My kids think: to be popular, they need the latest hair, clothing, bags, accessories, smartphones, laptops, tablets…the list goes on.
I think: If they want anything beyond the basics, they can buy it themselves! With money they earn working. Just like everyone else.
The pressure to conform is really harsh for kids. I get that. Kids go to school then immediately compare their phones, their tablets, their laptops. They compare hair, shoes, bags, jewellery, makeup. It seems endless, and it’s all expensive. And the list of wants never ends. It just keeps on getting bigger.
Their whole world – even more so when they become teenagers – is one giant pecking order of looks and selfies and Facebook Likes and who-has-what and hers-is-better and his-is-newer.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a parent’s job to pay for it all.
I’m a good parent. I love my kids. They have a great, safe home, and they’re loved to bits. They get all the support and care in the world from us, and they have everything they need. But I do not believe that giving them everything they want makes them better people.
I don’t want to support a society where he who has the most stuff wins. I don’t believe The Kardashians are better people than the rest of us just because they have more, expensive, designer stuff.
I believe a person’s value comes from within, from their heart and soul and mind. Not from their clothes.
I’m old-fashioned that way.
I also believe it is my responsibility to teach my kids the difference between necessities and luxuries.
A basic pair of school shoes? Necessity.
A smartphone? Luxury.
Need versus want. Kids need to learn the difference.
So what I say is, give your kids love, all the love they need.
Give your kids healthy food, a safe home, basic clothes, a great education.
But high fashion? No. If they want it, they can earn it themselves.