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« All creatures great and small | Main | To sleep, perchance to dream - NOT »

October 06, 2006

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Mad Hatter

Hi Catherine,
I'm sorry but I am just getting to this post now--long weekends, teething, head colds and the like have slowed me to a near standstill. Thanks for the link.

As for this issue, gol darn it, I wish I knew what to think. I have spent much time thinking about how I will deal with my daughter and the news. My husband and I are news-hounds and we do not want to shelter Miss M from the ugliness of this world. To do so, for us, would feel wrong. It would give her the sense that she is somehow entitled to the first-world privlege she is lucky to enjoy. Having spouted all that all that high horse crapola, I will now qualify my words to say that I plan to expose her to news stories within reason and with a sense of her developing understanding of the world and with much qualification and reasoning, debate and dialogue.

I have not yet thought about the evils of Bratz dolls and the like (although my friend and I did a little pink pounding of the Barbie shopping cart in a post a week or so ago). Miss M will be in day care sometime in the next year so I had better damn well get my head around all this soon. I don't think I can shelter her from slut culture but I do think that I have some power to intervene: 1) by explaining why I think some toys/clothes are less good than others, 2) by trying to set an example in the way I lead my own life (which is hard and not always do-able and a very human untertaking), 3) by telling her that she must purchase anything I do not approve of by using her allowance or by getting a job (this solution is obviously one for when she is older) and 4) by trusting her--by trusting that her good judgement will catch up with her eventually. When I think of some of the toys I craved with a ravenous desire when I was a child and when I think of my stance on those toys now I realize that I did learn from the example of the no-nonsense women who paved the way for me.

I realize these strategies are cheap and may sound hollow. I also realize that they may or may not work and that I may look back on my ideal parent-of-a-toddler self and laugh--the same way I think rather fondly and patronizingly of my pregnant self now that I am a mother.

Yet another long-winded comment from this bag-o-wind.

kittenpie

Bah ha ha. I just posted about this yesterday, and now here it is here too. I was right - I AM reading about it a lot right now!

ali

did you see the toy that my mother bought for my 5-year-old??

MY MOTHER bought this:

http://www.alimartell.com/?p=1321

yikes! what i failed to post, that we discovered later, is that she had tatooes on her nipples. yes ma'am. goos quality toys for kids these days...

haley-o

Wow, that doll is appalling. We're up against a lot, us mothers--angry music, violent movies and commercials, violent pictures on front pages of newspapers (on every corner -- the image of the Dawson killer on the front page of major Toronto newspapers laughing and holding guns pissed me right off). We have to stick together....

Jen

Ugh. Sex being used to market to children? Bras for 6 year olds? WTF?! I agree that it is a fine balance between sheltering our children and educating them. It is up to us as parents to show an example that reflects the values we want them to have. The world is an ugly place...but they are going to be living in it. It is up to us to prepare them and discuss this with them. And then to trust them.

LAVENDULA

hi catherine,
i couldn't agree more.what's up with those bratz dolls?and that one is a baby/toddler.does anyone see my toddler running around dressed like that?heck,no.every single thing in the media seems to be sexualized now.and they just keep pushing it on even younger girls.on babies even.it just ticks me off so bad.
and those poor amish families.but you know i read some quote that said how they(the amish)don't equate sorrow and sadness with hate.it's a beautiful thing to be able to so freely and sincerely forgive isn't it.

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