• Tue, Feb 6 2007

what to do about consumerism and your child?

I wish I knew the answer. We don’t have a television at home, but that doesn’t stop my son from picking up pop culture from his peers at school. We went weeks with the Power Ranger obsession and then morphed into Scooby Doo for a few days until a friend read him a Scooby Doo book that gave him nightmares. We ran screaming from a brief fling with Squarepants Spongebob or whatever his name is. And my kid loves loves loves the video games on the computer from sites like Nick Jr. and Noggin. At least he knows he can’t play those games on school nights!

I know mothers who are obsessed about the Gymboree line and wax lyrical over the new color scheme this spring. Mothers whose kids are already writing their Christmas wish list–NASCAR or superheroes or pick an obsession, any obsession. It’s enough to drive you nuts.

When my son was a baby, we took him into Toys R Us one day. He must have been 11 months old… it was a disaster. He was a melted puddle of flashing lights and bells and whistles and died and went to toy heaven goo five minutes into the adventure. It was all too much. We never took him into that toy store, again. It just wasn’t fair. I’ve gotten around the gimme gimme I want phenomenon we find at the grocery store by ordering food on line and having it delivered. He plans our menus with me and helps me order things… but he never sees the boxes of Dino mac or the tubes of Froot by the Foot with the latest action hero tacked onto the box.

Mothering Magazine has a great list of articles and other references on the issue of consumerism and kids.  I most certainly can appreciate “Penniless and Blessed” by Jennie Englund.

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