LEARNING TO SAY “NO” TO YOUR CHILDREN
(P1) These days, kids have more demands than ever.
(P2) Never before have children been MARKETED to more AGGRESSIVELY than they are now. Never before have parents allowed marketers so many direct routes of access to their kids – social media, TV, the internet, even schools and EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES. We are increasingly UNWILLING to pay for content, so ADVERTISERS are STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE to FOOT THE BILL – and in return, we allow them to turn our kids into consumers.
(P3) As a parent, this BREAKS MY HEART.
(P4) Our kids are more than consumers.
(P5) I don’t like the idea of multimillion dollar advertising campaigns aimed at MANIPULATING my daughter’s desires. I don’t like companies using cartoon characters to sell unhealthy food, or gender STEREOTYPES to sell toys.
(P6) The solution has to come from parents.
(P7) First, cut off the advertising at its source – especially important as we head into the holiday season. Be a crazy parent and shelter your child away from as many ads as you can.
(P8) For older kids, install an ad blocker on your web browser and then encourage them to financially support the sites, artists, and media they value. The goal isn’t to isolate them from pop culture or media altogether – that would be tragic – but to allow them to be aware of what they’re INGESTING.
(P9) Second, do not give in to your children’s TANTRUMS in stores.
(P10) Try to prevent this situation altogether. Before you enter a store, explain what you are there to buy. Tell your kids they can look at things, but that they will not be taking anything home.
(P13) I think that kids want limits. They want PREDICTABILITY. They want to trust that you can make good decisions for them until they’re able to make them for themselves.
(P14) Choosing to SWIM AGAINST THE TIDE of a consumer economy isn’t easy.
(P15) Parents, it’s OK to say no. It’s also OK to say: not yet.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you agree with the writer of the article that children are exposed too much to advertising and marketing?
- Do you think that raising children has become too expensive?
- How would you control your child’s demands?
- Have holidays become too commercial?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Extracurricular activities
- Step up to the plate
- Foot the bill
- Break your heart
- Stick to
- Give in
- Swim against the tide