Kids, consumers

Check out this blog post on Mothering: Why they whine by Gary Ruskin.

It made me feel sick to my stomach.

Especially the bit about George Broussard, who founded the company that produces the ultra-violent, over-sexualized “first-person shooter” game Duke Nukem. Broussard unabashedly admits: “It’d be suicide to make the game unplayable by younger people.”

The idea that children are “economic resources to be mined” no matter how detrimental such mining might be for them or for us is really indicative of the trouble with raising kids today… and of the problem with our consumer-based culture generally.

But this is how marketers & companies view our children. And the younger the better. Notice how even disposable diapers are branded? My personal pet peeve: bandages. I cannot find a bandage that doesn’t have a character on it.

Of course, I’m sure I could find one for a price. (Our solution for now: Use plain grown-up bandaged.) You can pretty much buy your way (or your child’s way) out of this problem. Clothing without characters or prominent brand logos will cost you. As will plain white disposable diapers. You want to ensure your child isn’t exposed to commercials on TV? You better be able to stay home to keep your child occupied or else pony up for high-quality childcare.

But buying out of the problem isn’t a sustainable or available option for most of us. It shouldn’t cost more to shield our children from the worst of the advertising out there. I’ve been reading a lot about advertising & marketing & consumerism lately & I’m becoming convinced it is responsible for many of our social & cultural ills.

Read the Ruskin article. It’s long but worth it.


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Filed under Living, Mothering, Parenting, Simplicity

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