The truth is these shops would not have these products available if there was not a market for it. Parents need to be careful not to push children into something they, as an adult, would want. When a child shows some interest in a particular area or displays a potential talent or gift, some parents play out through their children dreams, desires and aspirations they would like fulfilled in their own life. If the parent wishes they could have been a talented singer, footballer or beauty queen, they may begin to push the child towards that vicariously living their life through them. An example of this can be found at the Mail Online. Their article is entitled: “Pint-sized pageant queens, pushy parents and tantrums galore: Toddlers and Tiaras is back - and so are two of its biggest stars” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2003969/Pint-sized-pageant-queens-pushy-parents-tantrums-galore-Toddlers-Tiaras--biggest-stars.html#ixzz1PXhJ2agE) Little girls acting like they are 20!
Children have wonderful imaginations. Our youngest daughter always used to say, “Imagination that, Mommy!” One way to combat the graphic images confronting children today is to develop their imaginations. Story time is a great tool. From the time our children were little we tried to cultivate a love of books in them. We would leave thick-paged or cloth books in their cots or cribs, read to them at every opportunity and tell them stories. As they got older they would role-play and begin to “pretend”. We bought dress up clothes, everything from a princess outfit to an apron for cooking or a construction hard hat. Hats in themselves make for great stories. You can model this to them by putting on a hat and then playing out the part. When we would go on a holiday Jim would take along books that he would read either in the car as we travelled or at our destination. One summer none of us wanted to leave the room until the book was finished. At that point the two youngest were teens but they had well developed imaginations.
A child’s mind needs to be nurtured. Like a plant a child will reflect what they are fed. In our western culture children’s minds are being bombarded with mature and often sexualized images. The sexual images on commercials, in programming, clothing, and material on the internet is not what a child needs. We want to nurture that which is good, wholesome and upright because what we sow into our children we will reap.
I, for one, am very grateful that our government is concerned for the family. Equally I am proud of parents for being tired of the whole sexualization that has crept into our society to the point where they are not only talking about it but also want to make a difference.