I write frequently about helping our children to overcome the negative pressures that often surround them and try to impact them. Christmas is a few weeks away and advertisers have been doggedly aiming advertisements at our children since at least October. Here are some suggestions as to how to help your children maneuver around this bombardment, especially during the holiday season:
1. Use this time as teachable moments. We as parents will never be able to stop advertisers from advertising, but we can help our children understand what is happening through advertisements. Oftentimes, we do not think about an item until we see an advertisement. Then, we can get the feeling as if we cannot live without it! Advertising is very powerful, so talk with your children about it and the purpose behind it – us spending our money!
2. Teach your child to be a smart shopper. Just because you see an advertisement of a particular product does not, in turn, mean that it is the specific product that you must purchase. If your child does need a particular item or if you would like to buy an item despite of need, make plans about it. For example, if you would like to purchase a small electronic notebook for your child, discuss it with her. Research together the different brands and models available. Compare prices, warranties and ratings. Impulse shopping can become addictive so teaching your child to be a smart shopper from a young age will help her to grow into a disciplined shopper.
3. For Christians, Christmas is the season for giving, as God gave His only son to us. Stress that with your children. Plan how as a family and individually you and your children can give to others in need. What community organization needs your help? Consider volunteering to help others as a family activity and something that you will do throughout the year.
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