Our children are increasingly the recipients 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 mods?
Six months ago, when my daughter turned 9 years old, I spent 3.5 thousand rubles on a doll that she had long dreamed of. The doll is not simple: the heroine of a popular cartoon, in a luxurious dress, with wings, in a huge multi-colored box. Then it turned out that for the fairy you need to buy an assistant animal (400 rubles), a spare dress (700 rubles), and in addition, an umbrella, pencil case, briefcase and swimsuit with the image of your favorite characters were absolutely necessary. The ingenious marketing policy of the cartoon authors has led to the fact that you can spend a truly astronomical amount on all these treasures, and there will never be an end to acquisitions. Because after the umbrella there will be a cup, after the briefcase - a beach bag, and after sunglasses - a watch and fantastically fashionable rubber boots. I suspect that at the end of the year, taking into account all the holidays, a successful transition to the fourth grade, victories at the Olympiads, New Year extravaganza and gifts from the tooth fairy, our expenses can reach up to 20 thousand rubles. And this is only the beginning, because our girl is still quite indifferent to clothes.
13% of Russian parents buy toys for their children about once a week.
Children from 8 to 12 years old are a priority target audience for many manufacturers. First, at this age, the guys themselves can make decisions about what to play and what to wear. And secondly, the scatter of their interests is wider than ever. Girls are equally interested in buying toys, clothes, cosmetics, and magazines. And the boys easily switch from designers 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 this is most easily done using mobile phones, clothes of certain brands and expensive toys. The fact is that at the age of 9-10, children first take small steps away from their parents. If 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 relate to this, material acquisitions help the child. And ultimately, all this leads to multimillion-dollar profits for manufacturers of children's goods.
66% of respondents consider the cost of children's clothing, toys and school supplies too high.
In many respects, the demand among children and adolescents is formed by advertising, under the influence of which schoolchildren find themselves especially easily. Russian law restricts the placement of advertisements in children's and educational television programs: advertisements can be placed only 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 viewers of the program are children under 12 years old. But, nevertheless, advertisers have plenty of opportunities to declare their products. Moreover, even psychologists recognize that those videos that work not only talk about the dignity of toys or clothes, but create the illusion of a special world created specifically for the child and his friends work best. After all, it is precisely such a safe and friendly little world that a child seeks when he takes the first steps from his family.
Children believe in advertising, and many product manufacturers deliberately use it.
It’s clear why children are so addicted to advertising and require more purchases. But why do their parents go about it? Any sane adult will say that 3,500 for a doll or 7,000 for jeans is a bust. And yet, we agree to spend this money, even realizing that it is wrong. Here a variety of motives are involved. Someone does not want the children to feel outcasts among friends and classmates, some of the parents are happy to spend on things that he himself could not even dream of in childhood. Those who work hard admit that they buy expensive gifts when they feel that they cannot devote enough time to the child. And there are days when we just give up, are no longer able to withstand children's requests: “Mom, well, please! Everyone in the class already has mobile phones, at breaks everyone pumps pictures and music to each other, and nobody even wants to talk to me! I stand alone or cry in the toilet! ” Can you then refuse your first-grader daughter with a calm heart? Be sure that all your weaknesses will be taken into account by manufacturers of goods for children, and eventually you will fall into all their traps - on their own or under pressure from children.
1. Believe me: if you refused to buy a child another transformer, 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 the child and give him an expensive gift, do not forget to talk about what is really important: about our feelings, feelings, about love for each other. And so that you are not tormented by conscience, if you refused to buy another game console or “the most fashionable sneakers that everyone now goes to,” start small. Remind yourself that good parents will not fulfill every whim of their child. Moreover, the rules and restrictions once and for all adopted in the family help children to feel safe. And, of course, the next time you hear: “Well, please! - think about what your children really need - expensive clothes or your time and attention.
