Walk into any Milwaukee area mall and it’s easy to see that the majority of clothing stores are aimed at young people who are ready to jump on an impulse purchase.
And every store that is worth its “wait” in gold has ads radiating in big bubble letters with pink hearts and stars that look like a doodle in a notebook. Well, maybe it’s not that obvious.
So what is to stop the nation’s biggest group of spenders from burning a hole in their pocket or their parents’? After all, they have been taught buy things on sale, and Black Friday is one enormous sale.
Last year, some claimed that Gen Y spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday actually saved the retail industry from a harder hit by the recession than the hit it already took. And that's a good thing for the economy, but not a child.
That’s where teachers can come in and help. While it’s primarily a parent’s responsibility to make sure teens are spending money wisely, teachers can help children learn the value of money by putting it into perspective.
Teach them the value of currency in another part of the world and compare it to that of the United States.
Show them how little some children and families have and how happy they are.
Review an average working person’s income and where most of the earnings are spent- food and bills.
Debate the idea that money equals higher social status and power, and support the fact that the better education one has, the more likely they are to make a decent living.
So take a minute to reinforce good decision making. It might result in one less pair of neon colored skinny jeans or PS3 game bought for themselves and one more thoughtful gift for a family member.
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