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Raising a Non-Consumer

September 26th, 2013 at 02:49 am

As I drove F and her friend S to their horseback riding lesson the other day, I listened in on their conversation in the back seat. S was talking about all the things she wanted to buy. (She is very into American Girl dolls and wanted lots and lots of books which is not such a bad thing). F couldn't think of anything she wanted. I think this is partly because she doesn't see advertisements on television (she only watches videos ad-free). [Sidenote: it makes it very difficult to buy Christmas presents for her!]

And then she said to S: "Why do you need to buy books? Why not just get books from the library?"

S was pretty adamant that she needed to actually own the books, but F thought it was silly if you weren't going to read them again and again. (She does, of course, have some books, but if she owned every book she read we'd run out of room in the house!).

The conversation reminded me that you start pretty early as a consumer or non-consumer. (These girls are 8 years old).

5 Responses to “Raising a Non-Consumer”

  1. mamasita Says:

    Smart girl! My little one is into American Girl dolls, but she is all thrifty about it, making furniture and accessories or finding homemade clothes. We even found an American Girl pet at the thrift store for 20 cents, she felt great about that find!

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    You're absolutely right about that. Very enlightening conversation! Advertisements, or simply browsing a store catalog, online or at the mall, make a huge difference in "helping" me to discover all the things I really "need." You're doing a great job with your little girl!

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    Geesh. Share your secrets! We try not to be consumers. No cable TV, watch videos no commercials, but the I wants seem to come from our 5 year old. Mostly Legos. Granted, he does use them to build things with his imagination, which I love, but I wish he weren't so enamored with every little set!

  4. Buendia Says:

    Oh legos are so great, though! I wouldn't mind buying those! I am thinking of a set of lincoln logs for Christmas - they have a set at school and she loves them. Mostly she likes to take cardboard boxes and make things out of them (and uses a lot of duct tape in the process, but oh well) and play with playmobil people. (She likes the people a lot more than the sets, and luckily you can buy just the people - they're also all over ebay!).

    I wish I had a secret, but I think it's just personality...

    We've also stressed experience gifts from the grandparents (so my parents pay for horseback riding lessons as her birthday gift; right now she uses the stable helmet, but I think they'll buy a helmet for her for Christmas).

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    We found a set of lincoln logs at the thrift store. The kids do like them. They also like magnet tiles.

    Experience gifts have been tough, mostly because the MIL and FIL live far away and are kind of clueless as to what the kids like, and even if we suggest something, they never do it. frustrating.

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