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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

TOY MAKERS AND PARENTS

 Look, I'm flying!

A snippet of conversation this weekend reminded me that I already had the pics for a post like this.
"Oooh", and I called out the name of a well known stuffed animal.
My young trendy friend made a a horizontal hand gesture that means in the US: cut it off/out. 
"Eh?" I was puzzled. 
"No more." 
"Really ?" 
"No, Kyle doesn't like Fluffy FiFi anymore."
"Why not?" I queried. " It was not that long ago that he loved that animal." 
"Because I heard Fefe say words that were not so nice." 
"Oh, I understand." I trusted my friend's judgment. I'm not up on the latest with how animals behave in stories and shows.
But this is what I like to say to the story and film makers, as well as to the makers of toys. 

 A very simple concept: children imitate!
cool shades like grandpa

Children imitate even cross-gender wise!
 This little 3-year old (5th grand child) kept grabbing my hat, till his mom got him his own! 
Then he wanted to be in the pic with Nana)

Haven't we had enough toys that lead to violence in boys?  
The boys of today are the men of tomorrow!!
So sad to see young preteen girls struggling with anorexia, because of a certain doll they were given. Don't excuse yourself by saying that the ones in which it happened were disturbed, and it was not the toy you invented. 
Your toy or show or writing helped steer innocent children in the direction of the  abyss. 
I know it is strong language, but nothing is sadder and more easy to prevent this by making toys that 
inspire to creativity
inspire to healthy fantasy
are fun and innocent
Especially the last. I think that some think that that is not possible, and they will be beat by the competition. What legacy do you want to leave? 
Being  a money-grabbing, greedy walk-over-dead-bodies toymaker, author or film maker, or one who is creative and inspired children to follow their dreams and become something beyond what their parents reached in life, without elbowing to the top?

When my oldest, who is now a mother herself, was in preschool (loooong time ago), she was a participant in a study to lengthen the attention span in preschool children. One activity was "washing rocks." So I was glad to see that not too long ago I saw a store that had a game "to paint rocks."


The best toys are not the pricey gadgets or the latest video/screen games (they don't inspire to creative thinking, but to follow directions!!) 
things we use in everyday life, like boxes (first pic), 
cloth, or things around the house, 
and which one sees in nature like rocks, pine cones, etc. 
MEANING it does not have to cost a lot of money to occupy a child

Parents even have a bigger responsibility. I'm the last one to say that that is easy. It's a very complex task. Something may be okay as a toy, 
but then when it appears on  TV or a DVD, they can take a total different direction with it than the original toy/figure.
The responsibility to keep saying "NO" to toys that lead to destroying  ingenuity and creativity. 
To be a watchdog for any writing or viewing material that is inappropriate for kids. 
Someone labeled PG13, but you are the one who has to check if it's really 13
Don't roll your eyes and say, "I don't have time to check everything they're watching or with whom they are playing." 
As long as your child lives at home, he or she lives by YOUR rules. But are you setting the boundaries?
A child may scream "I hate you", but in their twenties they may say, "Thank you for not..."


Try to ask yourself  "what is BEHIND this game, what is the consequence of this game?
But EVERYONE's kids has "them." You are not everyone. Have some spine. Love does not mean that you give your child everything they want, or even that you help them belong to the "popular" crowd. Anyone who has become well known AND had stamina, had to give up something "everyone" did or had. 
Love means that you help them develop beyond where you have come - in any aspect of life!

This may sting a little or even a lot, but I hope you can see that I am an advocate of the children!

8 comments:

California Girl said...

I agree with you. My MIL, with whom I seldom agree, remarked quite often, when the boys were young, that it was "a pity children no longer play outside in the woods as we did when I was a chiild." She lamented their reliance on electronic games & such. Luckily, we moved them to the mountains where they were in a situation they had to be outdoors much of the time because their peers were outdoors: bike riding, skiing, snowboard, hiking, etc. My sons did have an Xbox and it did occupy them while we live in SoCal. Once we moved to the White Mtns, they really & truly lost interest. TV was always compelling but they never had one in their room. They had a radio/stereo/CD player. Music is good for the soul. Even today, they have simple cell phones which only text or send pics. No smart phones for them unless they pay for them. I raised them to be tightwads so I don't see that happening either!

Stephanie V said...

My 3 grandchildren are all non-TV/video game kids. They have wonderful imaginations and pretty good attention spans. Books are their treasures. Not to say they aren't in the techno world - very much so. Just not the commercial TV world.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh yes Jeannette I could identify with this post - lovely photographs by the way.
What always amuses me is parent who buy really expensive toys for their tiny tots and then find that the box is more exciting to the child than the contents. My son, when a toddler, used to play for hours stacking and unstacking all my baking tins.

jeannette said...

California Girl,
Happy to hear that your sons were able to adjust to spend time outdoors (and kids do much more than adults sometimes give them credit for).
I know it's hard on working moms in the city to come up with safe and creative ideas.

Stephanie,
Wholesome parenting rolls over like a snowball to the next generation! Great to hear this:)

Weaver,
Yes, my kids did some of that, till they were old enough to bake a cake themselves. What many parents don't realize that what for them is "work" is for the child "play."

Clytie said...

Oh yeah. Amen. And they're taking art classes out of the schools here due to budget restrictions. Cookie cutter 'education' only. Kids no longer have the opportunity to be creative. Who stops to think that it's the creativity of kids that brings about the inventions of tomorrow!

Sigh.

jeannette said...

Clytie,
Oh, I really dislike it when I see kids' creativity going down around 8 y. old, because they are "mainstreamed."

Some are able to survive the cookie cutter onslaught and creativity surfaces in college time, like the ones who put google together, and facebook (although I have some "issues" with the latter one).

luluvillage said...

Absolutely, boundaries are being overlooked continuously, I suppose since everyone assumes there is someone else who is going to provide them. But as you say, when the kids are living at home, the parents are the ones setting the scene/ rules/ boundaries/ attitude - all of the things that are so precious, and most of the time are intangible, yet paramount to a development of a whole person, a human.
Thanks for stopping by my blog,
And keep painting!

jeannette said...

Lulu,
What you are saying should be so normal, but in so many families the parents allow themselves to be intimidated by other peoples attitudes, boundaries, etc., while they know it's not good for their kids!
Thanks for your comment!
I definitely will keep painting:)