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Teaching Our Kids to Value Relationships & Experiences more than Stuff

August 15, 2010

What do you remember most from your childhood? Is it the toys you had or is it the trips to the park, beach, camping, vacations or playing outside with your friends? I’m guessing it’s not the stuff you had it’s the fun times you had with your friends and family. I do have fond memories of playing with my baby Chrissy doll, the one with the red hair that you could make longer or shorter by pulling a string in her back? I may be dating myself but some of you may have had one. You probably all had a toy or two that sticks in your mind but I’m guessing you remember the experiences of your childhood more.

With more and more advertising, toys and videos games coming out every year it’s easy to get caught up in acquiring the newest hot item. I was shocked when my kids asked for the new DSI last Christmas when they had just received their DS games the year before. I’m fortunate that my kids are not big “gamers” but it was eye-opening that they barely played with their DS games and now they were asking for the new DSI because their friends had one.

So how can we teach our kids to enjoy living simply, value friends and family more than their stuff in today’s world?

Here are a few things we do in our house that maybe you can try in yours:

-If you want a new toy you have to donate one you already have. This helps a ton with the clutter build up and also teaches them to give to others less fortunate.

-Don’t give in to their demands; make them work for what they want. They will value it more if they had to earn it. *I find when they find out they have to pay for it themselves they don’t usually want it anymore.

-Have some days where no screens are allowed-no TV or video games. This forces them to be creative and think outside the box as they say in corporate America.

-Set the example, don’t have tons of stuff in your house that takes up space that no one uses and make sure your kids see you donating to charity and clearing out your excess.

This time of year is great for decluttering, schools starting and winter is coming. You have to go through the closet anyway to see what still fits and what new items they need for school so do this together and have a conversation about what they can give away or sell on Ebay if it’s still in good condition but too small.

Remember your kids will remember all the fun experiences they had with you not all the stuff you gave them. Have fun making memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    August 15, 2010 11:30 pm

    So true… Thank you for the reminder! I loved this.

  2. Carlette Colvin permalink
    August 16, 2010 6:18 pm

    Totally agree. Great article.

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