Materialism is defined as placing value and importance on material possessions. Our society today has become more and more materialistic, and considers material assets to be essential to their life and their identity. This can be especially seen in our children today. Spotting a three year old at an Apple store being bought an IPod is just too much. Children are being pampered at such an early age, that once they start to grow, they do not understand the true value of money.
As a child, my siblings and I were raised in a way where we were never just given anything for being kids. We had to do both household chores, and save up our allowances; or bring all A's on our report card. Our father would give us each five dollars for each A we had on our report card. When we would save up our money that was when we were able to go out and buy toys or games. This taught us the proper value of money and how hard it was to earn it. When I would want to buy something I would think twice before buying it thinking do I really need it? Since I knew that I would have to save up all over again if I would spend all my money in something I really didn't need. However, nowadays, many children are just provided with expensive toys or electronics. Children are not provided with these because they have done something, but simply because other children at school have it or because their parents can afford it. They are the ones who are buying for their children at such a young age. This causes the child to become immune to such kind of habit and slowly starts to evolve as they get older.
My friend's son, who is a six year old, knows all the brand names and has a notebook where he writes down all the things he wants his father to buy for him. At age six he does not want to wear polo without the Polo logo on it. Or whenever they go shopping, whenever the mother buys something, the child notices and claims that now it's his turn to buy something. Who is here to blame? Parents are the number one factor, I feel to blame for such children behavior. Parents either intentionally or unintentionally have stimulated their children toward materialism through the activities or choices they make for themselves.
Another reason I feel that materialism has escalated in our children is because of the media. Media is an enormous factor in our children's lives. Number one being the commercials our children watch on a daily basis. Television commercials have been proven to escalate materialism. Television is always watched very carefully by children, and when they see those colorful toys on the TV, they are more inclined to want it. Also those branded magazines with children wearing branded clothes, makes children want those exact clothes as the girl or guy in the magazine on the front page cover.
As children get older they start to associate their clothes and the brands they wear with their social status. Also as they get older, they just want to buy stuff simply because they can tell their friends how much they have even though they have no need for it, such as the number of shoes, purses, or games. Children have learned to evaluate others and themselves by their exterior being. Young girls aged ten or twelve are getting their nails done with their fathers' credit card. Nowadays, there is a trend of children roaming around the mall, swiping their parent's credit cards and fulfilling their irrational desires. With this kind of upbringing, children do not understand what the parents are going through in order to fulfill their children's desires, because the child only worries about what makes him or her happy.
I agree that nowadays children have become more materialistic than the previous generations, but that has only happened because we have allowed it to happen. All parents want their children to be happy, but that clearly does not mean that they should be provided with worldly possessions in order to be content. In order for our children to have a brighter and independent future, parents should change themselves first. Our society has become a consumerist society, if the adults out there want every single thing out there, then how will we be able to control our children.