EDITOR’S NOTE: City Dads Group is working with longtime partner Dove Men+Care to create “how to” videos for the grooming products company’s “Dads Care” campaign. We will be featuring the videos and scripts our members appear in. This one features contributor Mike Dorsey and his children, Maxwell and Morgan, talking about the differences between wants and needs.
To start this process, you should have your kids define “needs” and “wants” in their own words. When you allow your children to do this, it helps them understand the concept in their own terms.
For example, Morgan uses the example of an expensive toy that several of her friends have. While it’s cool and she says she would really want one to be like her friends, she knows that it’s not something she needs because “it doesn’t help you live.”
Next, have your children play a simple “Need/Want” word association game.
Call out an item or activity to your kids and have them explain whether it’s a need or a want and, most importantly, why. For example, I’ll say “going out to your favorite restaurant” or “having a car” or “taking the bus” and ask them to explain whether it’s a want or a need. Be sure to use things and situations familiar to them so there’s no misunderstandings or need for further explanations. The answers may be different based on the circumstances surrounding it.
Finally, have your children go around your house and collect toys and clothes they no longer need so they can donate them to a charity or an organization that helps families in need. Make sure to have dialogue with them during the process so they fully understand the impact of what they’re doing. By allowing your kids to be a part of that process, they develop and understand empathy because they learn about excesses they have that others aren’t fortunate enough to have.