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Hi! This seems a fitting thread with the upcoming holidays. DS (3.4 yrs) seems nearly obsessed with getting stuff. I really try hard to teach that life is not about getting things, but somehow, I guess I've failed to convey that message. He's very visually stimulated and (like many people) loves to get treats. But it's to the extent where he will literally ASK people if he can have things of theirs(!!) Example: today, we were at a pal's house playing and he kept asking her if he could have various toys. He will also ask strangers for things on their possession (ie: bracelets, a pin, etc). It is VERY rare for DH and I to buy him something simply because he asks, so I'm mystified. Also, we are not "shoppers" (hate the mall, etc.) Although we do go to yard sales when the weather is nice, and DS gets lots of treats from other people (money from Grandmom for Halloween which he wants to go spend, presents from visiting relatives) - could this be the reason?? I want to gently curb this without seeming punitive to DS. Any advice? It's making me cringe inside. TIA!

Ooops, forgot to add that we are already TV and video free, so these aren't contributing factors. Also, we typically use the "let's put it on your wishlist" when he expresses a desire for something. But still, it's beginning to feel like a mini toy store here!!
 

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I think our culture is so focused on possessing things that materialism is in the very air and something children pick up on quickly and early. One research group found that one in 4 children utters a brand name as their first recognizable word. Besides what you are doing, we tried to model a disdain for acquiring, a delight and comitment to living things great and small, a desire to repair old things and maintain them (we still use a broken plate that's been glued together), a love of the natural world, a simple life and a thoughfullness about all things non-material. I occasionally even abused some possessions we had as a display of wanton disregard for a mere thing.
 
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