From Remote-Controlled to Self-Controlled
I will admit this is the one time of year that I don’t mind my kids flipping the channel every time there’s a commercial break. Why? Christmas ads.
It reminds me of the commercial from VeggieTales’ The Toy that Saved Christmas. “You need more toys. Billy has nicer toys than you.” Bah!
What’s worse? Trying to take them in any store between October and December. Torture.
Why is that? Retailers know that our children are more remote-controlled than self-controlled. They want to fit in. They like new. They like shiny. They are easily convinced that they cannot possibly live one more moment without the latest version, gizmo, adaptation, or expansion pack. Marketers prey on children's inability to think long-term, to think calmly, and make wise choices between various items. They want our kids to believe they can and should have it all--yesterday.
So, what are we as parents supposed to do? Well, you could try unplugging your television for the next couple of months, forbidding them to speak to any peers, enforcing a 1-mile perimeter around all retail establishments, and decontaminating your mailbox of all flyers, ads, and catalogs. But that could become a full-time job, and really, who has time for all that?
Alternatively, let’s take a deep breath, pray, and talk to our families about self-control. This is an excellent time of year to talk about family priorities and how we want to use the money God has given us. (And yes, He may own it all, but He hasn’t given it to our family in one giant lump sum!) How we spend our money shows what and who is important in our lives.