Did you know that parental peer pressure is costing mums and dads in the UK £6 billion a year!
This is where other parents (not you of course!) let the side down by buying their little darlings expensive things that your little darlings then want and bug you until you break down and give in to them.
Yes, according to research by Sainsbury’s Bank, parents are, together, shelling out six billion pounds a year just because some of people don’t know how to say “no love, we can’t afford it”!
Soooo…..how do you cope with this increasing pressure from your children when they have found out that their friends’ parents are buying them lots of stuff that could potentially put those parents close to bankruptcy and would definitely put you there?
It’s a tough one, but there are ways you can do it and we’ve come up with some solutions below
…oh, and if you have your own ideas as to how to give your kids what they need while staving off the ‘I want a Dior dress for my party because Stacey got a Channel one…”. tell us in the comments below.
Comment to enter competition
I bet you have your own thoughts, strategies and experiences when it comes to resisting parental peer pressure and helping your children learn to want less. There’s a £25 Amazon voucher up for grabs for the best piece of advice (or funniest) so get writing! Leave your comments below. Competition ends 20th October 2016.
- What is peer pressure making you buy?
- How to resist peer pressure from kids.
- Long-term strategies for resisting peer pressure.
According to the Sainsbury’s Bank report, ‘PPPs’ (Peer-Pressured Parents) are paying an extra £865 a year buying things like the latest smartphones, designer clothes and paying for expensive birthday parties.
The top three must-haves parents get peer-pressured into buying are:
- the latest technology, such as phones and tablets
- ‘cool’ clothes
- school trips and excursions
These are followed by
- membership to clubs and societies such as football and scouts
- expensive children’s parties or birthday gifts
And as the kids get older, giving them a party to remember is de rigueur, with over half of parents expecting to pay for major birthday parties such as their 16th, 18th and 21st celebrations.
Maybe you could add some ‘must haves’ of your own to that list? Tell us about them in the comments below.
There are regional differences when it comes to how pressurised parents feel to buy their kids the latest must haves.
Not surprisingly, London parents feel the most pressure (as you can see from the chart below) but, what is a surprise is that those in the South East – so just outside of London – feel the least pressure. Go figure!
Regional breakdown of parents who feel ‘parent peer pressure’
|North East||North West||Yorks & Humber||East Midlands||West Midlands||East of England||London||South East||South West||Wales||Scotland||Northern Ireland|
So “everyone at school’ has the latest gizmo that you have difficulty spelling let alone affording. The pressure is relentless. You’re accused of all kinds of cruelty and meanness.
You would love to buy it for them but there are small things like the gas and mortgage bills to pay first. What do you do?
Here are a few ways to cope with it. Do you have more? Tell us in the comments below.
- Reason with your children. Explain how much you can afford and, maybe, give them a choice between having the latest gadget that they want, or something else they’ve been asking for. Explain that they can only have one of them so put the ball in their court.
- Go second hand. If they desperately want a new gadget/jeans/bike and you can’t afford it, look on sites like Gumtree, eBay, Facebook groups and the police auction site Bumblebee Auctions. If it’s a little one that wants a bike you might even find a free one by keeping an eye on your local Freecycle site or Gumtree Free Stuff section.
- Share the load with other parents: Financial writer and mum of two, Melanie Wright says “if you are feeling the pressure to throw them a big party when they reach those landmark ages of 16, 18 or 21, see if you can join forces with one of their friends who has a birthday around the same time so you can split the cost – and the workload – with another family.”
- Get the kids to contribute: If your child wants, say, a new smartphone, Andrew Hagger from Moneycomms.co.uk advises that you turn it into a positive by making them contribute. “Strike a balance,” he says, “so that the child contributes an agreed amount towards the cost of their new phone via their own earned income (pocket money/part time job). Appreciating the value of money and how long it takes to save for something is a life skill that will stand them in good stead for years to come.”
Get a FREE copy of our eBook for parents “I’m not made of money! Budgeting Tips for Stressed Parents” which has lots more tips and hints for saving money with kids.
Our lives will be easier, and our children’s lives happier, if we can lift day-to-day thoughts and actions above the constant pressure from all sides to acquire. Here are some ways to do it generally.
- Be a role model. Show that you can delay gratification so that they learn from you. For example, when you’re shopping, say, “Wow! That’s a fantastic computer. I’m going to save up for it so that I can buy it soon.” Get other adults in the family to do the same so that it becomes the norm.
- Be open about your finances and include the children in decisions. If you keep a dialogue going with children, explaining from an early age what you can afford, what is important in life and how they need to be leaders, not followers, in their own lives, this will make it easier to resist the ‘gimmies’ when they come. Also, teaching them to resist the pressure to have what others have and do what others do all the time will help them lead stronger, richer and more independent lives later on.
- Explain the difference between wants and needs. Say something like, “We all need food but you don’t need an Xbox, even if you really want it.” Your child may not get it at first, but eventually they will learn.
- Turn their thoughts to giving, not having. Help your child pack up some of their old toys and clothes, and take them together to a local charity shop. Giving to others who are less fortunate than they are will help them to learn to appreciate all the things they own.
Don’t forget to leave your comments below for the chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher. Competition ends 20th October 2016.