Victory: Giving Them What They Want

The above picture is being featured by Famous Footwear, along with several glossy commercials featuring mothers who have made their children blissfully happy by presenting them with their ABSOLUTE FAVORITE shoes!

Yes. Really.

And after said mother presents them, the mother has a close-up (a la Olympics?) with a huge “Victory” sign in the background.

No, seriously.

I object to this method of advertising on a series of fronts.

1) Children do not need expensive shoes just for school. In five weeks, there will be juice/soda/food/gum on at least one of them, and dirt all over the other. Get them several durable pairs that might last until the next growth spurt.

2) No child is going to go ballistic enough for any parent to feel like they’ve actually won anything. In fact, they will find the one thing to complain about.

3) Apparently the industry has exhausted every effort to conive and persuade children into desiring their manufactured objects by using colors and sparkles. So now they are going after the parents using “guilt psychology”. If you want to be an awesome and legend-wait-for-it-dary parent, then you must buy your children the most awesome stuff!

4) As one who married a single dad, there’s more than a little bias that moms are the only ones brave enough to shop for children. It’s a similar argument made by dads enraged by the Proctor and Gamble commercials thanking moms for sacrificing for their Olympic hopefuls. There’s a great post here that discusses the debate on that commercial. The fact is that I’d rather walk on flaming coals than endure another back to school shopping nightmare and/or witness other people’s experience. This (final) year, I was guilted into being a support system for the poor guy taking our senior shopping. Never again. He’s my hero just for going, nevermind dealing with the ultimate teenage negotiator/fit-thrower.

5) This reason is the real meat and potatoes. Parents, you do not need to seek self-value by pleasing your children. Unless, of course, youwant to reap the effects of that when your child wants a Porsche for their 16th birthday, or when they want to move in with you after college and get a weekly allowance. C’mon, people! Children are not made happy by things! You will ultimately not achieve anything, certainly not victory, by buying stuff for your kids.

Defy the media’s twisted money/retail-centered focus that tells you they know what’s best for your child. Be the parent. After all, you are the one that’s raising them.

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