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Consumerist Children: Victims of Parents' Whims?

Consumerist Children: Victims of Parents' Whims?

How difficult it is to educate children in such a consumerist society like the one we live in, right? There are parents who feel guilty if they do not give their child a toy every week or a chocolate bar every day. The child asks and the child has, and incredible as it may seem, this is a real situation in many homes.

During this vacation I had the opportunity to visit the famous 'American Girl' store. For those who do not know it, it is something like a large department store, usually in a very select direction. Nothing more and nothing less than the great avenues of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. A store dedicated only to dolls. But I am not talking about rag or plastic dolls, or those of a lifetime, I am talking about a super special doll. A doll that reaches the edge of reality. Kind of like a miniature equivalent of a real girl.

There are of all styles. Brunettes, blondes, with freckles on their faces, with straight or curly hair, of all shades and colors, classic or modern, with or without glasses, with light or dark eyes, of different nationalities and races ... well, it would be impossible to point out all the characteristics.

But we are going to what we are going. In addition to the dolls, the store sells an arsenal of accessories: furniture for the whole house, clothes, accessories and shoes of various styles and for all occasions, utensils for the kitchen, the bathroom, for the picnic, sports and different activities, material for the care of horses, cats and dogs, mobile phones of different designs, etc. The price? About $ 115, each doll. In other words, a luxurious treat geared towards the rich and posh.

However, it was not the variety of dolls, nor the diversity of accessories, nor the doll salon that occupied part of the third floor of the store and that charged about $ 25 for the simplest hairstyle, that impressed me the most in the store. Not even the restaurant with an exclusive chair for the doll at the table, nor the laundry or the personalization service for the dolls' clothes. What caught my attention was the tenacity of the mothers, compulsively encouraging their daughters to buy. His demeanor was hysterical.

When leaving the store, they were the ones who most insisted on photographing their daughter, with her back to the store, with everything she had bought, in her hands. There were girls who came out dressed in the same outfit that her doll was wearing. Amazing! Let it be clear that I am not criticizing the store at all, nor the attitude of mothers, nor the awakening of consumerism in childhood. After all, we have all "stumbled" at some point in this regard.

What I want to emphasize is the role of the mother or father in relation to the consumption of their children. I think that it is the attitudes of parents that determine, to a large or small extent, the value of consumption for the little ones. How we behave, what we value, and the comments that parents make have an unquestionable influence on their children, and therefore, we should be vigilant. That's what I mean.

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