THE COLOR OF GREED PARENTS MUST REGULATE A CHILD ACQUISITIVENESS WITHOUT BEING OVERLY STRICT OR UNDULY PERMISSIVE
At first, Graham Spanier was amused when his 4 year old son, Brian, met him nightly at the door of his Setauket cheap louis vuitton bags from china , Long Island, home and fake designer bags asked to count his change. Since Brian had just learned about money in nursery school, Spanier, a professor of human development and family studies at Orgeon State University at Corvallis, gladly emptied his pockets and helped Brian identify the various coins.
Then, Spanier discovered that Brian had taken one of his quarters and gave him a long talk about stealing. A few weeks later, Brian was caught taking money from his father’s bureau. “This time our talk wasn’t so gentle,” Spanier says. Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica “My wife and I have threatened to take away his piggy bank if there are any more incidents.”
Three thousand miles away in an affluent Austin, Texas, suburb, 17 year old Nina asked her mother, Adrian, for a new spring pocketbook. “What I’d like is a Louis Vuitton bag. All the kids have them,” Nina explained. Unfamiliar with the Vuitton label, Adrien went shopping for the purse and discovered that it sold for $150. “I refused to buy her such an expensive bag,” she said. After an impassioned argument, the teen ager finally settled for a $50 designer pocketbook. “But she always wants expensive clothes. It’s an ongoing debate in our household,” Adrian says, sighing.
Today’s parents struggle with a common problem how to regulate their children’s desire for material possessions without being overly strict or unduly permissive. Why, mothers such as Adrian fume, “doesn’t my teen ager understand that she can’t always have expensive, trendy clothes?” Other parents, like the Spaniers, wonder whether their high quality designer replica handbags wholesale child’s desire to collect replica louis vuitton handbags is an enthusiastic response to a new discovery or a symptom of aberrant behavior.
Psychological experts remind us that all babies begin life without a sense of limits, and thus 1:1 replica handbags it’s normal for young children to be “greedy.” “The developmental research suggests that young children are egocentric. At the same time, he points out that the desire to possess material things is a basic human characteristic, one that applies to adults as well as to children.
Many of the problems parents have regulating their child’s materialism come from confusion about the place possessions have in their fake designer bags own lives. Theoretically, the modern adult doesn’t need stylish new clothes, a fancy car or expensive walking sneakers to survive, but he buys aaa replica designer handbags them because they appeal to his vanity, bolster his image or otherwise give him pleasure.
Adults usually stop buying clothes, cars and other material possessions, however, when they feel they can’t afford them. With children there’s often a sense of limitlessness. Because the young child’s requests may seem endless and the things he craves are often so transient, parents often are annoyed and confused about how to respond. As one parent puts it, “The problem with today’s kids is they never feel they have enough. They’re greedy. As soon as you’ve bought them one thing, they want something else.”Webster defines greed as “an excessive desire for getting or having” or a desire for “more than one needs or deserves.” But how many material things, beyond food, shelter and clothing, does any child truly “need” or “deserve”? Is a bike a necessity for a child? If so, what kind? And does the particular kind of bike a child asks for amount to greediness?
“Greed is a subjective distinction that depends upon a parent’s own means and comfort level with acquisitiveness,” Balter observes. Thus, a request for a $40 Castle of the Lions may not seem like a greedy request from the son of a millionaire, but it might be for a child whose father is on food stamps. Knowing when to limit a child’s request for material goods can be tricky, particularly replica louis vuitton bags if the parents are acquisitive themselves. It’s no wonder that a parent who collects designer clothes, drives a fancy car or takes pride in a showcase home or boat may have a difficult time assessing whether his child is merely modeling on his elders or is being truly greedy.
GREEDY OR NEEDY?
Other psychological experts observe that there is probably a fine but discernible line between a child who constantly wants things and one who is greedy. Says A. Reese Abright, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York replica louis vuitton bags , “Most of us do recognize that when a child allows his wishes to overpower him and get in the way of his emotional growth with other people that he’s being greedy.”
