The focus on spending can impact a child’s sense of identity, and research has shown that this culture of consumption is particularly influential in shaping self-worth for 4-12 year olds.
There is increasing evidence that the way we are bombarded with advertisements in the run up to Christmas, the increased frequency of social media posts sharing the Christmas haul and gifts, the growing wish lists and bids for the latest trendy gadgets and toys, is eroding childhood structure, and causing physical, emotional and social deficits.
Therefore, it becomes imperative that we deliver a message of kindness and generosity to our children. It is even more important that we do this over the festive season when the marketing messages are particularly aggressive, the focus is on us and our wish-lists, and it has become so difficult to say no to our children.
So, we have launched a campaign #dogoodthischristmas. This is an act of social and political activism, of thinking of others who do not have the same privileges as us. This is thinking of those less fortunate when we dream of roaring fires, hot drinks, and cosy winter days with family and friends.
Every day for the first 12 days of December, we will send out a tip or a prompt through your email inbox, an idea that can plant the seed of 'doing good', or a meaningful gesture that does not need much effort, time or money but can help someone. These will be actionable tips that we can do with our children, and that can encourage a sense of social responsiblity in them. These are also things that we can do even if we don't have children.
The #dogoodthischristmas is not just for parents but for everyone. But, it becomes even more imperative that we model these behaviours if we want to raise empowered, compassionate children.