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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 14 February 2011
One of our parenting goals has been (and remains) to shield our daughter from the market forces that view children as consumers and exploit them ~ raising them up to be dutiful consumers, fighting for brand loyalty out of the cradle.  I know that there are guidelines and rules for marketers when targeting children, but I imagine they must chuckle with glee when they imagine their pitches... I mean, advertising to children is like shooting fish in barrel.

Because unlike us jaded adults (who are also so easily lead!), children don't have any defenses or experience.  They *trust* the message and the medium.

For television, Rowan has mainly watched Treehouse TV, which limits its ads to one sponsor, and that is often a still ad with exposition.  However, there was the Monty Rex incident. 
The Christmas Rowan was 4, all she wanted was the Monty Rex dinosaur like the one she saw on Treehouse.She was then, as now, a dinosaur fanatic.  I doubted the choice, but she was adamant (and Daddy kind of wanted it, too).  So I bought one in early December.

Later that month Rowan and I were in the department store and she wanted to look at the toys, so I thought I would take her to see the Monty Rex just to build some excitement. She was in the back of the shopping cart. I took the dino off the shelf and she screamed and clambered to the back of the cart in true horror, waving her hands and telling me to put it back. I explained that it was Monty Rex, and she wailed that it was not, because Monty Rex was 'two feet tall'.  Note to marketers~ 4 year olds cannot picture 'two feet tall'.
When I got her calmed down, and made numerous promises that Santa would not bring her that monster, she started to cry in earnest.  Why?  She was terrified that if Santa brought that dinosaur, which likes to eat meat, that it would surely eat Archie (our Sheltie, then a puppy).
I exchanged Monty for two baby dinos and thanked my lucky stars that we hadn't waited until Christmas morning to unleash the beast, what a nightmare that would have been! Scarred forever at 4 by a monster under the tree that would surely eat her beloved puppy!

I have more to say but this post is getting long and I am getting late for work... so will continue my train of thought in another post.... ♥


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