Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Teaching Kids About “Stuff”

posted by Nell Minow

I like Kirsten Greenidge’s piece in the Boston Globe about what she did when her children had tantrums in a store.  She said she understands the appeal of “stuff.”  And she described how the seemingly harmless fun of posting photos on Pinterest can lead to an adult version of the gimmies.  She resolved to put her kids on a no-stuff diet until the next special occasion, even no free lollipop at the bank.  She is going to teach her kids to be more present in their interactions with things.

Advertisement

This is perhaps not the most fulfilling way to meander through life, this coveting, this curating of stuff. It is a means of focusing inward, of connecting to others through objects that are, when all is said and done, simply objects. They make poor substitutes for actual human interaction and connection.

Still, from the back seat, each kid howled. I had come between them and their stuff. I was altering their view of the world — a view that it is OK if your need for more objects affirming your place in the universe takes over your experience as a human being.

Over the weekend, my husband and I drove by what was once, in the days of VHS, a video store.  I told him that once, when our son was about 2, I stood with him on the sidewalk in front before we went inside and told him that we did not have time to pick out a new movie, so we were just going to go inside long enough to return one, and he should not ask me to stay.  Our son said he understood.  A man walking past us stopped to listen.  “That works?” he said incredulously.  It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of giving in to the “stuff” monster.  But it is a much greater gift to teach children to value what they have.

YouTube Preview Image
  • http://www.touristinthecity.com Andrew

    Great point and I’m sure that sidewalk wasn’t the first time you told Son the rules and he was open to rise to the occasion. But I don’t like the Berenstain Bears and I do despise them. I still haven’t recovered from Mom and Poppa breaking the news to Brother that he’s about to have a new sibling Tonight! — and by the way we’re giving away his personal bed, like, right now. Now I’m on a roll: why don’t they pronounce catsup Ketchup like the rest of america. And Poppa is spineless – why does Momma have to have the backbone for everybody else. Oh, where’s PeeWee Herman when we need him? Where’s MisterRogers? Where’s JoeDiMaggio? What is VHS?

    • Nell Minow

      Andrew, I admit I am not a fan of the Berenstain bears, either. But when I was pregnant with my second child I bought a bunch of “big brother” books and while I thought many of them were wise and thoughtful, the only one he liked was that one from the Berenstains!

Previous Posts

Trailer: Disney's Descendants With the Next Generation of Villains
Coming to the Disney Channel this summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4UUQqefajc& ...

posted 3:47:40pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Men in Suits: Costume Designers Talk about "Scandal," "Mad Men," and More Suit-Wearing Characters on TV
The women's clothes get all the attention, but for a costume designer -- and for the actor -- a suit is just as important. Indiewire ...

posted 3:27:23pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.