“Everyone has a tablet, but I don’t!”, “Lena has sneakers from a famous brand store, I want those too!” How many parents have heard such exclamations of their beloved son or daughter? Probably almost everything.
Of course, moms and dads do not want their child to feel left out. However, spending on some whims is completely “not worth the candle.” And in general: when did these things and gadgets begin to be valued more than intelligence, abilities, humanity? We propose to understand.
Where does it all start
Of course, the child does not wake up abruptly in one morning with the desire to own the same hoverboard as Grisha’s classmate. The desire to possess things like a neighbor, friend or acquaintance is born gradually.
At a younger preschool age, kids regularly ask their parents to buy them either a toy, or a candy, or a book — the flow of their desires does not disappear for a minute. And as soon as the parents refuse to do this, it comes to tears and hysteria.
Then the child begins to notice interesting things not only in stores, but also in other children. “Mom, look what a beautiful teddy bear that boy has. Will you buy me the same? Or: “Sasha has a new set of felt-tip pens in kindergarten, and Misha has a new collection car.”
In fact, the parental ability to say “no” in such situations is the best way to form choice skills in the baby. Through restrictions, he learns to distinguish impulsive purchases from necessary ones and to make a choice in favor of something important, not secondary.
As a child grows up, their needs change. The cost of requests also changes. If at first he needed sweets and cars, then at the end of primary and secondary school he needs smartphones, tablets, clothes and modern gadgets.
Why is Vasya’s grass behind the fence greener?
But why does it seem to the child that Vasya, Petya or Masha have better things than his? What is the reason for wanting to be like another child? There may be several reasons.
one. Special Environment. If a child studies in some fashionable lyceum, where he has children of deputies, stars or oligarchs among his classmates, then it is not surprising that in a month or two he will start pestering you with requests to buy the latest iPhone or hire a personal driver on a Rolls-Royce.
2. Common interests. Sometimes gadgets, fashionable clothes or cutting-edge toys can be intermediaries in a child’s communication with other children. In this case, the desire to have a “doll like Anya’s” or “a quadcopter like Dima’s” may be due to the desire to be like a child with whom the son or daughter is on the same wavelength.
3. Desire for status. Bright plumage is important for a bird, and expensive things for children. With the help of a super-sophisticated tablet or console, the child tries to get the approval of peers in order to achieve a high position in children’s society.
four. Desire to join the team. Often a child who does not have a touch phone is expelled from the social circle, and sometimes simply poisoned. The need to be part of the children’s team leads to requests to buy a new phone or some more stylish clothes. Sometimes in this way children try to get closer to the leader of the group, to get his praise or attention.
5. Quality. Yes, most often children are well versed in new products. And sometimes the need to get a «smartphone like a neighbor» is not caused by envy, but by the understanding that the neighbor’s smartphone really has an excellent camera, wide screen and powerful technical characteristics. However, in this case, the child, as a rule, can adequately convey to mom and dad why he needs this or that thing, and arguments like “Everyone has iPhones, I’m the only fool without an iPhone” are not used.
How to be and what to do: cheat sheets for parents
In order to adequately get out of this conflict of interest, parents need to think through behavioral strategies. For example:
- Refuse the child, using family values as arguments (“Our family is against this”) or school rules (“Smartphones are prohibited in your school, you can only use push-buttons”);
- Invite the child to save up and purchase a thing with their own money;
- Give your child a choice: “Either a new game console, or a trip to the camp that you have been waiting for. Choose»;
- Analyze the situation, discuss together the reason for the desire to possess this or that thing and find a joint solution. For example, if he wants to stand out, then maybe it is better to dye a strand of hair in a bright color, become the funniest in the class, or learn to pull up 20 times in a row?
- Talk to your child about what prestige is, and tell them that in our time, and not only in ours, personal qualities are valued, and not a gadget model;
- Try to find budget options for the things you want, but of good quality and with similar features.
It is always important for parents to be attentive to the needs of children. Behind the desire to possess this or that thing lie different feelings and experiences, and therefore a sharp refusal can provoke serious consequences: loss of trust, isolation and even theft. For this reason, it is always necessary to listen to the child first, and then talk to him and find a compromise.