I have been around a lot of kids for the holidays ages 8 to 13, taking them shopping all around the city.
Electronics are the craze now, ipads, iphones, and video game systems, unlike when I was child I was happy to get a couple of action figures and a new outfit. The children whom I have been with have mostly been family; some are those that I mentor. As we go through prices of some of the items the want for example, iPhone ranging anywhere from $800 to 1,300 dollars. Video game systems are in the $400 range plus games and accessories. As we were shopping one of the kids complained as their dad is only getting them an iphone 8. I heard the statement and asked, “How much is that iphone 8”
They responded “only about $700”
So I asked “how much is the Iphone you wanted?” They did not know so I looked it up, it was over $1,200 dollars.
I educated the child by letting them know that this phone you want and the phone you are getting are as much as or more then monthy rent cost for most people. The child replied “well we got money.”
The holiday pressure gets to people, feeling as if they must buy their kids what they ask for out of guilt, with no thoughts about what their situation will be like after the holidays. For the child I mentioned, I happen to know that the price of the phone was equal to the parents’ mortgage payment, so I showed them some photos in my phone. I showed them the tents that are located under a freeway downtown where homeless families live.
They were covered in insulation from houses, cardboard pieces and other items trying to keep the cold out. The children asked me “how did they become homeless?”
I replied “it could be many reasons but all I can say is that living on your own and paying bills can be tough.”
We complain about needing more never focusing on what we have and how much worse things can be.
To parents who are pressured to buy their kids expensive gifts at the holidays considered this, reports show that many families are check to check, and only one missed check away from homelessness. Count your blessings, count your money do not over spend. Happy holidays.