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Material Girl

Category: Movies, Music & TV | Age Group: 14-16


Are we too materialistic?


Access to the following YouTube video——in which Madonna sings the song “Material Girl”


Adolescents often see things in terms of what people have and they place emphasis on material things as they seek to be part of their peer group and gain acceptance. They need to develop a sense of self esteem and realize that money and possession of goods is not the road to true happiness. They need to understand that if they have a strong sense of who they are as a person they will not need to allocate all of their money to acquiring material things so that they will be popular. This will help them to establish priorities and use their money to help achieve their important goals.

  • Talk with your teenage son or daughter about what the latest “hot item” is that everyone seems to be wanting. Note, there may be more than one.
  • Ask them what the previous “hot item” was before this one became all the rage.
  • Talk with them about what makes an item “hot” and so in demand.
  • This will likely lead to a discussion about how often people feel the “need” to possess a certain thing in order to be part of the “cool” crowd (or whatever adjective you think is best or that is “in” now).
  • Talk about the things that you felt you needed, in your day, in order to “keep up” and “be in.”
  • Together, view the YouTube video of Madonna singing “Material Girl.” Once it is over, talk about “our material world”—are we too materialistic? Does your teen think there is any difference between their generation and yours in terms of being “materialistic?”
  • Talk about how our attitudes towards “materialism” affect our decisions about money and what we do with our money.This can be a good time to talk with your teen about the many opportunities there are to help out others who struggle in life to just obtain the “basics.” Your teen might be interested in looking into some way(s) in which they could help others. Many young people at this age are very interested in those who are in need—and may want to help—they might just need some help and direction to get started.
  • Talking with your teen about the statement—“Money can’t buy happiness”—can lead to some interesting discussions about money and people’s views of money.
  • You could have a talk with your child about setting goals—and once some goals have been identified, look to see which could be considered “materialistic goals” and  which would fall into “non-materialistic.”