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Teaching kids not to be materialistic

 
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thegiver




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:03 pm
I'm talking about kids 10 and younger starting from toddlerhood and up.

I try not to buy fancy treats and sweets. (Except Shabbes) I think feeding any temptation builds the yetzer hara. I don't spoil them. I'm good at not giving them everything they want Wink

Ideally I would love everything to be directed towards use of a mitzvah. Especially when it is introduced as a novel thing.
For instance I just bought them a bunch of trinkets as prizes which is why I'm thinking about this... I bought a little treasure box. Is there any mitzvah which involves storing small trinkets for little kids? The only thing I can think of is candy which gets downed the moment they get their hands on it. (except maybe on Purim where I insist otherwise)
TIA!
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Rachel Shira




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:07 pm
Sorry, trying to understand your question. Why are you trying to find a connection between storing small trinkets and doing a mitzvah?
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lilies




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:07 pm
I believe this approach is a bit extreme and may backfire.
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lilies




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:09 pm
Rachel Shira wrote:
Sorry, trying to understand your question. Why are you trying to find a connection between storing small trinkets and doing a mitzvah?


She wants everything to be directly related to a mitzvah.
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thegiver




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:10 pm
What else is there to treasure besides mitzvot (and jewelry ha)
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Rachel Shira




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:17 pm
lilies wrote:
I believe this approach is a bit extreme and may backfire.


I agree. I think small unnecessary pleasures in life are good for everyone’s mental health and general happiness. I actually give my kids a fair amount of treats for food relationship purposes and also because treats are fun! If you have to connect it to a mitzvah, how about the mitzvah of serving Hashem b’simcha. Tell them that you love them and you want them to be happy and you hope the prize or treat helps them smile a little more today and gives them energy to do good things.
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amother




Azure
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:20 pm
My father always says that he learned a little too late that spoiling kids is much better for them. Looking at the second half of my family, I agree with this theory and have followed it in my own parenting. (I’m obviously not talking about creating spoiled brats.) BH so far I have been seeing very positive results and my children are already teens. That being said, you can certainly tie in Judaism and mitzvos into every day life. But don’t deprive kids just for the sake of saying no.
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 7:24 pm
Teaching not to be materialistic and teaching to greasy mitzvot are two separate things.
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thegiver




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 8:50 pm
avrahamama wrote:
Teaching not to be materialistic and teaching to greasy mitzvot are two separate things.


True. What's the balance btwn giving kids what they want and not making them run after their tayvos?
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amother




Oak
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 9:13 pm
It's natural to want fun stuff. If you are always denied things, you'll become obsessed with them. Think of dieters who dream about desserts.

I'm afraid your approach will backfire.

What you can do is to model good behavior. Let your kids see you running to do mitzvos. Let them see you put your resources to good use, and they'll get the idea.
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amother




White
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 9:20 pm
amother [ Azure ] wrote:
My father always says that he learned a little too late that spoiling kids is much better for them. Looking at the second half of my family, I agree with this theory and have followed it in my own parenting. (I’m obviously not talking about creating spoiled brats.) BH so far I have been seeing very positive results and my children are already teens. That being said, you can certainly tie in Judaism and mitzvos into every day life. But don’t deprive kids just for the sake of saying no.


So funny, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, I grew up in the lap of luxury and feel like my siblings and I would have had a much better life and easier time dealing with people if we weren't so pampered. It caused us to be quite closed minded and not overly accepting of people different than us.
I think its important to give in for some things but for the most part, it's just easier for parents to say yes and spoil children than it is to raise them properly and help them have tools to deal with their inner emotions and problems.
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 9:27 pm
thegiver wrote:
True. What's the balance btwn giving kids what they want and not making them run after their tayvos?


I think for each child it's different. Taavot are different for different people. If someone's language of love is gifts does that make them a baal taava?

I think it's finding out where the desire for the toy, food, outfit is coming from and then working from there. Wanting something in order to fit in might be different from wanting something to show off might be different from wanting something because it feels good to accumulate stuff.

But it's not even our job to find out why they want it ... It's our job to help them develop awareness of why they want it. And once you do that I think it will help with your goal.

The menahel was trying to create an incentive program with my son. The kid didn't want anything. Not even money. I was at the meeting and felt so proud lol. Then I offered to pull him out of school and take him out to lunch and his face lit up ... He ended up picking a more formal expensive restaurant. But it's ok. He wanted to feel like it was well earned.
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 10:03 pm
thegiver wrote:
I'm talking about kids 10 and younger starting from toddlerhood and up.

I try not to buy fancy treats and sweets. (Except Shabbes) I think feeding any temptation builds the yetzer hara. I don't spoil them. I'm good at not giving them everything they want Wink

Ideally I would love everything to be directed towards use of a mitzvah. Especially when it is introduced as a novel thing.
For instance I just bought them a bunch of trinkets as prizes which is why I'm thinking about this... I bought a little treasure box. Is there any mitzvah which involves storing small trinkets for little kids? The only thing I can think of is candy which gets downed the moment they get their hands on it. (except maybe on Purim where I insist otherwise)
TIA!


I think depriving them is a good way of making them materialistic...

Some of it is human nature, I.e. each person has their own character about "being materialistic", but if children feel they cannot get things they would like to have, this is definitely an incentive for them to see the value of money and to become materialistic...

My father is the youngest of 8, from a not-so-wealthy family, and he always said he would like to be a millionare, how important money is, etc...
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 11:00 pm
Come to think of it, I don't believe that it is such a mayle "not to be materialitic". I know a few people who are not "materialistic", but who just don't know how to handle money, who live on handouts, who are very entitled, and even ungrateful, becausse they think everything they get comes from Hashem, so they don't have to thank the person who gives it to them, since they are only a messenger... Some of them even came into conflict with the law, because money is so irrelevant to them, that they employed illegal immigrants, so that they had to pay them less or cheated on taxes, etc...

Rather than educating my children "not to be materialistic", I would enable them to believe in the power of their own hands' work, I.e. from a young age on I would encourage them to earn what they wish to have through work or entrepreneurship. I would encourage an entrepreneurial spirit.

Also, I would teach them "dina de malchuta dina".

They should also be taught to give ma'asser that's what the mitzva is - not more... and to be generous and hospitable...

As I said above, it also depends on individual character... but "not materialistic" is not a mayle...
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Sep 30 2020, 11:10 pm
avrahamama wrote:


The menahel was trying to create an incentive program with my son. The kid didn't want anything. Not even money. I was at the meeting and felt so proud lol. Then I offered to pull him out of school and take him out to lunch and his face lit up ... He ended up picking a more formal expensive restaurant. But it's ok. He wanted to feel like it was well earned.



Awwwwww! He wanted time with you!
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