Teaching Kids Self Control in World of Too Much Commercialism

commercialism as baby Do you easily get swept up in the commercialism aimed at our children? If you do, you’re most likely not the only ones and not the last ones either.  The Marketing industry does its job well. It can take dirt and make you think its good for you with the end result being you running out to buy it all up. This is where common sense has to step in.

When your children are young, we as parents, want them to have everything. This is a normal response but one that isn’t always kept in check. How many children do you know with so many toys in their room, that they step back trying to decide which one to play with first. It’s almost as if their emotional reaction/excitement is stunted secondary to being overwhelmed. What does that do to a child’s natural creativity and free thinking?

I’m not a child psychologist but a nurse, have grown up in a large family with many siblings and am a grandmother of 4. I remember visualizing children in various settings, expressing pure joy and excitement with only 1 toy in their possession. They didn’t appear to be worried about a bunch of toys and/or what to do first etc. Their’s was more of an immediate emotional reaction to being excited and not what I would call, a confused/analytical response without the joy.

I totally love seeing children outdoors playing freely, such as making tents, climbing trees or playing games with their neighbors. Their spirit, sense of freedom to be themselves and emotions is so real and palpable. It’s a true pleasure just to observe. Brings back many memories from my childhood where we were free to be creative in our playing. We would do anything we pretty much dreamt up (within reason and within our parent’s parameters). We didn’t rely on commercial entities to make us happy. We made our own toys, games and shared with whomever was there to play.

There wasn’t monies in those days to buy toys or things, as well as minimal emphasis in this area by the marketing firms. We, as children, had to be more creative in using our vivid imaginations. We engaged in a lot of neighborhood team sports, card/board games, hide and seek and similar type games, building forts, treasure hunts; you name it and we most likely did it. Makes me wonder what our world would be like today if we hadn’t had such influx of computers/video games.

I know its great for parents having that built-in babysitter when it comes to having toys/video games etc. at our disposal, but, where is the balance that kids need for a healthy existence? We all knew it wouldn’t be easy being a parent. Letting our children develop into lackeys and/or couch potatoes secondary to over stimulation from the surrounding commercialism,  is not a choice. We need to put out the effort and monitor what our children are doing. There are so many things we need to be teaching our kids and so little time to do it in. We want them to succeed and be able to survive by thinking on their own. It’s all up to us as parents or our kids fail.

I do believe that children who are allowed to use their imaginations/creativity without an overabundance of commercial stimulation, will be much better at thinking out of the box, than those who are completely consumed or controlled by it. They’ll also have more time to do normal type behaviors such as communicate with others, carry a job and/or help with chores. We must encourage our children to be in control of their own thinking and/or creativity without a constant barrage of “things”. They need to learn to step back and look at their surroundings/the big picture and not function entirely in a world of 24/7 tunnel vision, created by commercialism.

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