The Materialism Trap
New advances in technology create the need to have the latest and greatest and can become the materialism trap. These products are introduced, marketed, and sold to buyers everyday and often the consumers become impulsive buyers. This compulsive behavior of having more and doing more will leave you and your kids feeling empty. Learning to be thankful and satisfied for what you have now will lead to a life of contentment — whether you have much or little. It’s really a matter of the heart to see life as a glass half full rather than half empty, and it is important to pass this attitude on to your children. These questions will begin a discussion with your kids that will lead to a heart of thankfulness and contentment.
How are we blessed as a family?
If we just look around and see what we have such as our house, cars, friends, health, and, most of all, families, it is evident that we are all blessed. As a family, talk about all the blessings you do have and write them down. You will be surprised as to what might end up on the list.
What things do you have that you could do without?
In our culture, it is commonplace to have more than we need. This may become an opportunity to give away the excess stuff to others who actually do need it. Cleaning out our rooms and cubby holes can be freeing and satisfying — especially if you can give it away.
Is materialism bad?
Having material things is not necessarily bad. However, materialism is a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than other things we should value. Help your family focus on values such as trust, honor, hospitality, and generosity instead. When these are present in your home, other things become much less important.
Wanting the latest and greatest is nothing new and in and of itself is not bad. When our children begin to expect the newest technology a discussion is warranted to keep them grounded in thankfulness and contentment. You have just taken some intentional steps to help your children appreciate what they have and understand that they do not always need the latest and greatest products.