2. Teach children to think objectively.
At the age of 9-10, the child is already large enough to respond to commercials, but still too small to critically interpret their content. If children are promised that by buying clothes of a certain brand, they will become popular in the classroom, then the fear of any student will become the driving force. How to explain all this to children? Start talking to them about it as adults. A game recently appeared in our family: when dad watches football matches on TV, we all try to guess what they will advertise in between: “Cars! Beer! Computers! ” And when the grandmother watches the series, everything is different: “Washing powder! Yoghurts! Shampoo!" Thus, children begin to understand that the mysterious "producers" are trying their best to sell their goods to viewers, when all you want is just to watch a match or a new series of your favorite movie.
3. Talk about hidden advertising.
It can also be very useful to talk about the so-called “product placement”. Even babies very quickly understand the difference between a television show or film and a commercial. But what about the famous football players or popular singers who wear clothes of certain brands? Or with the charming heroines of the family series who wash their hair with only one shampoo and prefer funny multi-colored vitamins?
Children dream of being like their idols. Therefore, before buying jeans or sneakers, talk with your child about why he needs these things. Your task is not to make your child love the singer less or to not relate to the achievements of athletes without due respect. But try to explain that the stars do not buy clothes of the same brand. They get it in huge boxes, and very often musicians and athletes even pay a lot of money to wear these clothes. And they are paid just 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, pay children's attention to hidden advertising and explain that such an appearance in the movie is much more expensive than commercials, because it is more effective.
Try to explain to children what hidden advertising is and teach them to think objectively.
Of course, there are times when the opinion of friends and the desire to be among them (and, therefore, to be like everyone else) is more important than any conversation with parents. And then your child looks at you piteously, and you think: “He’s not easy anyway, so we will go broke because of one pair of jeans ?!” Of course, you will not go broke. Sometimes you need to fulfill children's dreams, even if it is expensive. If you nevertheless agreed to buy a thing that the child had long dreamed about, do not miss the opportunity to talk again about what real friends are and what is actually more important: what your friend wears, or how he refers to you.
What else can be done?
Talk to the teacher. If there is too much pressure in the class about the clothes of certain brands, pay attention to the class teacher. Have regular discussions with students. If most parents share your feelings, you can contact the principal with a proposal to enter a school uniform.
If in the classroom too much attention is given to fashion, this is an occasion to talk with the teacher.
Agree in advance with your child about the terms of the purchase. Going to the store, agree with the child about how much and what you can spend this time. If you go "for reconnaissance" and are not going to buy anything today, this also needs to be voiced.
Postpone the purchase. Sometimes preliminary arrangements do not help: once in the store, the child begins to demand something unplanned. In such cases, psychologists advise suggesting: “Now we can’t buy this thing. But maybe in a week the opportunity will appear. ” A week later, the thing may not seem so attractive anymore or the teenager will want something else instead.
Give your child pocket money. Settle a certain amount that he receives once a month and can spend at his own discretion. And do not prevent meaningless, in your opinion, shopping. If a couple of times children buy something expensive and stupid, in the future they will be more circumspect.
Try to avoid temptations. If you know that in the shopping center where you go for groceries there are “trendy” shops attractive for children, do not go into them. You went for food, so don’t even let your child “stop by for a minute, just look!”
6th place in Russian families is occupied by expenses for children - after food, utility bills, clothes and shoes, medicines and education
Do not let your child watch ads. 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 cereals in which they put a toy from the cartoon. First, try to limit the time your child spends watching TV. Secondly, if a child wants to watch movies or cartoons, then it is better to buy him a disk or download from the Internet.
Show an example. The less attention you pay yourself 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 yoghurts (one product - a well-known company, the second - a cheaper brand) and offer to decide which is tastier. And then show the jars. If it turns out that the child has chosen a cheaper product, this is an occasion for conversation. A teenager can be offered two pairs of jeans in the store, closing labels (some expensive, others more affordable), and asked to choose the ones that are more beautiful.
It is unlikely that even one of the modern parents can boast that he won the battle of the store with his children. But let the thought support you during disputes: now the child is trying to persuade you to spend money on something fashionable, but in a few years he will provide for himself. And the sooner he wisely begins to relate to income and expenses, the better.
PHOTO: PHILIP FRIEDMAN / STUDIO D. TEXT: ACCORDING TO JEFFERY CLUBER