Parents, please read these articles

I encourage parents to read these two articles: The end of innocence: The cost of sexualizing kids and Sexualizing kids: No child left behind — and fighting back.

Sadly, this is not just a teen problem:

Even toddlers in promotional posters wear skimpy clothes, vampy looks and makeup. At home later, the children will likely watch TV. Little ones, 2 to 11, average 32 hours a week…. During those hours, they’ll drink in ads for hair products and teen-siren TV shows, makeup and technology, much of it couched as “hot” or “sexy.” …[Other examples include] Vogue covers featuring small girls made up and posed like grown women, thongs and push-up padded bras for children as young as 6, Walmart’s line of 70 make-up products for girls 6 to 12 [and] skinnier-than-life Barbies targeted toward 3-year-olds. …[N]early a third of girls' clothing sizes 6 to 14 is “sexy.”

This angers me, but kids are being exposed to it, so parents need to understand and help their kids develop healthy attitudes.

Beyond highlighting the problem, the articles offer excellent info and advice, e.g.:

  • “While saying no is a natural parental instincts, he says the optimal approach is to help their child understand why a certain TV show or piece of clothing is not OK. ‘You’d be surprised at how reasonable children can be when rules are accompanied by an explanation,’ he says. ‘Children are always learning. If they’re not learning from their mothers or fathers, they are going to learn from other sources.’”
  • “Thomsen thinks it’s vital that a young girl hears that their fathers think she’s a lovely, wonderful person. ‘That’s feedback that will maybe make her feel strong and resistant to other influences.’”
  • “she’s also guiding them through a process of analyzing things critically. "What do you think they’re trying to sell?” she asks when a model runs her fingers through her luxurious hair for a shampoo commercial. ‘Is it just shampoo?’"
  • “What receives praise matters, too. Instead of telling a child she’s smart or beautiful, he recommends praising traits like how nurturing she was to her doll or how hard she worked on her term paper.”

Posted by James on Thursday, September 22, 2011