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Are You Spoiling Your Child?

Nina Chen, Ph.D., Human Development Specialist, Jackson County University of Missouri Extension


Is it necessary to buy popular or famous brands of dresses, shoes, or toys for your children? Though some brands may cost several hundred dollars for just one item, parents may feel they have to buy expensive items for their children. Parents may think that children need to wear famous brands to be able to compete with their peers or feel they are in the same group as their peers. If you decide to buy an expensive and popular brand of dress or shoes for your children, you might want to think about what kind of values your children will learn.

Although children need to have special or nicer clothes for some occasions, it is not necessary to buy expensive ones. There are many ways to have special and nice clothes for your children. For instance, sew clothing for your children; make some changes to old clothes to fit your child's needs and styles; use clothing from older siblings or others. These can be very special and meaningful for your children. Children also need casual and comfortable dress to wear for daily play and activities.

Regarding shoes, there is no need to spend a lot of money on buying a popular brand because children grow so fast. Children need the right size and comfortable shoes to wear. Buying popular or famous brands of items for your kids all the time is likely to make your kids materialistic.

You may have a question about how your children can compete with their peers because most parents buy popular brands for their children, or your child asked for a famous brand of shoes because his friends wear that brand. This can be a good moment to teach your children about values, decision making, choices, money management, saving, etc. There is a Chinese saying: "People compete with people only makes everyone angry and frustrated and the competition is never ending." That means, if you use materialism as a way to teach your kids to compete with their peers, eventually your children might have a hard time learning good values, making wise choices, and managing money effectively. Therefore, don't spoil your kids. Be a good role model and teach them good values and skills to become a productive citizen.





Last Updated 05/05/2009


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