Children and consumerism

istock_000007655825xsmallSimple Mom wrote wonderful post called 9 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Live Simply. I love the idea of our responsibility to pass on an attitude of simplicity to the next generation.

The author says this can be done by (1) Being hyper-selective about your toy selections, (2) Making your own toys, (3) Rotating those toys, (4) Letting your kids be involved in your shopping process, (5) Letting them purge with you, (6) Having them earn money for their treats, (7) Encouraging the right words, (8) Being selective about their friends, and (9) Sponsoring a child.

To this I would add a tenth: Consider limiting TV or doing away with it altogether. Some busy parents would argue that the television is a helpful tool, because it distracts and calms their unruly children for hours on end. However, television also succeeds in transferring marketing messages to children that lead to consumerism-centric behaviors, as evidenced by research published in 2006 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The study showed a significant correlation between number of hours a child watches TV and the frequency with which they request toys and junk food.

Readers, what do you think? Is it practical to limit children’s TV viewing, or is this an unreality?

For further reading, check out the Marketing and Consumerism Awareness Network. The site includes this helpful guide and other resources to help parents deal with marketing and challenge their children to be savvy consumers.

Thoughts on this? Other ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!