Why I Refuse to Buy a Bunch of Bratz (or Raise Any, Either)
Good parents love to see their kids happy. It's difficult not to get lost in the joy in their eyes when they get something they "always wanted". And it's hard not to get them "what they always wanted" without it morphing into more than one thing. Repeatedly. It's a tough balancing act between not wanting them to end up in therapy in twenty years versus not wanting to witness them rot to the core.
It took many a trip to ToysRUs before MJ and I decided it was time to stop the madness. We were reluctant to admit that our daughter was incapable of watching tv or taking a family trip to Target without clammoring for more plastic crap, and that something needed to be done.
Finally, I understood why my parents only bought toys for Christmas and birthdays. They weren't cheap, they just didn't want their kids to be spoiled.
But it's not an easy battle (just ask anyone who's ever taken a kid to FAO Schwarz). So for folks who still struggle against parental corporate consumerism, but don't know where to draw the line, see if this following example pertains to you:
Child sees loud, crappy tv commercial on tv touting the virtues on some toy child doesn't already have. Child demands parent to watch commercial, claiming "See, mommy/daddy, that's it! That's (insert random toy's name here)! Can I get it? Can I get that...please?!
Parent remembers name of forementioned toy, and for whatever reason (love usually), buys it. Child is delighted to receive toy, takes it out of its packaging and immediately begins playing with it.
Child integrates toy into collection. Parents feel like good parents.
Random crap begins collecting dust.
Crap continues to collect dust as child watches tv, looking for new commercial selling another piece of random crap for parents to buy.
Is it just me, or is there a pattern forming here?
I want to raise children who that don't take things for granted not only because I want them to grow into kind, thoughtful people, but also for the good of the world (yes, it really is that deep to me). Because spoiled little kids who get everything they ask for run a severe risk of growing into selfish jackasses. They're the type of people who become corporate ceos, loan officers and grocery store managers who make folks go home and vent to their partners about some idiot who ruined their day. The type of people who make life hard for everybody else.
Because everything came to them just a little too easy.
How do you feel about the plethora of tv commercial aimed at our children and our wallets? How do you cope?