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What to tell your kids about Advertising?

How to organise a play room

How to organise a play roomApparently today the government is suggesting media lessons for primary school kids.  Do we really need this?  What do you tell your kids about adverts and the effect on our decisions?

Well, funnily enough I had a chat with Curly Headed Boy last night.  We normally watch Cbeebies and Disney, which are advertising free; sort of, because the programs themselves are a pretty good advert and Little Dimples will pick up anything with ‘Poggle’ in it (Iggle Piggle) or ‘Oink’ (Peppa Pig).  But as he is learning spanish at school we switched to Nick Jnr in order to watch a bit of Dora this week, which means that there have been 101 adverts of rubbish toys that he now wants for Christmas and his birthday.

So I explained that adverts are evil and they mess with your brain so that you want everything they show you!  Curly Headed Boy isn’t daft, so his answer was ‘For real Mummy?’.  No of course that’s not the whole story.  An advert can also be useful to inform us of something that is available (just you wait for the one I’ve done for my up and coming book!).

I don’t really think that Curly Headed Boy needs lessons to make him media savvy.  But there will be kids whose parents will forget, not have the time or not think to mention it.  Plus when school tells him something, it’s generally considered law; hence the ease with which I can get 5 a day into him now.  So really, I don’t care if they do or don’t do a lesson.  It won’t be a massive waste of time, after all they are just in primary school.

I’m not convinced it is the highest priority at school in general as we still have a huge percentage leaving primary school without being able to read and write.  However, when people stole stuff in the London Riots, what did they steal?  Brands.  So perhaps it’s not so daft?  Maybe the little kids will tell off their parents for being so brand ruled as well?  But it won’t be enough, so it needs something else later on as well.  After all I was totally against smoking until I was 16, stressed, and miserable, which led to 10yrs of inhaling nicotine.

What do you reckon?  Have you had ‘the chat’?

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