A Response to the film Consuming Kids

By Elaina Daniels

Be wary parents, because they are coming for your children.  They are coming very well equipped.  Marketing, exploitation, manipulation, materialism.  These are just a few of the words in the film, Consuming Kids, to describe what is being done to our children just about every second of every day.

I feel dirty and used after watching this film.  I feel sick.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have realized the extent to which our children are exposed to desperate marketing tactics by businesses eager to exploit their buying power.  In this hour long video, my eyes really got opened.

The heart of a business is its ability to be able to market and sell.  Who better to market to than children?  Children are our future, after all.  According to the film, there are more children in our society than even at the height of the baby boom.  There is a huge pool of buying power out there, and businesses want their share of it.

They want it so badly that they are willing to do anything to get it.  Did you know that some companies have people who do nothing but observe children?  According to Consuming Kids, these people do nothing but follow kids as they walk through the grocery store, eat their meals, or even take a BATH!  All of this effort to find out every single detail of what children like and want.  The better they know their prey, the better they can attract them in for the kill, apparently.  That’s exactly how I believe that children are looked at, as prey.

There is literally nothing that isn’t marketed to the hilt.  I feel a little paranoid after this film, because from birth, our children are being inundated with things businesses want them to buy.  When you buy diapers for your child, often they are covered with characters.  Want a binky for your baby?  How about a toy cell phone?  Have you ever paid attention to the movies that your kids are watching?  Look for product placement in them. I guarantee you will find it.

Companies that sell “educational products”,  like Baby Einstein, which has had a massive following for several years now, have no research to support their products’ educational value for children.

It’s about more than just marketing to our children, which is unsettling enough.  Children are losing things of great importance.  They are losing the ability to be creative.  The toys that they do get their parents to buy for them leave little to the imagination.  The story is already in place, and according to Consuming Kids, the children merely “regurgitate” the story back, instead of inventing anything of their own.  Our children are also becoming more and more obese.  Playing outside has become a sad thing of the past.  Instead, our children are sitting on the couch, eating the Pop Tarts that they saw on The Gilmore Girls, listening to their iPod while texting on their phone, and chatting on Facebook.

The worst part?  In an effort to take the government influence out of our lives, commercials and marketing were deregulated back in the 1980’s.  That means that big business has access to your children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That leaves a nearly impossible task in front of all parents.  We have to try to protect our children from the onslaught on our own.  When will the legislators wake up and help us protect our kids?

Be wary parents, because they are coming for your children.  They are coming very well equipped.  Marketing, exploitation, manipulation, materialism.  These are just a few of the words in the film, Consuming Kids, to describe what is being done to our children just about every second of every day.

I feel dirty and used after watching this film.  I feel sick.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have realized the extent to which our children are exposed to desperate marketing tactics by businesses eager to exploit their buying power.  In this hour long video, my eyes really got opened.

The heart of a business is its ability to be able to market and sell.  Who better to market to than children?  Children are our future, after all.  According to the film, there are more children in our society than even at the height of the baby boom.  There is a huge pool of buying power out there, and businesses want their share of it.

They want it so badly that they are willing to do anything to get it.  Did you know that some companies have people who do nothing but observe children?  According to Consuming Kids, these people do nothing but follow kids as they walk through the grocery store, eat their meals, or even take a BATH!  All of this effort to find out every single detail of what children like and want.  The better they know their prey, the better you can attract them in for the kill, apparently.  That’s exactly how I believe that children are looked at, as prey.

There is literally nothing that isn’t marketed to the hilt.  I feel a little paranoid after this film, because from birth, our children are being inundated with things businesses want them to buy.  When you buy diapers for your child, often they are covered with characters.  Want a binky for your baby?  How about a toy cell phone?  Have you ever paid attention to the movies that your kids are watching?  Look for product placement in them. I guarantee you will find it.

Even the things that we have been trained to accept as educational,  have no evidence to support them, say experts in the film. Products like Baby Einstein, which has had a massive following for several years now, have no research to support their products educational value for children.

It’s about more than just marketing to our children, which is unsettling enough.  Children are losing things of great importance.  They are losing the ability to be creative.  The toys that they do get their parents to buy for them leave little to the imagination.  The story is already in place, and according to Consuming Kids, the children merely “regurgitate” the story back, instead of inventing anything of their own.  Our children are also becoming more and more obese.  Playing outside has become a sad thing of the past.  Instead, our children are sitting on the couch, eating the Pop Tarts that they saw on The Gilmore Girls, listening to their iPod while texting on their phone, and chatting on Facebook.

