Kid's materialism linked to self-esteem

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According to new research, adolescent children who are overly materialistic, coveting every new gadget that comes out and begging for the latest designer clothes, are often trying to compensate for low self-esteem. University of Minnesota Professor Deborah Roedder says that children between the ages of 12 and 13 are particularly prone to desiring the things they think will make them feel better about themselves and raise their status among peers. "While peers and marketing can certainly influence teens, materialism is directly connected to self-esteem," she says.

There may be something to that, but I think some children learn to be materialistic well before they hit puberty. The child whose parents think it is important to acquire status symbols will likely grow up feeling that way, too. I know a mother who runs out and buys her three young children the latest and greatest everything as soon as it is available. Her daughter not only brags to other kids about her possessions, she refuses to disclose where they were purchased. At the age of six, it seems as if she recognizes that these things elevate her above the other kids and she intends to keep it that way. Where do you suppose she learned that?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.