For Kids, Possessions Don't Equal Happiness

In theory, we all know money can't buy happiness. But that doesn't stop kids from asking for all the latest and greatest toys, or parents from wanting to give their children whatever their hearts desire.

As it turns out, your kids will be happy no matter what they own, according to a Children's Worlds Report survey of kids from 15 countries. The vast majority of respondents were "satisfied with the things they had" regardless of whether they have access to the Internet, a computer, a cell phone, a TV, a family car, books, a music player, good clothes, or their own room, the survey found. Across the board, the average child reported a 9 out of 10 on contentment with what he or she owns.

What's more, kids from South Korea and the United Kingdom, both of which had among the most possessions, reported the lowest satisfaction with their lives overall. Romania and Colombia, meanwhile, held the top spots in happiness ranking. There was no correlation between what the children owned and how happy they said they were.

Let's repeat that: There was no correlation between what the children owned and how happy they said they were.

If your children are begging for all the awesome toys their friends have, don't just give in and buy them new playthings right away. Instead, gently point them toward the pile of great toys they already own and encourage tehm to create something new with them. Not only will you save some money and storage space, but you'll also help your kids boost their imaginations when they find new ways to play with old favorites. Plus, you can use the opportunity to talk with your children about appreciating what they have. Express that not every kid can afford to have the same things, and more possessions don't mean more fun. Sometimes we all need that reminder.

Marissa Laliberte is an editorial intern at Parents magazine who loves running, baking, and drinking coffee. Follow her on Twitter: @mjlaliberte


Was this page helpful?
Related Articles