This is really an extended comment that I felt I wanted to write after reading a post about Consuming Kids from Making of a Montessori Mum.
I'm so glad that she wrote about this topic because I find it is a very challenging one. Before L was born I had strict ideas about toys and what I wanted to expose her to. I was very firm on the fact that I didn't want her to have anything that was branded or had advertising on it. Well that may be easy to do if you live in a bubble! I forgot to factor in gifts from friends and relatives and the fact the she has to leave the house at some point!
As L has gotten older I've tried to keep her away from most things but she hasn't been kept away from everything. I find in some ways my husband is my worst enemy. He doesn't have the same views on TV watching as I do and if he has gotten up early with L (letting me sleep in, bliss!) I have come downstairs to see them watching Thomas and In the Night Garden and all sorts of things that make me feel completely guilty for taking that extra hour of sleep. I've asked him time and again to not put those programs on but at times I feel like a warden. It's not just him though it's all of society that is on his side it seems.
Making of a Montessori Mum talks about having felt a bit silly sometimes for trying to stick to her guns. I feel tired. It's a constant battle going against the grain.
Having said all of that I do feel that in the most part we have been successful. My husband is coming round and L's TV watching is down to only the Jungle Book. (I had to give in somewhere). She has one Iggle Piggle ball and In the Night Garden book that she got from an aunt and some Peppa Pig books that were given to her for her birthday. That is it when it comes to brand names. Needless to say she loves them both. I don't feel that it's right to take these away from her as they were gifts and I don't really think they are doing her any harm. Most of our relatives know about my approach to parenting and consult me before buying any gifts.
When we go round to most of L's friends houses I can see that we are certainly not the norm. Almost every toy is from one TV show or another and I can see where my friends have bought in and sold out to commercialism.
One way that I have gone about slowly introducing L to the mass media market is by sometimes taking her down the toy isle when we go shopping. I let her touch and look at any toy she wants and talk to her about them. When she has explored them we put them back. At the moment she is completely happy with this. When she sees Iggle Piggle on tops and clothing she points him out but is perfectly happy to move on. Thankfully Thomas is still just a train.
I don't feel bad for taking such a "radical" approach I feel good (and quite tired!). As you can see by my past posts most of L's things are home made and she loves them just as much or more than her Iggle Piggle ball. I'm happy to say she also has a red ball and she plays with that one just as much. As she gets older I know that I will be more strict, not less and will try and face all of the challenges that the global mass media try and bombard us with head on.
I am happy and comforted to know that even though I don't have a lot of support from society I have lots of kindred spirits in the bloggers that I follow and I take strength from them daily : )
Magic Kingdom day 4
11 hours ago