There is no denying that the desire for indulgence is far greater than it used to be, especially for young children and teens. As parents in the 21st century, it is a challenge to bring up children who feel grateful rather than entitled. Dr. Yeo Pei Li, licensed professional counselor at Rekindle Centre for Systemic Therapy, lists down ways to help:
Be a good role model
One of the best messages to send to our children is letting them know we are grateful to have them. When they know they are loved and wanted, their self-esteem is boosted for the right reasons, and not because they have the latest smartphone or expensive toy. As a parent, show that your gratitude extends beyond material things.
Allow children to contribute when they want something
Teach children the concept of saving so that when they want something, they are encouraged to contribute a certain percentage to get it. This empowers them to take ownership of the purchase and understand the value of money. Also create opportunities for them to give their time or money to charity.
Teach them the concept of ‘enough’
Make a list together with your children of all the things that they have enough of, and of all the luxuries your family has. Educate them on how to be wise and critical consumers of the media by discussing advertisements with them.
Spend more time with your children
They will remember the fun activities and conversations that you shared with them far longer than the things that you bought for them.
*This article first appeared in Her World Malaysia July 2016 and was written by Carmen Chow.