Brett Graff is an economist and author. She’s also the author of Not Buying It: Stop Overspending and Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids. She writes with humor and yet some cutting advice. “If your kids are like most—in the sense that they have human brains—then they’re probably tired of the gazillion dollars worth of stuff you’ve bought them over the years.” Why?
She says it can be likened to those who live near the railroad tracks and don’t notice the rattle of trains. They get used to it.
And it’s why our kids so quickly grow bored with gifts. Not matter how many weeks they spent wishing for those gaming devices, skateboards or sneakers, the items get boring when their brains adapt to owning them. That’s when they set out to begin their next retail conquest.
Here’s her indictment. The problem is with the parents. Not the kids. As parents, we just need to stop it. Stop buying. She offers this simple wisdom: “The first thing to remember is that our kids are usually better off doing things rather than owning them.”
The power of created memories, walks in the park, an ice cream cone out, a hike in the woods represent the greatest ownership we can have. In truth, those memories—those stories—will last a lifetime.
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Published April 13, 2017
Topics: Family Legacy