When was the last time you told your child “no” when they asked for something in the store, or advised him or her to wait before clicking the “purchase” button? As parents of teens with over  $258 billion a year in disposable income, what can we do to help them counter this culture of consumption and instant gratification.

According to a recent article by Axis, “Consumption becomes a habit that, if we aren’t careful, makes us believe that everything is marketable and buyable, from identity and acceptance to happiness itself.” This mindset allows people to become products and relationships are reduced to disposable transactions. Is freedom the ability to buy whatever we want even if we cannot say no to ourselves? Are we really free or merely slaves to our impulses?

“Ask your teens, how much do you create compared to how much you consume?” says the Axis Team. Parents, foster creativity in your home. Instead of eating out, cook a meal as a family. Instead of binging on Netflix, encourage your son or daughter to write the story they would want to watch. “If we aren’t careful,” the author concludes, “the American dream of having more could become a nightmare.”