Children before the 1960s grew up happily with far less "stuff" then children today. A few years ago our family inherited a toy box...one box - all the toys a child of 40 years ago would have had would have fit in that ONE BOX!
During a long recession some Americans have begun to embrace frugality as a value once more. Author Wanda Urbanska, author of several books on simple living, says Americans should define success as financial solvency and happiness not material wealth.
So, in a Love and Logic way, how could bring this idea into your parenting plan? I thought of a few options:
- Raise this issue with your children along with the idea of supporting a child through World Vision or giving money to another charity. Consider having a garage or yard sale (or learning how to sell on eBay) to which everyone contributes "stuff" - agree in advance that 50% of proceeds go the the charity and the other 50% to a family fun event.
- If your children are a bit older schedule time to watch "Clean House" or "Hoarders" - then talk about decluttering your home. One idea is that for 3 months... any purchase that comes in the home must be matched with 3 items that leave it.
- Redefine "success" as a family (or maybe even just as a parent or as a husband and wife) Write out indicators that have nothing to do with "accumulation"... come up with a list together. You might include kindness towards one another, financial security, healthy eating and exercise habits, helping others, a clean tidy home, many friendships, etc.