In today’s world, younger generations possess a large amount of spending power and influence. This power is ideal for companies because many items kids buy fall under the “luxury” category, things like: games, music, and clothing.
Unfortunately, the advertisements that attract youth to these items usually work by making them feel insecure. Teenage years are often the easiest target because issues like body image, power, and peer acceptance are sought after by teens and easy for advertisers to focus on.
What does this have to do with money?
Everything. Kids today are growing up in an extremely materialistic society. Unrealistic messages are being thrown at younger generations, and these messages are saying “things” make all of those insecurities disappear. The fact is, buying “things” won’t give you happiness and it won’t put more money in your savings account, either. It is very difficult for kids to get a grasp on how to be financially responsible when our culture reinforces the importance of buying things they don't need.
Here are three ways to encourage your child to be ad savvy:
1) If you see an ad that may cause the fear of being unattractive, discuss how it’s been designed to do that. Tell your teenager that ads attempt to sell an emotion, but the feelings gained from purchasing the products are temporary.
2) Advertisers now associate their products with popular video games and television shows with product placement. When you see a character on TV driving a branded vehicle or wearing a branded article of clothing, point it out.
3) Our culture promotes spending over saving, so be sure to counter that by teaching your kids money-management skills (make sure you have your own money under control first). If you don't know where to begin, there are many free useful tools online that can help point you in the right direction.
Stop your kids from embarking on an endless journey of buying things for happiness. Teach them to think independently and be skeptical of what they see in the media. Start the discussion today!
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Categories: Education, Kids and Money