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Too Much Stuff Can Hinder Children - What Do Children Really Want From Us?

by Johann Christoph Arnold
March/April 2002
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/too-much-stuff-can-hinder-children-what-do-children-really-want-from-us/5014407/

In a world where the dollar has cast its spell over every corner of public and private life, the most insidious danger to children may be the economic lens through which we view them. To see children as assets or investments is calculating enough, but it is clear that plenty of people see them in less favorable terms: as burdens, risks, and liabilities.


Ironically, the same materialism that breeds such hostility toward children also welcomes them with open arms when they have money to spend. Labor laws may have removed children from the workforce in the western world, but our generation has its own, equally effective form of enslavement: the child as consumer. Advertisers intentionally target this susceptible and lucrative market, harnessing kids to pull their parents back to the mall again and again.

The fact is, most children, at least in the developed world, already have far more than they need. Rather than being "privileged" or "blessed," these children's spirits are stifled by so much stuff, and starved for the things that really count in life. Increasingly, child care providers find themselves dealing with pampered, spoiled, unhappy children. It's easy to blame the materialistic culture at large - but luckily the ...

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