Children believe advertising, and many manufacturers of goods deliberately use this.
Our children are increasingly becoming the target of all kinds of advertising, who sincerely believe that this shampoo is the most fragrant, and these jeans are the coolest. Is it possible to curb the desires of little fashionistas?
Children from 8 to 12 years old are a priority target audience for many manufacturers. First, at this age, children can already make their own decisions about what to play and what to wear. And secondly, the range of their interests is wider than ever. Girls are equally interested in buying toys, clothes, cosmetics, and magazines. And the boys easily switch from constructors and transformers to fashionable jeans, phones and mp3 players. It is at this age that it becomes especially important for children to declare their status to friends and classmates, and the easiest way to do this is with the help of mobile phones, clothes of certain brands and expensive toys. The fact is that at 9-10 years old, children for the first time take small steps away from their parents. If just a couple of years ago mom and dad were the most important people in the world, now the opinion of friends is no less important. The child is looking for new like-minded people, establishes new relationships. And no matter how we feel about it, material acquisitions help the child. And in the end, all this leads to multimillion-dollar profits for manufacturers of children's goods.
In many ways, the demand among children and adolescents is formed by advertising, under the influence of which schoolchildren fall especially easily. Russian legislation restricts the placement of advertisements in children's and educational television programs: advertisements can only be placed at the very beginning and end of the program, and its duration (1-3 minutes) directly depends on the duration of the program. And in the fall of 2010, several major international corporations promise to sign an agreement that they will not advertise their products on Russian TV if more than half of the program's viewers are children under 12 years old. But, nevertheless, advertisers have a lot of opportunities to announce their products. Moreover, even psychologists admit that those videos work best that do not just talk about the dignity of toys or clothes, but create the illusion of a special world created specifically for the child and his friends. After all, it is this safe and friendly little world that a child is looking for when he takes his first steps from the family.
It's understandable why kids are so ad-hungry and demand more and more purchases. But why do their parents go after them? Any sane adult will say that 3.5 thousand rubles. for a doll or 7 thousand for jeans - this is a clear bust. And yet, we agree to spend this money, even knowing that it is wrong. A variety of motives are involved here. Someone does not want children to feel like outcasts among friends and classmates, some of the parents are happy to spend money on things that they themselves could not even dream of as a child. Those who work long hours admit to buying expensive gifts when they feel they can't give their child enough time. And there are days when we just give up, no longer able to resist children's requests: “Mom, please! Everyone in the class already has mobile phones, at breaks everyone is pumping pictures and music to each other, and no one even wants to talk to me! I stand alone or cry in the toilet!” After that, will you be able to refuse your first grade daughter with a calm heart? Be sure that all your weaknesses are taken into account by manufacturers of goods for children, and over time you will fall into all their traps - on your own or under pressure from children.
1. Believe me: if you refused to buy another transformer for your child, this does not mean that you are a bad mother
However, this does not mean that children's desires and needs should not have any boundaries. Even if you really want to encourage a child and give him an expensive gift, do not forget to talk about what is really important: about our feelings, experiences, about love for each other. And so that your conscience does not torment you, if you refused to buy another game console or “the most fashionable sneakers in which everyone now walks”, start small. Remind yourself that good parents won't cater to their child's every whim. Moreover, the rules and restrictions, once and for all adopted in the family, help children feel safe. And, of course, the next time you hear: “Well, please, please!” - think about what your children really need - expensive clothes or your time and attention.
2. Teach your kids to think objectively
At 9-10 years old, a child is already big enough to respond to commercials, but still too small to critically comprehend their content. If children are promised that by buying clothes of a certain brand they will become popular in the class, then the driving force is the fear of any student to be alone. How to explain all this to children? Start talking to them about it like adults. This game has recently appeared in our family: when dad watches football matches on TV, we all try to guess what they will advertise during breaks: “Cars! Beer! Computers! But when grandma watches the series, everything is different: “Laundry detergent! Yoghurts! Shampoo!" Thus, children begin to understand that mysterious "manufacturers" are trying their best to sell their product to TV viewers when all you want is just to watch a match or a new episode of your favorite movie.
3. Talk about hidden advertising
It can also be very useful to talk about the so-called "product placement". Even toddlers very quickly understand the difference between a TV show or movie and a commercial. But what about famous football players or popular singers who wear certain brands? Or with the charming heroines of the family series who wash their hair with only one shampoo and prefer cheerful multi-colored vitamins?
Children dream of being like their idols. Therefore, before buying jeans or sneakers, talk to your child about why he needs these things. Your task is not to make the child love the singer less or treat the achievements of athletes without due respect. But try to explain that stars do not buy clothes of the same brand. They get it in huge boxes, and very often musicians and athletes are even paid a lot of money to wear these clothes. And they are paid precisely because millions of boys and girls around the world want to be like their idols and ask their parents to buy the same.
When you watch movies, draw the attention of children to hidden advertising and explain that such an appearance in the cinema costs much more than commercials because it is more effective.
Of course, there are times when the opinion of friends and the desire to be one's own among them (and, therefore, to be like everyone else) turns out to be more important than any conversations with parents. And then your child looks at you plaintively, and you think: “It’s not easy for him, so we’ll go broke because of one pair of jeans ?!” Of course, you won't go broke. Sometimes you have to fulfill your childhood dreams, even if it doesn't come cheap. If you nevertheless agreed to buy a thing that your child has long dreamed of, do not miss the opportunity to once again talk about what real friends are and what is actually more important: what your friend wears or how he treats you.
What else can you do?
Talk to the teacher. If there is too much pressure in the class about certain brands of clothing, bring this to the attention of the class teacher. Have regular conversations with students. If your feelings are shared by the majority of parents, you can contact the principal with a proposal to introduce a school uniform.
Agree in advance with your child about the terms of purchases. Going to the store, agree with your child about how much and what you can spend this time. If you are going “for exploration” and are not going to buy anything today, this should also be voiced.
Delay the purchase. Sometimes pre-arrangements don't help: once in the store, the child begins to demand something unplanned. In such cases, psychologists are advised to offer: “Now we cannot buy this thing. But maybe in a week the opportunity will appear. After a week, the thing may no longer seem so attractive or the teenager will want something else instead.
Give your child pocket money. Specify a certain amount that he receives once a month and can spend at his own discretion. And do not interfere with senseless, in your opinion, purchases. If a couple of times children buy something expensive and stupid, they will be more careful in the future.
Try to avoid temptations. If you know that the mall you are going to go grocery shopping has "fashion" stores that appeal to kids, don't go there. You've gone out for food, so don't even let your child "drop in for a minute, just look!"
Don't let your child watch commercials. As we have said, children are especially susceptible to commercials. It is for this reason that they agree to drink cocoa of a strictly defined brand or eat only those flakes in which they put a cartoon toy. First, try to limit the time your child spends watching TV. Secondly, if a child wants to watch movies or cartoons, it is better to buy him a CD or download from the Internet.
Lead by example. The less attention you yourself pay to advertised labels, the easier your children will relate to them. You can try this move: for a younger student, prepare two cups of cocoa or two yogurts (one product from a well-known company, the second from a cheaper brand) and offer to decide which is tastier. And then show the jars. If it turns out that the child chose a cheaper product, this is an occasion for conversation. A teenager can be offered two pairs of jeans in a store, closing the labels (some expensive, others more affordable), and asked to choose the prettiest ones.
Hardly any of today's parents can boast of having won the store battle with their children. But let the thought support you during disputes: now the child is persuading you to spend money on something fashionable, but in a few years he will provide for himself. And the sooner he becomes reasonable about income and expenses, the better.