Alex is 6. He has become increasingly susceptible to television marketing. I used to think that it was cute and clever when he would come to me describing a new toy stating that “it is available in stores now Mom!” or “this thing will take all of the hair off of your legs and you never have to shave again!”. His television screen time has not increased but as he is getting older the more he is parroting television commercials. I am also finding it less cute.
The advertising that my kids are exposed to is really getting on my nerves. This week Alex and Ava have been begging to go to BK to get a kid’s meal with crown, asking for neon blue yogurt, and a sugary cereal. We don’t eat these foods so I am annoyed that my kids are being bombarded with these advertising campaigns. I wished that I could just get rid of commercials altogether.
We received a Wii for Christmas and have really been having a blast with it. The Wii Fit games with the balance board is a riot!
As I was going through all of the paperwork that came with the gaming system I noticed a free 30 day trial to Netflix streaming. We gave it a go and we love it! It offers so many movies, documentaries and shows that interest us as a family. The very best thing of all is…….NO COMMERCIALS!!!!
I thought about getting rid of cable and wondered if we, as a family, could pull it off. First thought was the news but we could easily hook up a digital antennae to access local channels and streaming on the computer is easily available. Second, was the shows that the kids are accustomed to watching. These, with the exception of Star Wars Clone Wars, is available on Netflix. Clone Wars is available free online. And last was my silly reality shows. They are available on Hulu but in all honesty I would rather stop watching that stuff anyway! Also, there are so many documentaries available that can go along with many of our lessons. So can we pull it off? Of course we can!!
So here it goes! Cancelled cable today. As I type this my husband is on the computer next to me watching the Debate (streaming) and Alex is in his room watching a surf DVD. The girls are sound asleep.
I do want to make it clear I do not wish to shelter my children from the outside world. They are kids. I choose the foods that they eat, the toys that they play with, and the shows that they watch. I hope to teach them to make informed decisions for themselves. I just don’t think at the age of 6, 3, and 1 they need to be a part of the grand marketing scheme of corporations. So maybe I do want to shelter them a little but they are young and have their entire lives to be bombarded by big business. I need some time to teach them how to understand marketing strategies and for now I just want them to enjoy being kids.
I know that this is going to be a great thing for our family!!