Does your child really need the new iPhone? Or yet another extra-curricular activity? It’s easy to confuse wants with needs in our more-is-better culture. Make it your practice to consider “Is this really what I want for my family, or am I buying into someone else’s ideas of what families must do?” Then use these six great responses from Family Whispering.
It takes courage to buck the culture. Especially if you live in a community where consumption is taken for granted, arm yourself with comebacks. Here are a few suggestions. Think of other incidents where you have felt pressured by another parent, and decide now how you might respond next time.
“No, we’re not getting Jonas a cell phone when he turns ten.”
“Sally, you don’t need new sneakers just because all the kids are wearing a different kind.”
“I’m sorry, Coach. Sean can’t play this weekend, because we planned a trip to celebrate his great-grandparents’ 70th anniversary.”
“I’m sure that your Daisy loves being on the elite soccer team, but we feel we just don’t have enough family time with Madison as it is.”
“Instead of sending Carl to the Saturday art program at the Y, he’ll be spending that time at his grandfather’s house, where he can learn from an old pro.”
“We’ve decided not to join the tennis club this summer. We want to spend more time involved in neighborhood projects, like the community gardens. Being exposed to so many different kinds of people that way is good for all of us.”