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Could you go a whole year without buying your child(ren) anything?

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:44 PM
  • 54 Replies

Mom Refuses to Buy Son Anything for a Whole Year

Posted by Jeanne Sager on January 19, 2013

kid with stickers
Yup, it's STUFF!
Am I the only one who thinks the backlash against consumerist kids has jumped the shark? I get it: kids do not need one million and one toys to be happy! But now we have a mom who is going on record to say that she will not buy her son a single thing in 2013.

No new toys. No new clothes. Not even a haircut!

Thrifty mama Hattie Garlick is going to require her boy make do with hand-me-downs, and he'll only get to eat what Mom and Dad are eating. Oh, and no costly experiences for this kiddo. No sirree bob, he's going to have everything done at home in "activities concocted at home instead of at soft-play centres."

Ah yes, because anything purchased or done outside of the home is obviously part and parcel of being a sheep herded along the consumerist path. Buy a kid a toy, and you're turning them into a materialist! It couldn't be, perhaps, that those of us who spend for our kids want to foster their specific interests and likes, to let them know that although they are small, they too are special.

Ironically, Garlick tells of how this grand plan to cut out "kiddy consumerism" came to be: she bought her son a water pistol which he happened to love.

The toy gun was simple and cheap. But still, it was purchased, wasn't it? And yet, under Garlick's new plan, she won't be able to give her son such a simple joy.

I look around my daughter's playroom, and I too want to throw up my hands at the sheer gluttony. She doesn't need all those LEGOs or My Little Ponys! I'm forever giving my husband the evil eye for indulging her with little gifts. And I'll even admit to a secret relief when the puppy has destroyed this or that because it's one less "thing" we need to hold onto.

There I agree with Garlick. Kids don't need so much stuff!

Where I don't agree is in the decision to cut back on that "stuff" to the point where kids are being sent a message not about the evils of consumerism -- which you'll have to admit is pretty vague and nebulous and way over a kid's head -- but that their likes, dislikes, interests are not as important as their parents. 

We show our kids love by letting them know that they count. And while I wouldn't suggest "buying" a kid's love per se, buying them things is certainly a form of love -- it shows a child that we care enough to let them explore their own loves and desires.

Kids don't need a million toys. But there's nothing wrong with a few select toys that they really enjoy, no reason they shouldn't get to pick out a few books that they can read over and over and over again instead of bidding them bye bye on library return day. Presents purchased are presents they can return to.

In that playroom are things that my daughter adores, that she plays with, that she treasures. And in the way that I expect her to respect "my things," I have to respect hers too. There are the art supplies that bring out her creativity and the stuffed animals that she cuddles close at night. There are the books she pages through night after night.

It's just stuff. But it's HER stuff, and she deserves it ... just as much as I deserve that new pair of shoes.

Would you go on a buying strike like this mom or are you content shelling out for your kid?

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:44 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

 Um, no.

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:04 PM
There's no way I could not spend any money on them.
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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM
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I can see maybe not buying toys for a year and even making them eat what you're eating but clothes and a hair cut, really?
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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:13 PM
The way my youngest kid blows out the knees in her pants, I couldn't make it even 6 months without having to buy pants for her!

I agree that consumerism is outrageous these days. The entire world is all about the "gimme gimmes". Frankly, we don't have the extra money for me to buy them stuff all the time (nor would I want to), but I have no problems buying them some bubbles or a pool noodle or a small treat every once in a while.
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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM
I get the consumerism being out of control, but I feel like that's over the top. There's no way I coud not buy underwear or socks for a whole year. My son gets tons of hand-me-downs, but those are 2 things he needs frequently (being that children grow and wear them out, lol), and I'm not crafty enough to make stuff like that. I could probably go a full year without buying toys, but he doesn't ask for much in that regard, so I enjoy giving him a hotwheel or something here and there that I know he'll love. Also, his haircuts come out wayyy better when done by a professional, lol.
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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:28 PM
No, I can't go with out buying my kiddos anything. I don't buy expensive toys ( Nana & Tata) do that part. (Sometimes) when ever I have a couple bucks it goes to them. My kiddos r into the dollar tree since they break their stuff with in hours. I love the dollar tree!!!!
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:28 PM
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The way my older two grow, I have to buy them new clothes every 4 or 5 months. The baby gets her sisters hand me downs, but I still buy her new things. And I don't honestly think a $1 matchbox car or some crayons and paper are fueling "kiddie consumerism". People need things. Kids need to have experiences outside of their home for proper social development. I think that woman has jumped off the deep end.

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM

whats next is she going to take away his shelter because thats buying stuff for him this is a little ridiculous.I buy my daughter things all the time but we also dont buy brand new and we buy on sale.When she is done with a toy or clothes we resell it  

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

my  son and i do an annual sort on his toys. What toys he doesn't play with go in one bin, the broken ones the thrown away and of course his toys he plays with, he keeps. After he donates those toys I buy him 1-2 new toys. After that, he earns his toys. He has an allowance that he recieves IF he keeps his room clean. If he wants a new toy, he must buy it with his money.

The only exception to the rule is if I ask him for something out of the ordinary (once he woke me up by vaccuming the house and found he did the dishes {He said he wanted to be a grown up like mommy and help around the home}, another time he was a superb help during the Christmas season) or he is exceptionally well behaved for a long period of time (7+ days). Those times are the only time I might surprise him with a new toy.

by Alicia on Jan. 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Well I do their own hair so that is not an issue. They don't need any more toys and electronics. If they stay the same size then their wardrobes can last them for years. I guess besides food I could go without buing them stuff.

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