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I need help with this. I try to live a fairly simple life. I'm not big into shopping, etc. However, I have a 7 year old DD who WANTS EVERYTHING. I'm sure a lot of that is normal behavior for the age. However, I have no idea how to help her learn this isn't the best way. "Stuff" makes me crazy, and we have so much of it around here. Right now she just wants more and more stuffed animals and barbie dolls. Yes, I can tell her no of course. And I often do. But it is almost like she gets a "high" from a new object and will be sooo in love with it for about 1 week. It is like a drug! She saves $ from her grandparents and buys stuff that is forgotten about in a week.<br><br>
I don't have the proper language to get through to her. Everytime I try to discuss not buying junk, how to get enjoyment out of life without buying STUFF it goes nowhere. She gets mad, and the whole message is lost in translation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
For example, she hates going to the library because we aren't buying the books...she only wants stuff she can keep. And it is exhausting because everytime we go anywhere she sees somthing she NEEDS NEEDS NEEDS. And when I say no, you don't have the $, she goes into a deep funk and it is so annoying. Today we stopped by the garden center to buy plants and she saw another stuffed animal she wanted, and now she's been moping and sulking for hours because I didn't buy it. Now our initial plans of going for a walk will have a dark cloud over them because she'll be cranky all day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I'm not sure how I created such a shoppaholic, but I want to nip it in the bud and I don't know how.<br><br>
P.S. She's even like this with food....if I make a veggie sandwich she won't eat it, but if we go to Subway she'll eat the whole thing.
 

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I don't know, but hugs to you. My suggestions may not help at all, but I wanted you to know I saw your post.<br><br>
As background, you might like the book "buy buy baby" . It's about how marketing is targeted to kids, and how we as parents are targeted, too.<br><br>
As practical solutions, we practice when we go somewhere that "we're just looking today, not buying" and "you can like something without having it" or variations on that theme. Perhaps you could go somewhere as practice, or desensitizing-- like a toys R us trip, in which you practice the idea of looking, admiring, without having. And you are mentally prepared for her to have a hard time with it.<br><br>
Or you could have her keep a list, like a running christmas list. When she sees something she likes, instead of arguing if she can have it or not you tell her to put it on the list. Then, once a month (or what ever time period makes sense for you) have her pare the list down to just a few items. When she has money for whatever reason, or an occasion comes up that you'd get her a gift anyway, ask what's on her list.<br><br><br>
You could get her a specific storage solution-- toy box or shelves. She can only have what fits in the box or on the shelves.<br><br>
Hope something here helps. Good luck.
 

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No advice but kind words Mama! we're struggling with the same thing here so know that I feel your pain. I'll be watching here for ideas and commiserating with you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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My dd is going through a slight stage like this too, though she still loves the library. It is driving me nuts. For a few months now she has wanted something everywhere we go. I have talked with her about how little money we have, suggested she save her money for what she wants, talked to her about appreciating what she has, and I haven't bought her anything. Still she constantly wants more. I hope someone else has good advice because I am ready to start giving things away if they are going to be accumulated rather than used.
 

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My children started becoming like this as well...I use the "wish list" technique a LOT- especially with my 4yo because he doesn't understand why we can't have things right now. It works really well, and I clearly explain that when our birthday, etc...comes along, we don't get everything that we ask for- just a few small items from the list.<br><br>
With my 7yo, I can explain why (we can't just spend money needlessly and keep accumulating stuff), and he is pretty okay with things being the way they are. I also stopped allowing them to watch TV programs with commercials, because I was disgusted by the way they suck children in. We mostly watch PBS and Netflix shows now, and it has cut down a lot on the greed factor.<br><br>
I also realize that my children human, and when they see nice things, they'd like to have them- just like you or I would. I think it's an important part of teaching and parenting, to show them that they can't have everything they want. Allowing them oppurtunities to save for things they've been eyeing is valuable- when they finally get the item, they have learned what it's like to work for things. My 7yo is also quite materialistic, and he really enjoys getting shiny new things but I've managed to keep his desire under control by just explaining in simple terms why we can't do this daily, or weekly, etc...<br><br>
My mom makes this hard because she buys my kids ridiculous amounts of junk and stuff and food when she comes to visit, and they've learned to expect this- but only from her. I have asked her to cut back because I don't want my kids viewing their grandmother as a gift machine- but I have also told her that SHE needs to fix this or that is what will happen.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>attached2ethan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15363822"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">With my 7yo, I can explain why (we can't just spend money needlessly and keep accumulating stuff), and he is pretty okay with things being the way they are. I also stopped allowing them to watch TV programs with commercials, because I was disgusted by the way they suck children in. We mostly watch PBS and Netflix shows now, and it has cut down a lot on the greed factor.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
When my DS was only watching PBS and DVDs, it was not a big deal. He started watching QUBO and all of a sudden, "Mom, we NEED that." (Side note: the commercials on QUBO are ridiculously inappropriate for children.) He is now back to watching DVDs only as THAT I can regulate.<br><br>
I also explained advertising and marketing to my son at a very early age. I told him that commercials and advertising are designed to make us want stuff that we don't even need, and our response is "No, thank you, commercial!" (Literally; he says this to commercials if he happens to be watching a TV channel with commercials.)
 

