It is well known that adults indiscriminately rely on their possessions and personal acquisitions to enhance their individual ego and self-image but little ones strutting about like peacocks with their personal possessions and materialistic items is not something that many parents expected or signed up for. I didn’t have the slightest inkling about it until I became a parent and discovered that they mattered a great deal and assumed enormous significance to the cheeky and bratty little ones!
As my daughter loathed to let go of her latest toy as well as her newly bought designer attire and was hell bent on showing off her recent possessions to her friends at school, I was aghast at her defiance and obduracy! Obstinacy like rebellion is another exasperating emotion that overcomes children from time to time. Children are definitely stubborn and obdurate unwilling to budge and yield, especially with their toys they are not only obsessive but also possessive about them so much so that they refuse to share them with their friends and peers. It’s natural for kids to fight and argue over their individual objects and eventually get angry and cry over them. Needless to say for kids their assets are of immense value and high importance. Any attempt to distract and detach them from their personal belongings will have serious consequences!
Children have already formed an emotional bond and a sentimental connection with their individual status symbols and it’s certainly not easy for them to give up their attachments. Not to mention they get overly dramatic and sentimental about their belongings. They relate to them and identify with them physically, emotionally and egoistically. Children see their personal possessions as their brand, new status symbols that enhance their self-image and ego like nothing else! They take pride in flaunting their gorgeous outfits with equally stunning matching accessories and shoes, which their parents or grandparents or any acquaintances had gifted them. Just like adults they take immense pleasure in indulging in lengthy discussions about their latest acquisitions and endlessly debating about the merits and demerits of their possessions.
Naturally they tend to brag about themselves and don’t mind to put others down as they pompously declare they have the best toys in the world and nobody else’s can come any closer! Fights and arguments are inevitable while the little ones engage in frivolous contests about how much their own acquisitions and personal status symbols are capable of performing. It is common for them to exaggerate the value and prowess of their personal ‘properties’. Kids innately understand that their status symbols obviously need to be protected, valued and constantly talked about and flaunted, so they do that with unfailing regularity and precision!
Status symbols per se aren’t wrong and unhealthy. We all need them to an extent as they increase our importance in society and our self-worth although only superficially!
When Should Parents Intervene
Obsession Over their Status Symbols – Parents should intervene when children get morbidly and unreasonably obsessed with their personal belongings and show unhealthy traits of strong attachment and morbid fascination as well as love for their possessions. If the kids are averse to letting go and sharing their individual possessions with their siblings, cousins and friends it’s definitely a cause for concern and parents must take immediate corrective measures.
Child’s Inability to Focus on Other Activities – Sometimes the bond that a child shares with her toy or status symbol gets magnified significantly or disproportionately and hampers her ability to do another activity or focus on important aspects like studies. Obviously, this is extremely worrying and concerning for parents who should quickly intervene and enforce boundaries as well as rules for appropriate activities, play, behavior and attitudes.
Frequent Quarrelling Over Status Symbols – Parents observing and finding their children quarrelsome often squabbling over their status symbols should instantly step in to discourage unhealthy behavioural patterns.
Repeated Brandishing of Their Status Symbols – Certain children can flaunt their status symbols in a strangely exaggerated and excessive fashion. Unreasonable bragging and their refusal to part from their prized materialistic assets would definitely necessitate parents’ interference. Unchecked and indiscriminate bragging along with brandishing of their status symbols can lead to narcissism in adult life.