A year after the worldwide smash ‘Frozen’ hit cinemas, I have finally got round to previewing it for my just-turned-3 year olds. After all, it seems that everyone has seen it, and so many of the our playdate friends are avid fans. However, much as I liked it, and as much as I am thrilled that it has done so well, BabyGirl and BabyBoy won’t be watching it anytime soon.
With the Easter holidays over, it’s back to pre-school. And that made cast my mind back over the holidays and festivals we have celebrated at preschool.
Among them was….Valentine’s Day.
The Spice Girls. Insanely popular in the 90s. ‘Girl power’ etc etc.
I was still growing up when the Spice Girls burst onto the scene. And goodness, there was enough going on to freak parents out.
Those catchy, catchy songs with lyrics that you’d really rather not hear your child singing along to: Continue reading
Adding to the list of ‘stupid things adults have said to my kids recently’ is the line of questioning a dear friend subjected my daughter to.
‘ BabyGirl, do you have a boyfriend?’
‘BabyGirl, do you want a boyfriend?’
‘BabyGirl, are there any nice boys in your playgroup?’
Here’s the thing, I’m guessing it was not when you were a baby. Yet I recently saw this item of clothing being marketed to the 0 – 24 month set.
Let’s let that sink in for a moment.
In 1998 a pretty wholesome-looking, double-denim-wearing Irish girl-band released a song called ‘C’est La Vie’. The accompanying music video showed the four band members dancing around a field with a puppy while they tease a teenage boy. It all seemed pretty innocent, if somewhat nonsensical, and became a hit, particularly with tweens and young teens.
Fast-forward 15 years, and this song has been confirmed as being all about sex.
Whenever you hear a parent criticising the sexualisation of children in the media, or pretty much saying anything critical about marketing for children, you won’t have long to wait before you’ll hear the very snappy retort – “if you didn’t buy it they wouldn’t sell it”. Individual parental responsibility – an argument exquisite in its simplicity and condemnation. An argument which on one hand acknowledges the potential dangers of marketing but which on the other sees absolutely no role for collective responsibility. An argument which measures the collective outcomes in terms of individual success – good parents and bad parents. An argument which tells you that the problems you’ve got with the sexualising of children are really problems with your own failure to adequately insulate your children. But it is a seductive argument, even for parents because it allows us all to wag our fingers at the bad parent’s moral inferiority and simultaneously congratulate ourselves. No matter how badly you’re doing there will always be a parent failing more spectacularly than you.
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You know you’re tired when you start writing a post…and then fall asleep before you remember to finish it. However, I’m sure it’s still Tuesday somewhere in the world, so here’s this week’s Ten Thoughts Tuesday post:
1. This week, Victoria’s Secret has popped up on my radar.
2. Now, when I have visited the US (as a college student and older) in the past I have loved stocking up on VS stuff, which is difficult to get hold of outside the US.
3. But this week there has been a flurry of controversy over the ‘Pink’ line and the ‘Bright Young Things’ campaign.
‘All the research shows that warm but firm parenting has the best outcome for kids, and often what parents are doing is the warm but not the firm.’ – Dr Emma Rush, ethicist
From a very interesting (and sadly all too true) article by Deborah Snow, ‘Stealing the Innocence of Children’.