There are many ways in which parents can proactively guide their children through the complex maze of mainstream culture. One great way to begin would be to lessen their own materialistic impulses and thereby set an example to their children. Parents can also deliberate and negotiate with their children whenever the latter ‘nag’ or ‘whine’ to get a desired product. Winning over the trust of children goes a long way in making them agree to parents’ decisions. This trust is achieved by enacting fundamental responsibilities of parenthood such as: spending quality time with children, showing genuine love and affection, creating an appropriate atmosphere at home, teaching them values and virtues that matter, etc. Parents can also teach children the distinction between the make-believe world of advertising and reality. These are valuable investments that parents have to make if they are to guide their children away from material obsessions. This will take time, energy and require a strong commitment from both parents. If parents themselves don’t uphold these basic responsibilities then it is unreasonable of them to expect the same from corporations, schools and government authorities.
Sharon Beder, Marketing to Children, ‘A Community View’, Caring for Children in the Media Age, Papers from a national conference, edited by John Squires and Tracy Newlands, New College Institute for Values Research, Sydney, 1998, pp. 101-111.
George Andrews Moolekary, Should advertising aimed at children be banned? <http://darsanaielts.blogspot.com/2011/01/should-advertising-aimed-at-children-be.html>
Dan Cook, Lunchbox Hegemony? Kids & the Marketplace, Then & Now, August 20, 2001, retrieved from <http://www.alternet.org/story/11370/lunchbox_hegemony_kids_%26_the_marketplace%2C_then_%26_now>