And why does “keeping up” with them matter? In honesty, it shouldn’t. Subconsciously, we’re conditioned to think it’s important and we’re somewhat oblivious when it happens.
Without inciting a lecture, “Keeping Up With The Joneses” is an unhealthy notion.
Let’s face it; there will constantly be someone out there with a flashier car or swankier footwear.
Today’s obsession surrounding the materialistic culture and the desire for owning, earning or achieving more than “Jones Junior” ultimately certifies that our lifestyle ladders can cloud more than we care to admit.
Is The Grass Really Greener?
Maybe. Like everything in life, there are two sides. Social Mobility is a good thing. This concept essentially refers to financial stability. It is desirable to be in a better economic and social standing. By doing so, we simultaneously improve our living standards along with physical health.
Lifestyle Mobility, however, is “The Grass is Always Greener” mindset, combined with what Britannia defines as the desire to attain social or materialist gain, largely influenced by what’s deemed to have status within society.
Social Media, for example, is a massive attributor to how such views are cultivated. The false nature of photographs, “status updates and stories” is commonly understood, yet adults and teenagers alike, are influenced by what is being pushed and pedaled.
As parents, we really don’t want our children to grow up thinking they have to “Keep Up With The Joneses”, however, the concept of what other people have is alive and well. Especially when they feel like the latest iPhone or iWatch is required in order to “fit in” with the crowd socially.
It is this elusive acceptance of “how we should be”, and “what we should have” that causes our kids emotional difficulty. And in turn, we also see intelligent, logical adults endure financial stress or pressures.
For a change, we must recognize that “lifestyle promotion” is deliberately happening, and it’s a choice we make.
The Freedom To Choose
That’s not to imply we must deactivate our Instagram or Facebook accounts, confiscate our kids’ phones, or live in a place that makes our families miserable. Ultimately, vast dreams and targets are extremely important.
Simply ask yourself why they are held. Encourage your kids to always strive to achieve the things want at a high standard, (remembering that there’s a distinct difference between a want and a need). Of course, there are also things we must do, rather than wanting to, but that’s a separate issue (we’ll address another time).
This is about influences.
We need to separate those, from things we feel are important. Otherwise, we’re simply teaching our future generations and to chase a falsehood of who they are, rather than embracing what’s real.
Once we consciously choose free will to pursue what’s popular —we must guide our spiritual, mental and financial stability with balance.
Psychological Problems = Money Problems
Most psychologists and financial advisors agree that excessive overspending and conspicuous consumption is more about psychology than a lack of financial skills. The Business Weekly suggests, this can regularly be traced to underlying physiological stress, which causes the consumer to react with a “fight or flight” mentality.
“The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.”
~ Robert Fulghum
With all this discussion, what’s practical?
Above all, the first step is us walk our own path without Keeping Up With The Joneses. It’s a confidence booster to achieve things that truly matter; it helps to enjoy the road traveled upon.
Secondly, breaking the desire to keep up with the Joneses is one of the critical steps into reducing stress on everyone, because we can stop caring about what anyone else is doing.
It is important to remember that wanting material things is fine; having a bigger house so that you can build memories with your family is a wonderful thing. Let’s create a world where kids don’t care so much about materialism and are encouraged to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Today, the Joneses are not a family down the road that seems to have it all. The Joneses are everywhere. Whether it’s on social media, TV or in the minds of the people you work with. We cannot allow their influence on the world to affect our sense of self-worth and value. Our kids should be asking – “Who Are The Joneses?” If you’re willing to recognize, they’re not as central to what matters in life, as much as we tend think.
Do you find yourself in conversations with neighbors or friends that pressure you to compare your child to the next? Want to learn how to stop the madness and live freely in a way that allows you to accept your child and their imperfect journey without feeling like a failure? You just might be the perfect candidate for our Powerful Parents Mastermind! Click here to schedule a call to learn more.
Just be, live freely.