Kids as Consumers by Professor Matt Sanders
It could be anything from breakfast cereal at the supermarket to an expensive new video game. Chances are though, your child has a very clear idea of what he or she wants you to buy.
It’s hardly surprising when you consider children watching two hours of television a day will be bombarded with around 10,000 advertising messages every year.
So, with children being groomed to consume from a very young age, some parents may feel powerless when the pestering starts. But there are ways to help children express their wants – which is natural and not necessarily negative – yet prepare them for the disappointment of not always getting everything they want.
First, you should help your child understand why you will or won’t buy something. Rather than telling your son he can’t have something, “because I say so”, you could explain why the product isn’t suitable. Is it offensive or too expensive? Perhaps the child can have the item when they reach a certain age. Explain once and don’t let your child interrogate you.
You can also help your children become better informed consumers by teaching them the value of money. Give them a set amount of pocket money to spend as they like. Even six year olds soon learn they can’t buy anything once the piggy bank is empty.
And finally, remember you’re a role model. Think about what you say and do in front of your kids. If you constantly discuss other people’s worth or success in terms of how much they earn, how much they have or what they’ve bought, your child is going to accept those values as important.
Professor Matt Sanders is founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program®. For more information go to www.triplep-parenting.net or (contact School Psychologist Luciana Carelli)
Triple P Seminar
Last week I ran the “Power of Positive Parenting” seminar at Glendale Primary School. A wonderful group of friendly, committed (and positive!) parents came along. This was so encouraging for me as even though I’ve worked in schools for many years, I am new to this school. The parents gave excellent feedback and commented on it being non threatening, interesting and informative and that they would recommend it to other parents.
Keep a look out for further seminars being offered in the future! If you came along, tell your friends!