Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Materialism Is Hurting Our Children

Children feel under pressure to own the latest designer clothes and computer games and most adults believe the "commercialisation of childhood" is damaging young people's well-being, a poll said Tuesday.

A survey by GfK NOP for the Children's Society showed that out of the 1,225 adults questioned, 89 percent felt that children are more materialistic now than in previous generations.

You can read more here.
You can see the poll results here.

Some questions:
-If materialism is truly harming our children, why would we ignore it and go about our busy, consumer driven lives?
-Do you think that God allowing such things as a materialistic-driven society is in a way giving "us" what we want and in the same instance giving us the consequence of our heart's desire? Similar to the meat that fell from the sky that the Israelites ate and died?
-How do we turn from such a culture as this?
-What do you teach your kids about materialism? What does your actions teach them?


Susan Hunt said...

Two examples from this week:
1. Yesterday I was in court (for my job--not my personal legal charges :)haha) and I was sitting by a five-year old little boy. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he meticulously fixed his designer shoes, pants, and sweatshirt so that he "looked cool". Since he was five--you could totally tell it was learned behavior by observing others older than him.

2. I was meeting with a family today and they told me that their child needed some clothing. His clothes looked fine to me so I asked what he had. They proceeded to tell me that he had five or so new outfits and a few pairs of shoes--but that if he continued to wear these "same clothes" to school, other kids would make fun of him.

I know materialism goes beyond clothing--but these scenarios were just fresh in my mind.

Susan Hunt said...

Oh and to answer some of your questions--it is really hard to know how to deal with materialism--I mean, I know I am very guilty of it in different ways (as evidenced by my actions) and it can be a stuggle at times.
On one hand we do have to function within the culture. I'm not a parent, but my thought on teaching children would be to approach it from the perspective that ultimately the Lord provides all of our material needs--and that these are things that could potentially be stripped away in a moment--and the need to view thing as a blessing (not in the properity gospel sense :)) and not as something that we deserve?? Also--I think with children--educating them on the reality of the situation/plight of those who are poor/underprivileged, etc. so that we don't ignore that.

Esther said...

I am sensitive to the materialism..not to say that I didn't struggle with it growing up. Being a child of immigrants, I knew that I couldn't keep up with my peers and basically gave it up in middle school.

Seeing my friends today w/ similar upbringings being in debt due to materialism is really hard to watch.

and to follow up on susan's comment- I admit when I was in elementary school-- being very deliberate that I didn't wear the same shirt in the same week. I actually wrote it out. yes, freak.

My heart also broke when I went to teach english in Korea- thinking I'd be among "villagers"-- nope. my middle school students all had their cell phones, mp3 players, exposure to MTV, "trendy" designer clothes etc...and I was the country bumpkin in rural Korea. unexpected.

so do you ever answer your questions?

j razz said...

I usually don't. If you want my opinion though on a specific matter, I will gladly offer it.

The main point of the questions is to have those who read this blog to think introspectively concerning the issue and maybe ponder on it a little deeper than the culture tells us we should. I have already done that or else I would not have posted the topic or the questions. But, if you would like to know my opinion on something, feel free to ask.

j razz