Much like low self-confidence, discontentment moves product. Keeping consumers in a constant state of desire is how retailers sell us more than what we need. To complicate matters, teaching children to be content is tricky business in America because we’re all afraid of sapping their motivation. While encouraging kids to strive for more is important, make it less about things and money. Instead, help them focus on achieving their personal goals, expanding their experiences, appreciating the moment, and building rich friendships.
In a world where consumerism and consumer debt is a way of life, choosing a different path takes a steely sense of self. Promoting a spirit of individuality in children helps them cope with — and even celebrate — being different. Point out how your family’s own spending and saving habits go against the grain and don’t be afraid to show the benefits (monetarily and otherwise) of your simpler, saner lifestyle. It will serve them well for the rest of their lives.