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I'm not at 7 yet but I think it's also about power and control around that age too - I know a lot of kids that have gone through a materialistic phase around then.<br><br>
Anyways I like a few approaches:<br>
- allowances really do help kids learn, even if they buy junk for a few years. The best learning is experience.<br>
- a wish book goes a loooooong way with my 4.5 year old. He wants to be heard.<br>
- I think it's fine and important to say no if the purchases are not covered by the allowance. How generous are her grandparents anyway? Maybe she could save 2/3 and spend the other 1/3.<br>
- your behaviour and modelling will probably be triumphant in the end.<br>
- remember that the sulking is a part of her process - not a sign that you're failing. It is unpleasant of course.
 

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Do you have screen time in your home at all? Would she be interested in <a href="http://www.storyofstuff.com/" target="_blank">The Story of Stuff</a>? It's a very simple explanation of how we 'get stuff' and where it goes when its planned obsolescence occurs.<br><br>
In our family, we discuss where everything comes from and when our dc are in a store, I hear them discussing amongst themselves the durability of the things that interest them and where the materials came from. They don't then ask for things that don't meet their/our requirements for a conscious purchase, but they do frequently lament that so much stuff is poorly made and from materials that harm the earth.<br><br>
If you ran a commentary every time you went out together about where things come from and the impact they have on the earth, our home, and did so matter-of-factly, do you think she might join you in curiosity and interest?<br>
It might be more helpful to her than bringing it up when her desire for something specific is her focus.<br><br>
I did the running commentary about random things on shelves of stores intentionally to educate my dc and did not at all focus on things they would necessarily care for, so there was no conflict of interest involved in them accepting the realities I presented. They transfer the information themselves when they make choices about objects they desire.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>attached2ethan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15363822"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My children started becoming like this as well...I use the "wish list" technique a LOT- especially with my 4yo because he doesn't understand why we can't have things right now. It works really well, and I clearly explain that when our birthday, etc...comes along, we don't get everything that we ask for- just a few small items from the list.<br><br>
With my 7yo, I can explain why (we can't just spend money needlessly and keep accumulating stuff), and he is pretty okay with things being the way they are. I also stopped allowing them to watch TV programs with commercials, because I was disgusted by the way they suck children in. We mostly watch PBS and Netflix shows now, and it has cut down a lot on the greed factor.<br><br>
I also realize that my children are human, and when they see nice things, they'd like to have them- just like you or I would. I think it's an important part of teaching and parenting, to show them that they can't have everything they want. Allowing them oppurtunities to save for things they've been eyeing is valuable- when they finally get the item, they have learned what it's like to work for things. My 7yo is also quite materialistic, and he really enjoys getting shiny new things but I've managed to keep his desire under control by just explaining in simple terms why we can't do this daily, or weekly, etc...<br><br>
My mom makes this hard because she buys my kids ridiculous amounts of junk and stuff and food when she comes to visit, and they've learned to expect this- but only from her. I have asked her to cut back because I don't want my kids viewing their grandmother as a gift machine- but I have also told her that SHE needs to fix this or that is what will happen.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
To everything she said. The best thing we have done is turn off the TV. really has cut down on the requests for fast food, and plastic stuff.<br><br>
I also like this idea. I will try this, too:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PreggieUBA2C</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15363926"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you have screen time in your home at all? Would she be interested in <a href="http://www.storyofstuff.com/" target="_blank">The Story of Stuff</a>? It's a very simple explanation of how we 'get stuff' and where it goes when its planned obsolescence occurs.<br><br>
In our family, we discuss where everything comes from and when our dc are in a store, I hear them discussing amongst themselves the durability of the things that interest them and where the materials came from. They don't then ask for things that don't meet their/our requirements for a conscious purchase, but they do frequently lament that so much stuff is poorly made and from materials that harm the earth.<br><br>
If you ran a commentary every time you went out together about where things come from and the impact they have on the earth, our home, and did so matter-of-factly, do you think she might join you in curiosity and interest?<br>
It might be more helpful to her than bringing it up when her desire for something specific is her focus.<br><br>
I did the running commentary about random things on shelves of stores intentionally to educate my dc and did not at all focus on things they would necessarily care for, so there was no conflict of interest involved in them accepting the realities I presented. They transfer the information themselves when they make choices about objects they desire.</div>
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DS is surprisingly contientious about the earth and taking care of it.
 

