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This is a question I've been pondering for a long time. In our house, I am not materialistic but DH is. Our daughter takes after him in every conceivable way - she looks like him, she acts like him, she has the same sinus problems that he has <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">....the only difference is that she is not at all into "stuff". It doesn't interest her.<br><br>
DH thinks that it is because I don't buy her a lot and I don't emphasize it. I think it is more because she was born that way and I didn't do anything to interfere with her natural process of not being materialistic by buying her lots of things.<br><br>
My position is based on the fact that I know other kids of non-materialistic moms who are always asking for things even though the mom doesn't buy a lot. And in the case of DD, even though I haven't bought her a ton of crap, she has gotten lots of gifts from relatives and her daddy. I wouldn't say that she has more than most kids but it's not as if she doesn't have plenty of toys, they just don't interest her. She also never asks for anything except for experiences - she wants to go to tea with me, she wants to have a princess birthday party, she wants to go to the beach, etc. She just never asks for things and when she gets them, she has minimal interest.<br><br>
Thoughts?
 

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Good question.<br><br>
I will sit on the fence and say it's a little of both.<br><br>
I do know that certain astrological signs are more into having a nice environment, which could also be interpretted as material things in our society.
 

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I don't know, but it's interesting...<br><br>
How old is your dd? I had a friend who was really anti-materialism, but her son seemed very materialistic. She seemed apologetic and frustrated by it, even though I never mentioned it. I wonder if it was age-related. Her son was older than my oldest is now. He was close to 4. When we used to get into our car after our visit, her son would follow us to the car and actually cry over the toys in my son's carseat. When they would visit us, he was only interested in using my son's stuff rather than playing with him. He'd actually take my son's hands off his own toy!<br><br>
Again, I wondered how much of it was age-related. My son is now 3 and a half and I've recently noticed that he gravitates to kids with toys. Part of me also wondered if her passionate anti-stuff stance was contributing to him craving stuff and acting out over it.
 

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I've seen both sides of the deal. Until I was 9, I lived in my mother's house, a lot of times without electricity, not being able to pay bills, eating mostly from our garden, being cold in the winter in a small house, wearing hand-me-downs, having xmas be very small.<br><br>
After 9, my dad got custody. He lived in a huge house, complete with antiques, "butler's pantry", 3 bathrooms, huge presents for xmas & birthdays.<br><br>
Funny thing is, I can't remember the burning desire for *things* until after my first xmas with my dad. I only began to care about how many presents I got, counting them compared to my brother, until AFTER I'd been introduced to ONE excessive xmas.<br><br>
Innate desires would include wanting comfort: food, shelter.<br><br>
The rest is all learned; children certainly are not born with the desire for lots of toys. How we spend our time is determined by experiences & boundaries placed on us by our caregivers & peers (I hate that word, peers!)...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LoveBeads</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know other kids of non-materialistic moms who are always asking for things even though the mom doesn't buy a lot.</div>
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Could this be from outside influences: friends, what the child sees on TV? I also believe if something is lacking in what you're getting emotionally (as it was in my case) you turn to outside wants. Not to assume anything about the families you're talking about...*sticks foot in mouth* BUT sometimes rampant materialism is due to parents not setting boundaries that are decent.<br><br>
I feel like these boundaries to not over-consume are SO important for our kids growing up in a world where huge corporations are geared to SELL, SELL, SELL...to give your child the tools from the beginning to not be a glutton. Greed is such an ugly trait.<br><br>
The nature/nurture debate again I'm sure LoveBeads! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I totally respect your viewpoint. I have always had a philosophy that nature gives us all the tools we need, like a palette, and the nurture part is what can get screwed up along the way: human mistakes.<br><br>
I'll have to see how it turns out for my kids living in a small house with no antiques, but with the electricity on! I hope it's a good middle of the road! We're going through a huge financial crunch right now, and I wanted to get the new Harry Potter movie for myself (okay, I guess he could watch it too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ) for my b-day, but we didn't have the money. My little guy (7) came up & gave me his money (3 dollars)...I got the hugest tears in my eyes.<br><br>
I like to sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" to my kids, and my 3 yo knows the whole chorus by heart INCLUDING the part :<br><br>
If you try sometimes, you just might find<br>
YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED!<br><br>
I hope to teach them the difference b/t wants & needs...except I'm still figuring it out myself.
 

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One of my dd's is fairly materialistic, one not at all, the other in-between.<br><br>
So yeah, I think it's more innate.
 

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Hard to tell..My children were adopted, so I can't judge the"genetic" aspect.. I grew up with all I needed and I never was a "I want" kind of gal... I didn't have a lot of "extras" though that many of my friends did ( i put myself through college..never owned a LP (remember those?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">) until after I had been at work for three months after graduating while my roommate who never worked and had mommy pay for school had over 100. While in school, I often had to chose between tuition and food...that said, my children seem to only "want" certain things and could care less about many of the materialistic things their friends crave... but they do WANT video type entertainment...they are content with every other aspect in their life and many of their friends seem much more materialistic...long way around the barn to say "I am not really sure" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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