Combating materialism in this very consumerism world. July 21, 2019 Gratitude seems to be the answer to helping our children become less materialistic. First of all, a study by Lan Nguyen Chaplin, a UIC associate professor, states “that higher levels of gratitude are associated with lower levels of materialism. Also cultivating your child to be grateful helps them to disassociate “things” with happiness and wanting more. As a result of Professor Chaplin’s study, we learned “participants of children who were encouraged to keep a gratitude journal showed a significant decrease in materialism and increase in gratitude. In addition, the group that kept a gratitude journal was more generous than the control group.” We need to work on teaching our children the difference between need and want. Many of us want the newest technology but do we really need it. And more importanly what do we need it for? Here are 3 things that we as parents do to promote materialism. First, we reward our children for their accomplishments. With that, we are teaching them that material things are the only goal. Second, we choose to give presents to show our love for them. This shows them that our affections equals gifts. Finally, we usually punish are children by taking away their things. This seems to confirm that possessions are needed to feel good. Good news is there are ways we can combat consumerism in our children. Generally speaking, giving gifts to our children is normal and healthy. We just need to remember moderation is the key. Next, we can take away privileges they may have earned instead of a possession. However, sometime it is the most fitting consequence. We just need to be mindful to not make that our only adverse consequence. Other ways to combat materialism is to talk at dinner about what each of you are grateful for. Tell them how you are grateful for people in your lives. Talk about acts of kindness that you experienced instead of things you purchased. Another key factor to consider is spending quality time with them. Doing things with our children, like going for a hike or playing outside with them teaches them to appreciate time over presents. In any event, our actions speak louder than our words. Show them how to be generous with their time. Let them see how you treat people with kindness. Help them become aware of your charitable donations and how they can help. Remember to help them see with your actions that you appreciate people over things. At Camp Marimeta we stress that being grateful of the little things that people do for you is important. As an illustration, we have the bead necklace program. If anyone does something kind for or to you, you have the option to get a bead for their necklace. You present it to them with the reason you are giving it to them. One of the reasons could be that they helped you during cabin clean up. It could be that you were feel a little down and they helped you through it. We also have a whole day named gratitude day. It is just a reminder to think of others and for all the good things in your life.