Have you ever been nagged by your 3-year-old into going to a fast food joint because a special toy comes free with the meal? Has your 4-year-old outwitted you in negotiations for a ‘princess themed birthday party’ costing thousands of dollars? Have you taken your 9-year-old’s opinion on a brand of car to buy, and then actually bought that brand? Have you gifted your teenager the power of credit card yet?
Do you remember yourself as a child? Did the above scenarios hold true for your childhood?
Majority over the age of 35, answer in a resounding no! But that is changing rapidly for their children 18 years and younger.
Not only are children being exposed to shopping and money earlier, they are influencing big purchases, lifestyle, choice of holiday destinations.
Advertisers and media companies are taking a serious note of this. They are spending millions of dollars every year in studying our children, our children’s behaviour, the way to influence our children’s preferences and their weaknesses, so that their products, their merchandise find a permanent place in our child’s bedroom, playroom, dinner plate, lunchboxes, and on our child’s mind – aspirations, hopes, dreams and cravings – with a view to influence our little children and their big consumers. They are finding new ways to enter their psyche and ultimately reach our wallets today and our children’s wallets in future.
“Kids are spending more & more money but understanding less and less about making good financial decisions. The outsized appetites created by aggressive marketing during childhood and adolescence quickly sink kids into deep financial trouble when they start living on their own”. – David Walsh, author – NO! Why children of all ages need to hear it and ways parents can say it!
Are we, the parents doing enough to equip our children; to wade their way through millions of choices, lures and opportunities, to a life of their choice, free of all financial worries and liabilities?