Here are my first thoughts/reactions after watching this movie:
This movie taught me four key points to improve my work with kids and families.
What impact did this movie have on the way I saw my childhood?
After watching this film, what advice could you offer new parents?
The multibillion-dollar youth marketing industry leverages neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology to target American children, despite government control or public outcry. One of the most powerful consumer groups in the world (Barbaro & Earp, 2008). In my opinion, this documentary is an eye-opening concept that could be useful for philanthropists, philanthropists, and parents with children. Cradle to grave—the central theme in this documentary—offers insight into an evil and unwelcoming world. The growth and evolution of childhood consumer culture throughout history is showcased in this documentary, starting from the late 1940s and continuing through today. Purchasing power drives revenue for the children’s market. Unethical marketing and unhappiness in parents are becoming issues in corporate settings, spurring marketers into crafting their own solutions.
Lessons can be taken away from this documentary. The manner in which children influence their parents to shop can be observed first. When children beg repeatedly, what typically results is that parents buy them the things they desire. Parents do not feel the strategy of new marketers who want to sell products and turn them into lifelong consumers. Perceived “cool” value in society is an important aspect of marketing, not just the product being sold. Markets appeal to young consumers by catering to their natural impulses, and advertising accordingly. Throughout this film, it showcases how much parents care when they cannot provide what their kids desire. Left behind feels like they have left their child.
In modern times of globalization, consumerism driven by economics takes precedence worldwide. Marketing and advertising have clear, negative effects on the target audience, particularly children. More time and resources are often needed when trying to influence adults than when attempting similar tactics with kids because kids are easily influenced. I learned an important aspect of the broader concept of child consumption through this documentary. Entwined into society, consumerism takes hold in young minds early on. Manipulated children often lead to their parents buying products due to marketing tactics.
Watching this documentary made me wonder if parents can successfully battle the marketing influence and teach their kids the truth about daily life with this illness as shown in the documentary. The optimistic results were not there for both questions. To help their children and make them understand the impact of manipulation forces, in my opinion, parents should limit their child’s exposure. While parents cannot shield their children from society, they can offer support by including alternative paths toward happiness other than consumerism. Open communication with children, establishing this can help improve the situation.
In current times, hyper-parenting is growing in popularity. The documentary showcases the ways children once played freely in the city, built their own fantasy worlds through games and made it back home before dark (Harper, 2009). The current scenario has been marked by a major change. Supervised games, playdates, and organized sports are all that children have now. The growing popularity of video games and existing fears of violence like kidnappings and school shootings are causing all this. All of these measures mean that children stay inside. The documentary achieved showing the significance of free play and how it helps them thrive in society. Supervision is shown to have major changes when it transforms into a game, particularly for children. This documentary makes an important point about the divide between organized play and free play that is often overlooked by modern children; emphasizing the critical value of unstructured time in development. She might be unconscious of the fact that a considerable part of her young life is absent.
Today, allowing children to play with just a regular baseball bat and ball in an open court is not enough for most parents. In order to ensure their children keep pace, parents have them join accredited teams with guided participation. But that’s not fun. Children cannot play independently or express their creativity due to hyper-parenting. You are always under surveillance and controlled. Organic, free play encourages children to recognize the value of collaboration while fostering good communication skills through their experiences in the natural world. Free play contributes to creativity, problem-solving, and personal growth while teaching conflict resolution and developing interpersonal and social skills. This way, children learn. Their parents will always interfere too much if they want their children to learn these skills on their own. The film conveyed that free play has a precise role in the growth of characters. It allows them to be their true selves without adult judgment getting in the way.
When it was observed that children who were ignored in open environments and underperformed in organized sports actually excelled when free to play, this showed the importance of free play for children. it was done. With adult supervision, the children had a fun experience. Even those in charge of organized sports played more risqué during free play, but not in supervised matches. In this structured environment, kids who make a single error often face criticism from their parents, coaches, and fans. Once structured and regulated, a game is not actually a game anymore.
Children who are not allowed to engage in unplanned play may be at a higher risk of developing Attention Deficit Disorder. Not allowing kids access to freeplay could cause mental health issues like anxiety and depression while also encouraging aggression. Supporting social play of children teaches them to be self-sustained and independent with others. Through playing in nature, kids can teach themselves important adaptability and agility skills. Of the children surveyed, only 5% were found to benefit from structured play in terms of developing their creative impulses.
Barbaro, A. & Earp, J. (2008). Children’s consumption: The commercialization of childhood [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJtX0Xj77qw
Harper, S. (2009). Adventures of a Lost Childhood [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehFBcuUr_Zs
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