Dear Corporate America, Get Your Hooks Off My Kid!
My son is turning 5 in a couple of weeks and the lead up to his birthday has been an eye opener. He’s become a toddler consumer. He can almost repeat verbatim the commercials he sees on Disney and Nick Jr. Corporate America has sunk it’s claws into my little boy and I’ve got to try something to shake them loose.
My son gets to watch a total of four shows a day. We don’t use the TV as a babysitter and he spends plenty of time playing with toys, friends and swimming at the pool. However, in the 2 total hours of watching, the commercials have him hooked on wanting newer and better toys. Not only does he want newer toys, he’s also recommending my his mother use Proactiv to help her skin. The kids has been turned into a little Rain Man when it comes to television.
Other than going cold turkey on cartoons, my only option is my Netflix membership. We’ve got a smart TV and have never used its Netflix capabilities, but now is the time to put it to the test. For the next 30 days, his only option will be what’s on Netflix. Luckily, most of it will be new to him. We can add some PBS shows to his mix of Disney/Nick.
I’m interested to see if he becomes more content with his possessions. Our daughter used to want everything she saw on tv, but that has changed as she stopped watching cable television and switched over to Netflix. She made the switch on her own, I just happened to notice the difference in the two kids.
I want our kids to be able to make their own decisions without influence from advertising. Hopefully they can learn what’s important to them through our influence and the choices they make in life.
I’ll post the results I notice in 30 days. Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience with your kids in the comments section.