Advertising has a way of always promising something better. In fact, every ad promises, in subtle or overt ways, that you’ll live better if you buy what they’re selling. Most ads these days don’t even tell you about the product. They sell us something else: better parties, more friends, better bodies, cleaner homes…
And often between these promises is the promise of a better family.
Think about how many ads show fun family scenes centered around products and experiences such as board games, vacations, restaurants, and even new cars.
“If you buy this product, your family will be happier.”
This message subtly suggests to all of us that the path to family happiness and bliss lies in acquiring more. But from my point of view, this is not far from the truth.
Over the years of my journey towards minimalism, I’ve learned the following: more is seldom the answer.and the following We solve more problems than we think.
This sentiment is equally true when considering what our families really want from us.
When you fall into the trap of believing your next shopping trip or trip will be, consider the following. finally While bringing our families closer together, we often distance ourselves from what they crave and need most: time, attention and intentionality.
If you fall into the trap of thinking that buying more things will bring you true happiness and a closer bond with your family, you inevitably end up sacrificing precious time and energy. We pursue the money we need to buy, believing it brings our family closer together, but this can lead us to ignore the everyday moments of connection and growth that naturally occur in family life. Often.
Our children know that more than anyone else. No matter what they say, they’re not craving the latest video game, their next epic vacation, or a pool table in their basement.
What they need is our time, attention and conversation first and foremost. They need their parent’s presence in their lives. They need to feel the reassurance and stability that comes from a family that is present and involved with their children (and spouses) instead of their parents constantly competing for accumulation.
Of course, providing for your family is very important, and hard work and ambition are worth it. But when the pursuit of material possessions and consumerism begins to overshadow our families’ deepest needs, problems arise.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Many studies highlight that what children need most from us is time and attention. in fact, one study“The more time parents spend with their children, the happier they are,” says a study published just last month.and Other research It suggests that high consumer debt and the associated economic stress have a negative impact on family relationships.
In other words, constantly chasing the next purchase that promises the “perfect family” may actually push you away from it.
We work hard to support our families financially.
We must also work hard to meet their other needs. Because more money or more shopping won’t cover everything you need.
If the constant desire for the next thing that promises to bring about a happier family is actually pulling us away from it, it’s time to stop, reflect, and change course.
How do we achieve this? Well, first, instead of focusing your energy on what you want to buy next, focusing your energy on cherishing what you already have will help you make more meaningful connections. creates space for We make room for sharing experiences, having open conversations, and appreciating small moments in everyday life that, in retrospect, were big moments.
As you begin to unburden yourself from the consumer-driven cycle of wanting more, you will find that you have more energy and time to invest in your family.
After all, our family needs nothing more. They need more of our time, attention, love and presence.
And that is a promise that no product or property can ever deliver.