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We try to live a simple, green lifestyle, which involves not buying much new stuff, doing a lot ourselves, simple pleasures (reading, gardening, etc). Lately (ok, for a while now) my 6yo son seems to want to buy EVERYTHING. Whenever we go to the store he asks for tons of stuff, even if we go over the fact that we're using our list beforehand. I mention going to the bookstore and say he can choose 1 book, and he's asking for more more more.<br>
I feel like i've gotten really rigid and say no automatically now, just b/c his asking for everything gets on my nerves. But something inside me doesn't like to make our lives be all about no's, or even to make him feel bad for "wanting things", which is not inherently evil. I feel like I'm becoming the queen of denying people eveyrthing they want. I wish he would be more content with all the great stuff we have (we are NOT deprived, even tho we don't have cable TV, or all the NHL jerseys his friends have, or buy every toy we see), and I feel like my annoyance at him is making "stuff" and "buying" this huge deal, which gives THINGS way too much power in our lives, the opposite of my goal for a simple life!<br>
I am starting to ask him to use his own money (from gifts, or from extra gardening work he does) to buy things he wants, but I feel sort of mean about this. What's a good breakdown of what we buy him and what he buys himself? I'm feeling like a scrooge, and like simple living shouldn't be this way...<br>
Anyone have experience/ insights? Esp you voluntary simplicity types??? I am obviously feeling a bit conflicted right now!
 

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... I would buy for him things that he needs, or toys that you like or believe are beneficial to him.(balls, tools, art supplies,etc.)<br>
Do you help him to make toys? Ds readily accepts not buying something if I will make it for him(or a reasonable approximation)<br>
It my be best not to take him to the store for a little while: all those things can be so tantalizing. Hey, they're made to be.<br><br>
As far as what he buys with his own money, I'd say whatever he wants, but that's me. If I don't like something, or feel that it's unnecessary, I would say: "I'm not going to spend <i>my</i> money on that, but if you want to, you can spend <i>yours</i>".
 

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how about shopping trips to the goodwill, where you donate some things and buy some new things?? Buying used generally fits into the simplified lifestyle and since you'd be bringing in things, it keeps it all in the cycle.
 

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My son is having a little of the same thing. We have also started asking him to use his money for his wants. He wanted a webkin (SP?), or wahtever they are called, and he had to give me the $$$ before I would go pick it up. He is more thoughtful about what he spends his money on after only a couple months of this. By the way, he is 7 1/2.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I once read about a mama of something like 12 or 15 children (a lot), and her rule was that each child may have whatever he wants as long as it fits into his personal box. If he wanted something else, he had to give away something in his box to make room. Her explanation was that it was necessary to keep at least some order in the home, but more importantly, it kept the focus of the child's desires and concern for others/willingness to be generous in balance. They donated everything the children didn't want any longer. I thought that was a good idea. Maybe your son could have a box of his own the same way. The children also had a lot of common things that didn't factor in like board games, puzzles, art & craft supplies, etc..., so they always had those regardless of the 'extras' they kept in their boxes.<br><br>
She also encouraged wholesome toys, but didn't restrict non-violent toys that didn't fit her preference if the child chose it himself, after careful consideration.<br><br>
Here was the hard part though; when they received gifts, the same rule applied! Yikes! But it apparently worked for them.
 

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We don't buy any toys for my kids; they need to spend their own money which they get from grandparents. (Probably works out to $6-ish a month for my 6-year-old.) They can buy whatever they want with their own money. (We don't buy books; that's what the library is for.)<br><br>
If you're concerned about buying the new stuff for environmental reasons, a trip to a thrift shop would be a great idea- virtually no negative environmental impact and your kid gets more bang for the buck!<br><br>
We have a rule that for each new thing that comes in, something of equal size must leave.
 

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my dd doesn't get much new toys, she gets lots of new books though, she loves to read and i never remember to take the library books back. lol. um...i think the pp's gave great ideas, let him buy his own. when dd asks for toys and such i try to get her something that we all can enjoy. like a bubble machine or an uno game or something like that.
 

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One of the things we've done at times is to have a "someday" list for DD. If she asked for something at the store, we'd write it on the list. When it was close to a gift-giving holiday, we could review the list, see what she no longer wanted, and use the list for gift giving ideas for ourselves and others who asked for a list. It seemed to placate her need for stuff, at least somewhat, and I wasn't always just saying "no" (instead I was saying, "Let's write that on our someday list.").<br><br>
DD also gets an allowance, and she can use that as she sees fit. If there's something that she really wants, she can save up for it. That way she can make some choices about what's really important to her (even if that differs a bit from what's really important to me). She has the power, here, to spend or not, and hopefully she will learn about what is really important to her.<br><br>
In terms of a breakdown, we buy her clothes, food, and homeschool-y type stuff. For the most part, I would expect her to use her money for almost anything else that she wants.
 

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Dd (5) also is into wanting 'things,' but what seems to help is having an ongoing discussion on the value we place on the accumulation of stuff, why plastic is bad, etc. She really does seem to get it, although often, in the wake of seeing/wanting something interesting, it takes a little prompting to get the discussion going!<br><br>
Yesterday though, ds (3) spotted one of those quarter vending machines that sell small plastic toys. Dd jumped right in (w/out prompting this time!), and said, 'Gavin, you don't really want that stuff. It's just junk, and it will end up in the trash. And it's plastic so it will just go to a landfill and sit there and never ever go away!' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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