Advertising to children is always a talking point in the media. Whether it’s junk food, or toys, the presumption is that children’s heads are turned by advertising. They’re watching more television, plus the increase in use of tablets and phones for programmes which often have advertising, means they’re seeing more and more products and offers put in front of them at an early age.
N has never seemed to be bothered by adverts on tv before. He’s never asked for toys he’s seen, or added items onto Christmas or birthday lists. Adverts are just something that were on tv or flicked past (maybe he takes after his dad and will just flick through channels whenever commercial breaks come on).
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He isn’t oblivious to merchandise in the shops though – while he had very few character or licenced toys, he did used to gawp longingly at the Paw Patrol toys or say he needed Peppa Pig figures. But he would be accepting of my saying no.
It turns out it was never toys that caught his eye. He seems to be a gadget addict instead. At home he loves using YouTube and watches that on the OH’s old Kindle Fire now my tablet has died. He’s also found a favourite game under the apps too so occasionally plays that. But otherwise, has never really shown an interest in other gadgets.
And it all seems to be down to televisions and friends at school.
The first mention was Alexa. And how we needed to get Alexa. N had seen them advertised as gifts (presumably at Christmas), and then they must have been mentioned at school, because he announced we needed one. I have debated, but I’m a cheapskate and it means I’d need to sort out subscriptions to music services (unless I continue with Amazon Prime which I’m presuming gives the access to music), as well as hoping our internet connection would be good enough. I wouldn’t want to spend loads on an [amazon_textlink asin=’B06Y65CLQY|B06XCM9LJ4′ text=’Echo’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bubbaandme-21|bubbandme04-20′ marketplace=’UK|US’ link_id=’c8081fac-5ebf-11e8-b780-1141d789e692′] to find that our wifi quality made it pointless.
The latest one was a little more surprising. N recommends that we need an [amazon_textlink asin=’B00XRMJHHA|B00H8XIFG8′ text=’X Hose ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bubbaandme-21|bubbandme04-20′ marketplace=’UK|US’ link_id=’f04a9a6d-5ec1-11e8-bfa9-edae6f5facdc’](one of those that extends. He was able to rattle off all the main features, as well as the price. Telling me that High Street tv changes the price regularly. And that it folds up really small for delivery. ‘We really need one of those mummy’. It seems he’s been watching High Street tv shopping channel when he gets up early mornings before children’s tv is on.
He’s also made another recommendation, a special paint roller, presumably from the same tv channel. It makes me laugh because he’s so convinced by the item, but he doesn’t seem too worried by us not buying his recommended items.
Thankfully he knows that when I say no to something in a shop, it means no. Although now he can count out his own money he will try and negotiate to buy things he sees in shops, and will also offer to buy items himself. I have to try and teach him to think about short vs long term gains and wants. He knows that in future he’ll want to buy or build a house, and he knows that he can make money when selling on his lambs and sheep, so he can see the value of not just buying everything he wants now.
Hopefully that understanding and having to think about what he spends his money on will help keep him financially on track in future. Although I fear that when tractors come into play, it might be a different matter.
Are your children an advertiser’s dream or are they savvy when it comes to being advertised to?
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