become non-materialistic. What is important is that you can show your children the benefits of having good values in life. If you can do this, then everything else will follow for sure.