"In any case, it bothers me that sometimes after viewing these
commercials, my children will say "Can we get that?" and when I say
explain why I made that decision (for the expense of it, for example)
sometimes (not always) get upset. I guess my point is that if they
bombarded with advertising during their favorite programs, I wouldn't
occasionally have to go through this discussion."
In our house, our kids get their own money, and since it is theirs,
they can go and buy what they like with it. Yes, bad choices have
made, but guess what? They don't make that mistake again over and
over. Little money, little mistakes, big money, big mistakes.
Wouldn't it be better to let kids make those choices and sometimes
mistakes when it is small, then to learn it through trial and error
when they are big?
I do act as a sounding board for my kids when they are considering
buying something. I let them know what choices I would make and what
options there are, but ultimately the choice is theirs to make.
Sometimes they are right and I am wrong. I wouldn't know that and be
able to humbly admit that to my kids unless I tried it.
"I might want a new car--regardless of where I saw it--but it might
be wise to buy it if it puts me under financial stress."
The choice is still yours though. A lot of people make those kind of
choices for themselves and they are adults who should "know better"
they don't. There is a feeling of immediate gratification that some
people confuse with need. Personally I think kids grow up needy and
bring it into adulthood.
Trusting my kids to make their own choices, lets them play with those
feelings of needing/wanting, prioritizing and all that. I see my 13
making smart choices with her money. She spends it and saves it, and
sometimes regrets buying things, but ultimately she's happy with what
she has and doesn't feel needy, even when she makes a choice to buy
something RIGHT NOW just because she wants to and can. She is also
quite generous with her money, something that I have a hard time with
because I grew up being limited in my money and choices. I've
learned a lot from her about how to be generous and sweet with the
money I have.
So wether or not my kids want everything they see on tv makes no
difference. No one can have everything they want all the time, it's
a natural constraint of the world we live in. My kids are not
dillusional in their thinking and their choices about their money and
what they want to spend it on. It is okay to feel disappointed about
not getting something that you want because you can't afford it.
What wouldn't be okay with me and my family is feeling disappointed
because you knew mom or dad would say "no", even if you knew you had
the $5 or $10 to buy that cool new thing that you saw a commercial
for. Even if you bought it and ended up not liking it after a week.