Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Walking Commercial


I have been noticing an upsetting trend in our home with our 6 year old. For one, she seems to be watching far too much television. And for "two," she has become a walking TV commercial!

I can not tell you how embarrassing it has become to go grocery shopping with Gracie lately. At first, I laughed it off, but now it is embarrassing...and annoying!

Lord help me if we see something in the isles that has been advertised heavily on TV!

I remember once waiting to check out at Walmart and Gracie notices the boxes of "Snuggies" on the display shelf beside our isle. She starts listing the qualities of the "Snuggie" which she decides she needs.

(Paraphrased) "Mommy, you can use it to keep warm, while still keeping your hands free! It is so soft and comfortable, and it is machine washable!"

I vowed then and there she would not watch any more TV for the rest of her life. Not only did she have the commercial memorized, but she decided that she needs one for herself.

Being a former "TV person," as my husband put it, she has had the multiple talks about commercials and what they are trying to get us to do. We even made a game out of it and would as her "what do they want us to buy?" Some ads were easier than others, and eventually she would tell us what they wanted to spend our hard earned money on.

Apparently that little lesson didn't stick. She knows what they want us to buy--and she's completely fine with that.

Lately, her newest obsession are the Pillow Pets....and if you are one of those moms out there who are tired of hearing about them too, you know the little song went off in your head when you read those words..."it's a pillow. It's a pet. It's a Pillow Pet!" Ingenuous writing, huh?!

Now, I am NOT going to buy her a Pillow Pet. Not just because they are $20 PLUS shipping, and not just because she has far too many toys and stuffies now, but because I want her to learn she can't have everything she wants and sees on TV.

We tried the method of telling her that products don't always live up to their commercials. She wanted "Sketchers" when we bought her new school shoes last fall. I told her that we were going to buy her the toughest and best shoes for her feet. This ended up in many tantrums of sorts (thankfully all in the car or at home!), and she did not get the brand she wanted.

Now, I am sure that experts would say that your child has to figure these things out on her own--but of course they can say that--it is not their money they are wasting. And, when she gets a little older and has money of her own, she will have to learn those hard lessons. In the meantime I can give you all the info on just about any child-targeted product out there.

Irony I guess. Once upon a time my job and pay check depended on commercials, now I want them banned from existence!

For all of those of you laughing, I am well aware this is one of the perils of parenting. I guess it could be worse--I haven't gotten to the "I hate you!" phase. So, I think I will try and relax and work on the lessons of a free-market commercial society.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shall we have a lesson all about propaganda and the techniques used? I do believe this is a tested objective in seventh grade. (It was when I did my student teaching. We won't discuss how many years ago that was though).