Saturday, June 5, 2010

Upgrades and Replacements

Just a little thought about the effects of media . . .

For a while, I've noticed an attitude in my children that if something breaks or gets lost, it's no big deal, we just get a new one. Now, maybe I've been quick to replace some things, but I try to be careful with my "stuff" and take care of the things I (and we as a family) have. My kids are just careless. They leave things out, drop stuff anywhere, and don't care if something breaks (unless yelling at a sibling that it's their fault). We've had bikes, rollerblades, and a scooter stolen because they got left out on the front lawn. We've ripped and cut clothes, doll clothes, towels, and even couches (to see what was inside) without thinking about how that would ruin the item. And what's worse, my kids are so quick to say 'I don't like this anymore, I want something better,' or a different color, or a different model. Just today, my daughter threw her hairbrush on the ground in a fit of anger, then calmly came to me and said, "Mom, my brush broke. I need a new one."

Now, I understand that some children in the world do get upgrades whenever they want. That last years clothes can be tossed because they're out of style. Or that they don't have to take care of their stuff because they can just replace it if lost or stolen. But I don't live like that. I haven't raised my kids to think that way, either. We struggle financially, and I try to be as frugal as possible. I love this saying my grandma used to quote: "Use it up, wear it out, Make it do, or do without." So why are my kids so thoughtless and selfish in these matters?

Well, sitting in my media class, I keep thinking of examples in the media (mostly TV and movies) where this happens. I've never seen a show that promotes taking care of our belongings. You don't see many characters that have to worry about finances and can't buy the new things they want. Those characters and those attitudes are rare, they're the exception. But in Real Life, look how many people are struggling financially. Look at the economy, and tell me we couldn't all learn to be a bit more frugal. I'm not saying it's all TV's fault, but television has become such a big part of everyone's lives, that children have started to believe that what they see is the way life really is. Sometimes, it makes me wish for a simpler life.

1 comment:

  1. I love your grandma's saying! :) We really are surrounded by images and examples of people living disposable lifestyles all the time. What a wonderful phrase to help us remain mindful when making our own choices.