Do you feel like you’re keeping up with the Joneses?
If you haven’t heard that phrase before (you must live under a rock…just kidding!) it means to get things that are just as good (or better) than everyone else around you.
Why do we feel the need to make sure we get what others have, even when we can’t afford it?
I was recently talking with a friend about this. Her daughter, out of the blue, started saying she would only wear name-brand merchandise.
While this is nice and don’t get me wrong, I love name-brand stuff, not everyone can afford it. (Plus I’m really not all about ‘the brand’, I’m about what I like. Sometimes it’s name-brand, sometimes it’s not.)
So she did what any mother trying to teach her daughter about not having to keep up with the Joneses would do- she took her shopping at the Goodwill.
Now before the haters get started, I’m not bashing Goodwill. My mom was an avid Goodwill shopper for many years. What I mean is that this mom was trying to show her daughter that you could find nice, even brand-name stuff at the Goodwill. And this daughter didn’t want any part of it!
Well in the end, they found some decent items that the daughter refused to wear. They actually sat on a chair in her room for days…until, finally, she put them on.
And you know what? None of her friends were the wiser. No one knew they came from Goodwill except for her and her mom. (And me, and now all of you!)
Sometimes kids don’t understand how difficult even providing them with the basics is.
So if your child is in the habit of keeping up with the Joneses, here are a few things you can do to…shall we say, correct the situation.
Explain to Your Child Why They Can’t Get a Certain Item
If it’s finances, let them know it. There’s nothing worse than kids expecting way more than the parents are able to give. Everyone’s budget is different, and if you have certain restraints that mean you can’t provide certain things, the sooner they learn, the better.
Just because they need a t-shirt or a pair of shoes, doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive item. By shopping second hand and even outlet stores, you can often get brand-name merchandise on the cheap.
Plus, we’re required to meet their needs, not wants. A shirt is a shirt, no matter what’s written on the front of it or what name is on the tag.
Let Your Kid Know that Their Worth isn’t Found in What They Own or Wear
Now depending on their age, they might not get it…but hopefully they will. Why we all tend to do this, I don’t know…but most of us do or have, in some way, shape or form.
Our cars. Our houses. Our clothes. Our handbags. Our Shoes. You get the picture. Things make us feel better…and the better the thing, the nicer we feel.
But it shouldn’t have to be that way. The fact that we have cars, houses, clothes, handbags, and shoes at all should be cause for celebration, instead of being depressed if they don’t have the right logo attached somewhere.
I know you’ve heard it a thousand times (as I did growing up), it’s what’s on the inside that counts, not what’s on the outside. But getting your kid to believe that isn’t going to be easy. Then again, whoever said parenting was easy?
Make Them Work For It
Maybe you can afford those brand-name clothes after all but you don’t want your child feeling entitled or dare I say it…spoiled?
A great solution is to make them work for it.
Seriously! What a great lesson to help your kids learn that in this life, most of us actually have to work for what we get.
Set a fair wage (either hourly or by the job), make your list of to-do’s, and tell them to go for it! Before you know it, they’ll be on their way to brand-name heaven.
And if you run out of things for them to do, send them over to a relative’s house or a neighbor who might need help. (Still not enough? Send them to me, I’ll put them to work good!) 🙂
Your kids might think that keeping up with the Joneses is the way to go, but hopefully with the tips above you can have them caring about what really matters in no time…what’s on the inside.
How do you handle it when your kids only want name-brand stuff? Oh, and if you liked this post, I’d sure appreciate if you’d share it on Twitter or Pinterest using the buttons to the left!
Remember life doesn't have to be perfect to love where you are!