Four Ways to Downsize the Gimmies

kids toysDon’t let the “Gimmies” take over your home. Use the following advise to downsize the constant requests for stuff from your kids.

Limit Media Exposure

The number of commercial ads that our kids are exposed to on a daily basis is staggering. All of those ads have just one purpose, to sell us stuff, our kids included. The more ads our children are exposed to, the more things they will believe that they have to have. These ads are very clever at manipulating our children into never being satisfied and always wanting more.

Limiting the media exposure our children receive can go a long way to downsizing the gimmies.

Involve Kids in the Family Budget

Many children don’t really understand when a parent says no for a budgetary reason. Because they see their parents paying for things with a credit card or a check, they think the money is endless. Ask a young child where money comes from and you may get some surprising answers.

Involve your children in the family budget, and show them how there is a certain amount of money available for toys, extra snacks, entertainment, vacations, etc. Have them involved with choosing where the money goes each month, on a small scale of course.

You can introduce the concept of spending by giving your children a small amount of money and visiting a dollar store to go shopping. They will learn that they need to make choices about the things that they buy.

Find Free Entertainment

Teach children that there is plenty of fun to be had without acquiring things. Focus on the many sources of free entertainment, such as the library or the community park. Build in some low-cost family challenges, such as putting in a garden or building a fort that can provide a lot of fun without a visit to the toy or video game store. When kids get involved in a fun project, they will usually stop whining about needing the latest this or that.

Model Good Behavior

When kids catch their parents complaining about wanting a pool like the neighbor’s pool or wishing they could afford a new car, it teaches kids that getting stuff is important. Children learn a lot from watching and listing to their parents. Make sure that you don’t have your own case of the “gimmies” that needs to be curbed.