Your experiences will take you far, not the material joys.
It’s still etched very clearly in my memory when we were driving through Mumbai-Pune highway and my hubby asked my then 8-year-old.
Tell me, isn’t this your favourite place? This beautiful drive surrounded by trees and mountains?
He very innocently replied, dad it still doesn’t beat ** mall!!!
This was an eye opener. True these kids have been taken to the mall every weekend. Whether it’s shopping or movies we head there and they spend quite sometime there. We are to be blamed.
I am concerned with the fact that today’s kids are living in an increasingly virtual world. In an age, where mostly, both parents are earning and have better spending abilities, children don’t really have to wait for their demands getting fulfilled. One of the most alarming signs is that today, children get bored too easily with the same old things and are constantly looking for something new to keep them engaged.
Excessive love for material things can soon covert into obsession. There is always someone who’d have better things than us, and hence we keep raising the bar. People assume that physical things will last longer and would provide happiness for an extended period of time. According to a research, this assumption turns out to be completely wrong. We as guilty parents have also bought them toys or given them gadgets that we regret.
I have grown to realise with age that experiences bring longer lasting joys more than any Gucci bag will. Studies say that 78% of the millennials preferred spending money over material things. And I do hope my kids will see eye to eye with me on this.
Here’s how experiences turn out to be much better investment.
1. Kids Need Experiences Because Experiences Are Forever
You will soon be tired of the material pleasures – be it the latest gadget or the exquisite piece of jewellery. But I can assure you that your experiences will stay with you forever. Don’t we feel a special joy and beautiful emotions welling up when we flip through our photo albums?
Ask my kids about the Big Ben in London or Segrada Familia in Barcelona and they will rattle off facts better than what they mightbe studyingh in history books in school. With rich experiences you will have better stories to tell you children and grandchildren. Think about it! Your kids need exoperiences.
2.To Expand Their Horizons Your Kids Need Experiences
We are generally so engrossed in our day-to-day lives that we hardly get time to think beyond routine. Yes, that Netflix watch or a recent book may certainly help you break the monotony and gain knowledge, but none of it will be any closer to the richness gained through travels, treks or an art activity. Much simpler versions could be family cooking time, decorating your child’s room or sand play at the beach. Our experiences help us view the world with a bigger lens which material stuff can never provide.
3. Your Kids Need Experiences To Redefine Success
It’s disappointing that we are living in a world where one’s success is measured by the amount of money earned or things accumulated. However, the more we invest in our experiences, we understand that the real happiness lies in none of these materialistic pleasures. Talking about myself, I can say that the satisfaction and happiness I have earned through my experiences could have never matched if I was merely working in my corporate job and earning big bucks.
Be it my experience of running a marathon, or climbing Kilimanjaro-Rongai route, or the beautiful time spent on social initiatives – all of this and more has immensely added to my personality and thoughts. For me, success is much more than just earning money and things and we need for our kids to feel the same too.
4. Your Kids Need Experiences To Declutter
In this fast-paced life, many a time we find ourselves stuck between growing competition and high expectations. Knowingly or unknowingly, we also pass on this anxiety to our little kids. It’s important to understand that material things are meant to only make our lives easy to a certain extent, but it cannot be the source of our joy. Talking about minimalism, it is a philosophy that advocates living with fewer material possessions in order to find freedom from negativity. When you focus less on physical things and more on experiences, you are able to declutter not only your house, but your thoughts as well.
5. Your Kids Need Experiences To Break The Comfort Zone
For us human beings, life has become so comfortable that we easily become complacent. We get so used to our own small world that there is less desire to explore the world beyond, especially if it pushes us out of our comfort zone.
Our materialistic life is certainly preventing us to break the shackles of comfort and do something different. Pushing your boundaries and leaving your comfort zone can help you grow and stimulate your creativity – and investing in experiences will immensely helpful in this direction. Living in a materialistic world can have adverse impact on adults, but much worse on kids.
6. Teaches Us Gratitude And The Power Of Connection
One of the best outcomes of investing in experiences is that we develop the ability to connect with the outside world. The virtual world, no matter how fancy it looks, cannot provide us the perspective that our experiences will provide. By connecting with nature and more people, we become humble and grateful – a quality that’s fast depleting.
Like several other parents, I do love to pamper my kids with toys, games and new clothes. I must say that it’s a great feeling when your child is elated to receive such gifts. However, many a time, this also makes me worry if I am encouraging my children to appreciate more of materialistic stuff. I am sure several of us would be going through such dilemma once in a while.
While there is no harm in treating ourselves and our children with the materialistic joys, we just need to be mindful that material things should not end up defining us. After all, we are much more than that.