Saturday, November 29, 2008


NO - it's NOT talk like a pirate day. I am enraged by THIS article, idea and campaign!

This is NOT an advertising problem. This is a PARENTING problem.

"Unfortunately, I will not be able to purchase many of the toys that my sons have asked for; we simply don't have the money," wrote Todd Helmkamp of Hudson, Ind. "By bombarding them with advertisements ... you are placing parents like me in the unenviable position of having to tell our children that we can't afford the toys you promote."

I don't know what's wrong with people - why is stuff more important than education, or character, or integrity, or limits. We wonder why people hate America and Americans - could it be that we're a bunch of spoiled brats who think we're entitled to everything we want just because we want it?

The part that gets me most is the parent whining "It's just not fair - blah blah blah" Yeah well duh! Stop letting your kid watch that cable TV service you seem to always find the money to pay for - or even better - tell your child "No."

I understand that this year (and all the rest for that matter) is hard financially and I am NOT unsympathetic to those who are struggling to give their children Christmas or you know - pay for things like food or shoes, or a safe place to live. These are NOT those people.

Thanks for letting me vent. I usually stay away from topics like this, but sometimes something has to be said!

I'll keep you posted!



Anonymous said...

You go girl. You are 100% correct. Years ago I was a single mom of three and my kids knew we couldn't afford all the hyped up toys and things that were being advertised. They knew their grandmother would have one very nice gift for them, but my contribution was clothing items they needed, a small special toy and a stocking with goodies. I like to think they are better for it today even though they do spoil their kids.

kirsten said...

that's interesting. you're right, i think it's dumb to ask this because of the economic climate - that is where parenting comes in big time.

In the big picture, though, i think they're right. i think that advertising directly to children is wrong. they don't have the judgement to be able to pick out quality from junk, etc. (esp. in food/cereal commercials). my kids don't watch commercials much, we still use an antenna and they only watch PBS. when we switched to an HD receiver we started getting qubo, which has some great kids shows, but also some commercials between shows. UGH.
Marketing is tricky. We try to teach our kids that commercials really are trying to trick you into wanting something you don't need (or usually really want!).

Skye said...

I definitely agree that parents should set limits - early and often. It's not just about what we can afford, it's about no kid needing to have every darn thing they see on TV.

On the other hand, I'd recommend the book "Consuming Kids" for a scary, scary look into how television and advertising to children is produced. Parents are not on a level playing field against the millions of dollars these companies spend to manipulate children. They use child development research that shows how children see the world at different ages, like when they start figuring out how to tell reality from fantasy, in order to trick them.

It's not that parents can't fight against it, but over time it's becoming increasingly harder and that's deliberate on the part of advertising corporations. I know they're in business to make money, but children don't have full decision making capabilities and setting them up against their parents - one of the preferred advertising strategies - is bad behavior.