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Haven't read all the posts, but my DD is like this, too. We have major issues taking her shopping, so I try to only bring DS or no kids when I shop (for food, clothes, anything!). Anywhere we go where they sell things, she will see something she wants and suddenly decide she needs it, and make statements like 'I hate all my toys at home, so you need to buy me a new toy', 'I hate all my short sleeve shirts, so I need new ones'. It drives me bonkers.<br><br>
FWIW, though, I was like this as a child, and I'm not sure where it came from. I was always asking for everything, and my mom never backed down, though. If it was planned to buy me new shoes, she would buy the shoes, but if it wasn't planned in advance, I rarely if ever got something I asked for out of impulse. This started at less than 2yr old for me, and it's the same with DD.<br><br>
I took them shopping yesterday and the plan was to buy DH a couple pairs of jeans, which I know is boring for them, so I told them they could pick out two items of spring/summer clothing, and we decided in advance that for DD, it would be a top and a dress. In the end, she picked out two dresses and no tops, but no biggie. She also decided she wanted a new hoody and because her current IS getting small, I let her have it. Without the pre-trip talk, though, it would have been nightmare-ish with her asking for everything.<br><br>
I 2nd the idea of making a Christmas or birthday list when she sees something she wants in a store. When I was a kid, my parents were on a tight budget, and now it's not so much of an issue, but I hate having so much stuff - and the things she wants are the junky disney plastic crap.<br><br>
My DH is not really on board with less is better, buying junk is bad for the earth, etc, so will buy them toys/DVD/art supplies, etc when he takes them out, but it's not that often, and I have learned to turn a blind eye to it, otherwise it would drive me crazy.<br><br>
I also strategically remove certain unplayed with, junky toys to give away when they're not paying attention. I know some people would be against this, but I've tried talking to them about it, and then suddenly every junky thing is 'Oh, but I LOVE that'.
 

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Within safe parameters, I think if you genuinely want them to develop the skills needed to deal with the consumer culture that you MUST allow them to develop those skills.<br><br>
You're already saying no to impulse purchases on your part, that's great. Are you able to give your kiddo a small amount per week (like, say, 50 cents or less), for her to have in her pocket that is hers? I think that it's vital that kids learn how to deal with having $$ in their pockets. To some degree that means that sometimes (within reason) we have to shut up about what they spend their money on and allow them the consequences of their actions. If kids get enough chances to do that, over time they will eventually get the concept that if they ever want anything that costs more than 50 cents they'll need to actually save something even though they FEEL that money in their pocket. Also, by allowing them to use it without fussing, the novelty will wear off after awhile for the majority of kids. (that's not going to happen by you buying on occasion more flashier, "big ticket" items, BTW--and by giving in sometimes but not always you're almost training her to beg.)<br><br>
Once they have some buying time under their belt (that means that THEY give the money to and interact with the clerk too and get their change if any) then I think that's a good time to start talking about their cheaper purchases, especially if they break. You can also start calling attention to differing prices, and explain why. (if there is a student store in the school that sells things wholesale, that opens up a really nice way to talk about different prices and waiting for the better price rather than having it NOW, limited selection, ect.) I also limit the number of commercials my kids are exposed to, unless I'm around to talk about it. We play a game of guessing what words and phrases and what other things are trying to trick our minds into thinking that we NEED to buy this now from this company. IMO, 7 YO is a perfect age to begin doing this. Will she always get it, no. But she is capable of beginning to think about this, and she'll pick it up quickly if it's fun.<br><br>
But I really do believe that it's easier and more pragmatic to teach about consumerism after the kids are allowed to have some real world experience of THEM buying stuff THEMSELVES with THEIR money. It won't stop the begging if they've been periodically rewarded for it, but it does give them a basis for the discussion, "Mama has a certain amount of money and I will only spend this amount, there's no money left over this time for a treat." if they themselves have faced similar choices (I bought x, but now I can't afford Y...or if I want z it means I can't spend my money today, but I want something!).<br><br>
But kids won't learn or gain confidence or experience if we expect them to make the right choice with their money all or most of the time right now. As annoying as it is, I think it's better for them to experiment in safety now, even if their choices (at first) make us roll our eyes.
 
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