I was out shopping for a birthday gift for N's friend and I spotted an Elsa bag. What? You don't know Elsa? Elsa from Frozen ? Don't let N hear you say that, she wouldn't think much of you.
N has been in love with Elsa for some time now. She sings Let it Go till the rest of us beg her to stop, sleeps with her Elsa quilt and an Elsa cushion and has made an Elsa collage that she's stuck onto her cupboard. I have nothing against the Frozen girl. I loved the film as much as N. More importantly I shall be forever grateful to her for ridding (well almost) N of her Pink obsession.
Blue-Green is the new pink, ever since Elsa came along.
Anyway so when I saw this slingbag I thought I just had to pick it up for N. But then something made me stop. I mean, why was I getting all excited? Why on earth was I behaving like a nine-year-old? Wasn't it my place to think whether N really needed the bag at all? Which of course, she didn't.
If you're a parent and have been in my place you know why we do it - why we go to Mc Donald's and eat happy meal after happy meal and demolish our diets, why we buy Spideman bags and Chhota Bheem bed spreads, even when our kids aren't begging for them - all for that smile on their faces.
And then there are days when we complain about the obsession and the cost and about how marketing companies make children a target of their strategies. They are simply doing their jobs, though some amount of social responsibility wouldn't hurt.
The kids are of course just being kids.
So then it has to be us who has to put on the brakes, even at the cost of that dear smile from our little one, for it is but transitory. I know I'm stating the obvious but I'm doing it because I need to hear me say it.
We have it tougher than our parents who had fewer choices and didn't have to struggle with these dilemmas. I wish I could summon my mom's classic don't-be-silly look, the one she would have given me, had I asked for something like this - the best ever antidote to smart marketing strategies.
Labels: kids and consumerism, marketing, Parenting