Parents must find new ways of avoiding advertising to children and fight a new class of advertising experts. Your kids are being marketed to in ways that you never dreamed were possible.
To do this you must be educated in what your kids are watching, see what they are seeing, communicate with your kids regularly, and give them other options besides being plugged into media 24/7.
Some Specific Ways of Avoiding Advertising to Children are:
- Be sure to watch the Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood video on my Advertising to Children page to get a more extensive look at the problem.
- Know what your kids are watching on television, and talk about the advertisements that they see on their Saturday cartoons. Watch with them. Talk about the music, the celebrities, the cartoon characters, and how all of these things are designed to get you to buy junk foods, and things that you do not need. Rather than TV, it is a great idea to use a service like Netflix that does not have commercials which eliminates about 20 minutes every hour.
- Limit media use. The average child is plugged into a media source for seven hours per day. Match your kids’ media use to their exercise hours. For each hour that they exercise, they will earn an hour of media use. This will teach your kids to develop an active lifestyle, and help combat their chances of childhood obesity.
- Help your kids to develop the values that you want them to have, not those promoted by advertisers. See the Kids with Great Character section.
- Stop buying unhealthy products for your children! If possible, leave them home when you shop to avoid the whining and tantrums. See my Healthy Grocery Shopping List. One thing that my sister Leigh did when her kids where little is when they went to the grocery store everyone got ONE treat, and not everything that they wanted. They had to choose wisely and it eliminated tantrums!
- Do not accept these deceptive advertising practices. Purposely do not buy branded products where possible. Do not be tricked into paying more money. Teach your kids these values at an early age and that people who fall for deceptive advertising are not educated.
- Start a media campaign in your state to end advertising to children.
These are a few of the ways that we can help fight these unethical advertisers. This is such a growing problem for our children that we must band together. If you have an idea that might work for others to help with avoiding advertising to children, please send it in! No one wants to be played and no one wants to watch their kids being played!