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About

Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Kiddie Consumerism


I have this thing about marketing to kids. I hate it. In fact I'd go so far as to say I think there should be laws against it. I just don't think kids just shouldn't be sold to. Kid's thinking they "need" something because the kid playing with it on TV looks so cool and happy just leaves me unsettled. Our house pretty much reflects this. Xavier doesn't watch TV and his toys are pretty generic, we avoid cartoon characters and toys with branding at all cost. He does have a couple of infamous blue trains but they're just that to him- "Choo-choo's!" So, imagine my surprise when Xavier draws on his leg, points to it and says "Tattoo! Spiderman tattoo!" What?! Where in the world did he pick up Spiderman?

After thinking about it, the only thing I can come up with is that a couple months ago X got a Spiderman sticker from the doctor. He loved it for all of 10 minutes before moving onto the next thing. Why that would resurface now in his desire for a Spidey tattoo I have no clue, but that's all I can come up with. We decided to indulge and got him a Spiderman doll which he loves dearly. But suddenly it seems that everywhere we go there is Spidey this and Spidey that and he notices it all.

Just this week Javi's started asking for things in the grocery store too. Thankfully he's just dropping polite suggestions of melon, nectarine's and Kix (our secret indulgence) but I never expected it this early! He already knows quite a bit about money (he loves to collect and sort change) And so we're having that talk before we enter a store of what we're there for, that we can look at certain things but can only buy what we've come for (this might do me some good too) and we've started a special wish list for things that are oh so exciting he just can't live without - you know temporary tattoo's, a singing/dancing Spiderman, and a big green tractor. Maybe I'm overreacting but I'm just not ready for my 18 month old to have purchasing power!

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  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    8:23 AM  

    Wow I can't believe that an 18 month old knows who Spiderman is! Xavier is a prodigy, I tell you!! What will he do next!? Maybe he likes Spiderman because he has a special power, too... have you thought of that? Super-baby powers... possibly!!! : ) top

  • Blogger Glass Half Full says so:
    8:24 AM  

    Not to sound pesimistic, but it gets worse as they are exposed to friends, billboards, advertisements and then school....seems like you can't avoid it!

    HOWEVER...you set the limits!!! I know Matt would love all kinds of things, but we simply say no because I don't want to indulge every little thing he fancies. I think I've used "because we said so" many times.

    Golly, what if Ronald McDonald looked like a raving lunatic???? That would be scary! top

  • Blogger Jamie says so:
    9:29 AM  

    He is by far the most advanced toddler I have ever heard of!
    But I have to agree that you can't start this early giving him everything he might want, that could be disastrous one day! top

  • Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! says so:
    10:12 AM  

    TheBeast hasn't expressed any wanting about certain toys yet, but she thinks if we're at the grocery store then she must eat! She chomped, through the plastic bag a bite from a nectorine, the end off a banana..with the peel! and left little teeth marks in my block of cheese!! All in one trip! I finally broke down and opened a bag of cheese cubes for her to eat in the store! I've created a monster!! LOL.

    I don't like ads for kids either...it's a bit disturbing. top

  • Blogger Tracey says so:
    10:13 AM  

    Yeah. If you can figure out how to stop it, let me know. I think it's important to figure out how you're going to handle it beforehand, and then it won't be such a surprise when it happens earlier than you expected. Just wait till school starts... Oh, the stuff they find out about! :( top

  • Anonymous Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats says so:
    10:33 AM  

    I think X's love for Spiderman might just be a boy thing. My boys are superhero CRAZY! They mostly watch Noggin on tv- which doesn't have commercials. I think it's just a natural boy thing. top

  • Blogger JoynerFam says so:
    11:02 AM  

    How cute! It looks like hes feeling better, Id rather have arthur have purchasing power than tv power. His grandparents live the life of tv all day all night. Now arthur knows how to turn the tv and change the channel. I cant get him to stop. Hope to talk to you soon. top

  • Blogger Heaven Sent says so:
    1:58 PM  

    I agree that there is something disturbing about selling to kids. However, I must admit that we have fallen right into the Elmo and Mickey trap, but it wasn't intentional. We don't do TV, so it wasn't that. It was gifts and go figure... books! Now she recognizes the usual characters everywhere we go. Thankfully, she is usually just happy to give them a quick kiss and off we go. No pressure to buy... at least not yet!

    I admit I was against the whole character thing in the beginning for several reasons, but after seeing the joy on her face, I can't go back. You win some, you lose some! :o) top

  • Blogger Life With All Boys says so:
    4:38 PM  

    It's already been said, but WOW!! This child always amazes me!! top

  • Anonymous Mama C-ta says so:
    8:09 PM  

    I'm not surprised, he's some wonderchild, the brain of a 3 year old.

    But I'm with you, just say no to characters! Cricket just picked out his "choo-choo" undies too. Sloth and I are very good about not calling things by their particular brand but it's the outsiders (and family that know better) that ruin our effors. We only buy wooden toys and somehow our house is full of plastic??

    Plus Cricket's cousin is character obsessed, especially with Spidey. I heard, it was awhile ago now don't know if it's going to happen or not, but they were talking about having ads on school busses. Another reason we're homeschooling :) top

  • Blogger Happi says so:
    10:06 PM  

    I agree with Lori. It DOES get worse, and unfortunately, you can't shelter them from it. It's EVERYWHERE you go. I have worked hard at teaching the word contentment and what it means. When the "I wants" and "I have to haves" become too much, we talk about contentment! It seems to help quite a bit, and it's biblical. : ) top

  • Anonymous Two Knives says so:
    8:58 AM  

    Get ready for the $15 billion industry that is trying to get your child's attention. Usually, they succeed. I write a lot on this topic and am in the midst of making a move to counteract these marketing forces. Stay tuned. top

  • Blogger Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot says so:
    3:40 PM  

    I also talk to my almost 3 year old about contentment quite a bit. Lately, he has been telling me how he "needs" a race car and a car that the top can come off! And those aren't brands, just things he sees while we are driving! top

  • Blogger Elizabeth F. says so:
    9:49 PM  

    Uh, at 18 mos. Xander was completely into Spiderman. He had seen a pic of Spiderman on neighborhood boy's shirts. He was in LOVE! Everything was Spiderman for about 1.5 years after that. He would completely melt down if we said no. He had never seen the movie, but he was addicted. At about age 3 The Power Rangers were his newest obsession. (That darn library with their movies to check out!) He saw the front of one and had to have it! Hubby thought it was ok so I caved under the male pressure. I have since learned that Xander is really obsessive/compulsive by nature. When he likes something it's all the way. He's kind of mellowed out these days...finally. But, he really does scare me sometimes. And, you know I have never really bought too much of this stuff, but when it's their B-day and everyone knows they like Spiderman, that's what they buy.

    And, sorry to take over you comments, but Zachary now 22 mos. everytime he sees the "M" arches...he starts signing "eat." Ughhh...I totally understand what you're going through.

    And congrats on the Mama Speaks in the paper! top