Guest Post – Communication: Your words are best.

Today’s guest post is from Kelli at The Unexpected Education. Her blog is about her homeschooling experience. If you are interested in homeschooling your child, have questions about it or want to meet a fellow homeschooling mama, go check her out!
Communication: Your words are best.
I saw a commercial this evening that really disturbed me. The scene: two little boys, one in a large SUV, the other in a small four door car. “SUV boy” asks, a rather distraught looking, “car boy”, “What’s the matter?”. “Car boy” responds, “my parents have been singing the same song for three hours”. “SUV boy” basically says, sorry ’bout your bad luck and your dorky parents, rolls up the window and the SUV (in perfect time) drives away. The scene closes with “SUV boy” putting on his headphones and watching an in cabin DVD, featuring a “super dog” that repels bullets. Now, subjectively speaking, the “SUV boy” is adorable with his flowing blond curls and burgeoning surfer/skater boy looks. The “car boy” has a turtle neck, pale, freckled skin and helmet hair.
Here’s my problem(s). First, just because your parents drive a certain type of vehicle does not make you “cool” or a “dork” (at least not in my world). Second, I find that the car, in these economic times, is a more responsible choice– unless you actually use the SUV for hauling things other than your gym bag. (If you are wondering, my husband and I both drive trucks, so I don’t knock big vehicles– as long as they are being used for their intended purpose, aren’t just for show, you can afford the gas AND you can actually parallel park it.) Finally, my biggest issue with this commercial– it’s target audience is children.
This irks me to no end! A child is in no way capable of making a rational decision when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. I mean, my son still wants a Deora II, for sobbing out loud! I recently watched a video about The Commercialization of Children that is in line with my thought process. I found this to be a profound documentary about the transition of marketing from the 1950’s to now. This type of marketing has always existed, on some level, but nothing like we are seeing today. Almost everything is aimed at children. Movies, games, vacation destinations, cars, food, clothes– there is no end. 
 
So, why do I find this worrisome? Television, radio and print should not be the guiding force for children. Parents should. This brings me back to “SUV boy”. He was in the back seat with his headphones acting as a communication barrier between him and his parents. This commercial sends out the message, “listening to your parents isn’t cool”. That message is unacceptable. 
 
What’s a parent to do in this world of never-ending advertisements? All I can say is force the lines of communication to stay open. Turn off the T.V. and video games– be their main source of information and guidance. If you only remember one thing from this post, please, remember this. When kids stop wanting to listen to you is when they need to hear you the most.
Thank you!

 

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