A child who constantly is wanting and repeatedly feeling bitterly disappointed at what he is getting often is thought of as greedy by his parents. “But what the parent has to ask himself is whether the child is really greedy or whether underneath he is feeling very needy. In reality that child may feel very deprived and is trying to make up for it with his demands,” Abright says.
If a child exhibits a constant pattern of emotional turmoil with his peers and family and demonstrates an insatiable hunger for material things, it may be a symptom of an underlying sense of loss. The death of a parent, a divorce, a feeling of being the less favored child any feeling of material or emotional deprivation may emerge as overdemanding or overacquisitive behavior. Hoarding of toys, money or sweets can be a sign of inner unhappiness.
Other factors also can contribute to a child’s seemingly greedy behavior, among them the learned acquisitiveness of American culture, parental example, peer pressures and the development stages of childhood. The impulse to amass collections, for instance, is a common characteristic of middle childhood.
“Greed should be differentiated from the developmental aspects of collecting,” Abright explains. “It’s not at all uncommon for children particularly between the ages of 6 and 12 to be interested in collecting any number of things coins, stamps, comic books, tapes, records.” As he observes, children collect these items not only for their intrinsic appeal but because they are valued by others in the youngster’s social group. From a psychological perspective, the impulse to collect, classify and categorize is an age appropriate activity that can further a child’s interaction with his peers.
THE POWER OF PEERS
Peer pressure can wield a powerful influence over a child and make him clamor for certain toys and clothes even if he isn’t particularly acquisitive. One day as she drove him home from soccer practice, Christopher seemed terribly glum. When she asked what was wrong, the boy reported that his friends had ganged up on him and made fun of his new sneakers.
“But you loved them this morning when you first put them on,” Barbara exclaimed.
“Yes,” Christopher said, “but the kids told me fake louis bag they didn’t have the right label, that they were imitations of the expensive kinds, the $40 ones.”
Barbara was appalled, and explained to her son that on her limited income, $40 was an extravagant amount for her to spend on sneakers. Besides, she reminded him, they were the same product his friends had, even though they didn’t have the label. Yet since then, Christopher has become increasingly conscious of what he wears and the qualities of his possessions compared to those of his friends. “He understands there are some things I just can’t afford, but he still pushes to get them,” Barbara says.
The experts say that the demand to obtain certain status symbols is typical of children from ages 9 to 12 as they develop the concept of belonging to a group.
“Each generation has certain things clothes, language, behavior that become very important to them and that assert their separate identity.” A generation ago there were circle replica louis vuitton bags from china skirts, ponytails and DA hairdos. In the ’60s, long hair, threadbare jeans and colorful strings of “love beads” were the rage.
By adolescence, the importance of owning certain things and looking a particular way for the peer group reaches its height. To make matters worse aaa replica designer handbags , the emblems of a teen age clique often seem to challenge parental values. Punk clothes, Mohawk hairdos and the wearing of leather and chains are recent examples of that challenge.
BALANCE VALUES, STATUS
Because adolescence often presents parents with the ultimate challenge, the experts believe that helping children find a balance between the status symbols of their peers and parental values is a delicate task that should begin long before the teen age years. To begin, parents must be aware of their own attitudes toward consumer goods and the example they set forth daily with their children.
Balter suggests that parents inspire the child to control his acquisitive impulses by openly talking about the way they shop and the reasons for it. “It’s a long term educational process but one that parents can set up deliberately by saying aloud things like, ‘Gee, I really want that lawn mower but I can’t buy it because I’ve already spent my money on golf clubs.’ Or, ‘I’d like Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags that skirt, but I just bought myself three blouses,’ ” Balter says. “It’s not simply by telling the child directly what he should do but rather by setting an example yourself.”
“Even if a child has been given money and wants to spend extravagantly, a parent can point out other options but leave the final decision to the child,” Farber says. “Parents should feel comfortable in saying that they don’t feel it’s worth spending the money on designer clothes, for instance, and give the child a chance to see whether he thinks it’s worth it.” In this way, the child begins to understand that he must make choices in life with his money.