How does a parent negate the effects of advertising on their children? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a pediatrician who takes care of many overweight children.  I am disturbed by the effects of sports drinks, energy drinks, and soda on these children.  The products are legal but very harmful to children in my opinion. What do you think is the best way for parents to counter the "consume this drink" messages kids receive? I'm looking for good strategies to help parents with this problem.  Suggestions?  Doc Smo, Charlotte, NC

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Old 07-17-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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We tell ours that those types of drinks are not healthy and especially not for children. They are told they can make the choice for themselves as an adult but for right now we cannot allow them to et or drink things that are harmful to them.


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Old 07-22-2013, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good for you Kelly.  You might also talk to them about how advertisers, especially on TV, promote products that might not be so healthy.

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Old 07-22-2013, 08:22 PM
 
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Whenever my kids ask me, "Why do they use cartoons on that commercial?" or "Why do these fruit snacks have princesses on them?" or "Why do they tell me to eat that?" I give them the honest answer.  I tell them that it's a company that wants to make money, and they can only make money when we buy what they make.  We talk a lot about how companies market directly to children and how to realize that even though it looks like a good thing, it isn't always a good thing.  Commercials make you feel good so you want to buy their products.


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Old 07-22-2013, 08:40 PM
 
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Commercials at my house are known as "dumbmercials". My kids know that commercials are essentially a scam that try and get people to buy things they don't need. If my kids ask for something that has a favorite cartoon character on it, and if it's crap, I tell them no and explain why. I tell them that we are not buying Campbell's soup with the Lightning McQueen character on it because it is loaded with salt, preservatives and other things that are not good for our bodies. I continue on and tell them we only eat homemade soup because it is made with real ingredients that help keep your body healthy so it can grow. They get it and NEVER give me a problem. They also know that that stuff is made of non-food, and that the company that makes it only cares about getting our money and not keeping us healthy. Honesty is the best policy.


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Old 08-11-2013, 06:19 AM
 
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DocSmo, a great resource for commercialism and childhood is a site called, "Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood".  They do wonderful work and would be a wonderful resource for your clients: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/


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Old 08-11-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

DocSmo, a great resource for commercialism and childhood is a site called, "Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood".  They do wonderful work and would be a wonderful resource for your clients: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/

 

 

Thanks for sharing that link. going to check it out! I think advertisement affects everybody particularly children.


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Old 09-09-2013, 06:29 PM
 
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We got rid of cable TV when DD was 2. They never really saw the stuff advertised.

 

We didn't buy or drink sodas until recently (DH and I have started drinking some low-sugar, natural sodas lately just "once in a while") so my kids didn't even really consider it an option. 

 

Their idea of a "treat" drink is juice. I buy it sparingly, as it is loaded with sugar, but I'd rather they consider that a treat drink than a cola. 


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Old 09-09-2013, 09:01 PM
 
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In regards to commercials, I have taught my kids that the purpose of advertising is to make you want something. As a viewer, you just have to be aware of what the marketers are trying to sell you.

 

Regarding your patients, I think you should encourage the whole family to move toward more water as the beverage we drink.  I don't know how to encourage people who aren't personally motivated to behave this way, but I'd start with the suggestion that one should purchase a stainless steel canteen for everyone in the family. Then fill it with water before you leave to go to a sports event, or anything else. I might contact the local sports teams and encourage them to discontinue the troublesome habit of having a snack and gatoraide break after every practice. 

 

Perhaps a spiel to the parents of your patients along the lines of "I want you to look at your life and habits, and see what changes you can make as a family that will benefit the health of all the members. As a suggestion, I'd like you to consider how many sports drinks, sodas, juices, and other sweetened beverages your family consumes in a week. Could you half the amount? Make them special occasion treats only? Eliminate all together?"

 

And, OP, I'd like to thank you for caring enough to seek out opinions.


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Old 09-22-2013, 02:15 AM
 
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We mute the TV when they come on.

 

We sometimes talked about how the advertiser is trying to manipulate the viewers & ask what the kids thought

 

Now that the kids are older, they (and I) often  mock the commercials and the different anxieties, fears, and hopes they are playing on

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Old 09-27-2013, 10:07 PM
 
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We don't buy it! They *do* get treat drinks occassionally. At a restaurant. Gatorade on occasion working in garden in heat for hours. On a road trip. In other homes. Occassionally just because. Its not "forbidden", its just not something we buy a lot.

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:09 PM
 
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Bottom line, you are the parent. Until they have money &/or independent transportation, YOU control the majority of what they get! Don't buy it & tell them why.

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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