Saturday, October 27, 2012


Okay, we all agree that we're tired of political advertisements, but as soon as the election is over we'll be swamped with Christmas ads. Some of those are already showing up.

But ads aren't only a nuisance, they can be dangerous to children.

I once read about a scientific study that showed most young kids believe everything they see in ads is true. Because of being bombarded with commercials, children not only want the products, but they accept the social stereotypes portrayed as accurate.

And they may even try to demand the products they see advertised and loose respect for their parents if they don't get them.

Of course we know too much watching of TV, videos, and playing games can desensitize kids to violence and cut down on the time spent in social communication.

So what can parents do about all these problems?

Obviously the first thing is to cut down on the time children, especially young ones, are exposed to the media. When parents work and have others to care for it can be difficult to make time for family activities, but it's important to make that a priority.

And when kids are watching TV parents can make it a habit to comment on the untrustworthiness of commercials. Parents might even borrow their kids gaming devices, play a game or two, then discuss what's good and bad about them.

And while we're getting all the political ads maybe we should remind ourselves not to believe everything we see.

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