This weekend I participated in a viewing and panel discussion on the documentary Consuming Kids. It was amazing. And frightening. A documentary I think every parent and educator should watch. The way the modern day marketing machine preys on our kids from birth on is mind boggling – literally wanting to steal their imaginations. You can read more here.

While the information is indeed scary, I believe there are things we can do as parents to help combat the messages being sent to our children. We can spend more time together as families talking, playing, working and just being. We can turn off the t.v. and the computer and give our kids time to explore, build, and play with their own imaginations. We can teach our kids to be makers and to create their own beauty thereby lessening the message that fulfillment and beauty comes in the form of a purchase. We can teach our children to dissect the messages they do get thereby diminishing the impact. We can model self appreciation by speaking out loud our own appreciations for ourselves. And we can surround ourselves with a community of people who have our best interests in mind.

There is an organization called Center for Commercial Free Childhood which is helping people organize screenings. http://www.commercialexploitation.org/ Because I believe if we spread the word we can make change and give our kids the childhood they need and deserve to live a happy, satisfying life.