On the offensive against advertising

Filed under: Preschoolers, Big Kids, Places To Go, Media, That's Entertainment

We've tried to limit the kids' exposure to television ads by only letting them watch commercial-free channels, but that seems nigh impossible these days. Even the venerable PBS has what seems like fifteen minutes of ads between shows. How persuasive marketing is became very clear recently when we were at Costco and Jared said we needed to get a Swivel Sweeper.

Now, I'd never heard of the Swivel Sweeper, but apparently Jared had -- enough that he was convinced that we needed one. (What we really need is a whole cleaning service, but that's another story.) Naturally, Jared's conversion to being a Swivel Spokesman concerned me, but I wasn't sure what to do about it. Now, however, I have a plan.

The website Get Rich Slowly has an article about exactly this topic. Lisa Tiffin has two twin boys and faced a similar situation. Her solution was extremely simple and apparently very successful. She simply explained some basic economics -- companies need to sell things -- and then started asking her sons if they thought that products did what their advertisements said they did.

She knew this approach worked when she found the pair soaking paper towels and seeing whether or not they could support their toys in that condition, like the ads said they could. I hope I can be just as successful with Jared and Sara; I think I am going to talk to them about this right away.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.