Parenting a Teen Shopaholic- How to Break the Cycle

Parenting a Teen Shopaholic- How to Break the Cycle
Family, Self

Who would have thought you could be the PARENT of a shopaholic? Figure out what to do here.

By Talking Teenage, Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, Psy.D., for

curbing your shopping ways

Most parents want to give their teens the world, and then some. There does indeed reach a point where we sometimes take a step back and realize perhaps somewhere along the way we may have let things go a bit awry.

Does your daughter have more clothes than she could ever possibly wear in a year? Does she own more shoes than Imelda Marcos or Carrie from Sex in the City?

Could she use another room just to store all her stuff? Can you think of a weekend or even a day when she didn't come home with some new item?

Could the description above fit you as well? Do you look forward to gushing over each new item with your daughter?

Do you spend most of your time together at the local mall?  Are you often overcome with the impulse to buy something even if you don't really need it?

RELATED: Understanding Your Teen's 'Will Not Wear' List

If so, you may just have a problem.

Sure, shopping can be a fun bonding experience. When the urge to shop however becomes a daily mission, trouble is sure to follow.

If you have recently become annoyed, overwhelmed and or even frustrated by your daughter's inclination to buy, it may be time to check out your own closet before you say something to her you may indeed regret.

Shopping on impulse aka shopaholism can result in some serious trouble including overwhelming debt, bad credit and in some cases even hoarding.

These consequences can have far reaching affects on a family. If for example, the family needs to make a large purchase such as a car, debt and bad credit at the hands of your teen can have a negative impact.

Teens' whose impulsive buying knows no limit may carry this inclination toward excess to other areas of their lives.

Parents reticent about redirection or limit setting often learn too late that their lack of enforceable consequences have led to a life which knows no bounds.

RELATED: Are Moms "Stealing" Their Teenager's Style?

Parents who shop impulsively often find it difficult to enforce buying limits on their teens. More often than not, such parents encourage their teen's spending behaviors by joining in and contribute by consistently buying stuff for them. Oohing and aahhing over your teen's new purchases certainly doesn't help curb her carnivorous habit either.

So what's a parent to do? How can you curb your teen's buying binging when you are prone to excessive shopping habits yourself? Here are some ideas on where to start:

1.) Acknowledge your own obsession. Avoid the ole 'do as I say, not as I do.' A frank conversation in which you admit your own over spending is a good place to start.

2.) Challenge her to address the problem with you. By teaming up together to battle your impulsive buying, you empower each other to address a very real issue.

3.) Create a realistic spending budget which includes room for some 'mad' money. The task of structuring spending will help your teen gain insight on her spending habits.

4) Limit spending acess-for example, cut up the credit cards, avoid outings at the mall, etc.

5) Look for other fulfilling ways to spend your time alone and your time together. Now you have a great opportunity to start a new hobby or investigate a new interest with your daughter. Try crafting or baking, learn how to knit or paint, take pictures, write stories, etc. The choices are infinite. When you do it with your daughter you create a bonding experience that will benefit both of you while remedying a penchant for purchasing that has gotten out of hand.

A day of shopping can be a fun time especially when you and your daughter do it together.

When your pleasure of purchasing turns into an obsessive compulsion however, it is time to take a step back and reassess the situation.  It can be a daunting experience to realize that your daughter's desire to shop till she drops may be an inherited trait.

By working together to create boundaries and pursue other interests you and your daughter will kick the habit in no time!

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This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.