The worst part?  In an effort to take the government influence out of our lives, commercials and marketing were deregulated back in the 1980’s.  That means that big business has access to your children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That leaves a nearly impossible task in front of all parents.  We have to try to protect our children from the onslaught on our own.  When will the legislators wake up and help us protect our kids?

 

Be wary parents, because they are coming for your children.  They are coming very well equipped.  Marketing, exploitation, manipulation, materialism.  These are just a few of the words in the film, Consuming Kids, to describe what is being done to our children just about every second of every day.

I feel dirty and used after watching this film.  I feel sick.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have realized the extent to which our children are exposed to desperate marketing tactics by businesses eager to exploit their buying power.  In this hour long video, my eyes really got opened.

The heart of a business is its ability to be able to market and sell.  Who better to market to than children?  Children are our future, after all.  According to the film, there are more children in our society than even at the height of the baby boom.  There is a huge pool of buying power out there, and businesses want their share of it.

They want it so badly that they are willing to do anything to get it.  Did you know that some companies have people who do nothing but observe children?  According to Consuming Kids, these people do nothing but follow kids as they walk through the grocery store, eat their meals, or even take a BATH!  All of this effort to find out every single detail of what children like and want.  The better they know their prey, the better you can attract them in for the kill, apparently.  That’s exactly how I believe that children are looked at, as prey.

There is literally nothing that isn’t marketed to the hilt.  I feel a little paranoid after this film, because from birth, our children are being inundated with things businesses want them to buy.  When you buy diapers for your child, often they are covered with characters.  Want a binky for your baby?  How about a toy cell phone?  Have you ever paid attention to the movies that your kids are watching?  Look for product placement in them. I guarantee you will find it.

Even the things that we have been trained to accept as educational,  have no evidence to support them, say experts in the film. Products like Baby Einstein, which has had a massive following for several years now, have no research to support their products educational value for children.

It’s about more than just marketing to our children, which is unsettling enough.  Children are losing things of great importance.  They are losing the ability to be creative.  The toys that they do get their parents to buy for them leave little to the imagination.  The story is already in place, and according to Consuming Kids, the children merely “regurgitate” the story back, instead of inventing anything of their own.  Our children are also becoming more and more obese.  Playing outside has become a sad thing of the past.  Instead, our children are sitting on the couch, eating the Pop Tarts that they saw on The Gilmore Girls, listening to their iPod while texting on their phone, and chatting on Facebook.

The worst part?  In an effort to take the government influence out of our lives, commercials and marketing were deregulated back in the 1980’s.  That means that big business has access to your children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That leaves a nearly impossible task in front of all parents.  We have to try to protect our children from the onslaught on our own.  When will the legislators wake up and help us protect our kids?

 

Elaina Daniels is a 13 year educator, who had taught at the elementary/middle school level for all of those years.  She has taught all subjects, but her passion is Reading.  She has two children, aged 9 and 7.  Her oldest son was diagnosed with autism.  Elaina lives on a farm in Southwest Missouri with her husband of 11 years. Together, they raise children, dogs, and cattle.  
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One Response to “A Response to the film Consuming Kids”

Thank you!
I also watched the film…I was not surprised as I was aware of this insidious marketing that has been going on for many many years…but I was saddened. Yes, these companies will try anything to sell their products and they will invade the privacy of our homes via TV, computer, etc.
What is the objective of these companies? To turn our children into super-consumers who care only about themselves and the stuff they want NOW!
So what can parents do to prevent or minimize the influence of these marketing geniuses?
1. Turn off the TV!
2. Spend time with your young children…reading, crafting, cooking, walking, hiking, fishing, skating, dreaming, talking, listening.
3. Don’t buy more STUFF…for yourselves or your children…unless you really need something. And, when you do buy something, talk about what is needed and why and, if possible, buy second-hand and generic, without all the characters and hype emblazoned all over.
4. Monitor your child’s computer use (I’m sure most parents do already)…many sites have ads popping up all over…children are easily influenced.
5. Be consistent and strong when it comes to purchases…don’t buy because your child says that “everyone at school has this”.

I appreciate the opportunity that Summit Series for Families offered so that I could see this important film.
And I love the review they did of my book, Show Me How! There’s nothing like reading a story to your child or sitting next to your child at the kitchen table, doing a simple arts and crafts activity or working together in the kitchen, preparing an easy recipe…this strengthens the parent-child connection…something we need to do if we expect our children to listen to our counsel over that of these marketing gurus!

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