How Parents And School Can Cooperate To Teach Children About Advertisements Research Paper Samples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Family, Children, Parents, Obesity, Advertising, Media, Food, Business

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2020/12/15

In the modern world, advertisers target children as the major consumers in the changing world. The media is clearly the fundamental source of entertainment for the typical child in the modern world. The immense researches show that the media influences the beliefs, attitude and behavior in children. Many parents refuse to allow the media to educate their children, and therefore these parents become involved in the way their children view the advertisements that impact their lives. These advertisements evolve in colorful and enticing ways and impact the young impressionable minds. Some parents opt to limit the amount of television time that their children get in order to teach their children about the impact of advertisements. But, parents cannot fight the war against the impact that advertisements may have on the child. Both parents and educators need to play their part in this battle to teach children about the adverse effects of advertisements.
Children interact with different media technology that promotes advertisements. Knorr notes that advertisements are not new to the society as everyone grew up with seeing advertisements, (Knorr, n.p). But, Knorr suggests that the only thing that is new is the way that “advertisers have adapted to children’s media, using sneaky methods that don't look like ads,” (Knorr, n.p). While the media serves its role as a tool of education, advertisements plague the technological arena and as such much of the advertisements see come through this medium. Shah suggests that advertisements increases the markets for children’s products and food, (Shah, par. 1). Additionally, Shah postulates “parents on the one hand have a hard time raising children the way they want to,” (Shah, par. 1) even as children become “increasingly influenced by commercialism that often goes against what parents are trying to do,” (Shah, par. 1). The harsh reality is that industries in the modern world continue to fight back against the parents, educators and the government and their “fight for better child advertising,” (Shah, par. 2).
Advertising to children is now a big business in the advertising world as children make up over the mainstream audience for the 25000 – 40000 television commercial annually, (Shah, par. 3). The statistics further show that teenagers are responsible for the spending of approximately 160 billion dollars annually, children up to eleven years old make up the expenditure of approximately 18 billion dollars annually, and “tweens” influence more than 30 billion dollars of parents spending, (Shah, par. 3). These shocking figures suggest that there is a strong need to control the parental purchases of 130 – 670 billion dollars annually for parents, (Shah, par. 3). Of course companies revel in the exorbitant earnings annually, but after parents spend these figures, there is a grave impact on the economic, health and social parts of the parents. How do they save for the future development of their children when these parents spend on products that are not necessary? The harsh reality is that parents and educators must devise strategies to help to curtail the spending patterns even as advertisers lure children to purchase unwanted goods and services.
In the last three decades children in America successfully changed the economic arena that rivals the power of adults. The fact is that children manipulate the massive purchasing power of their parents, both indirectly and directly as they purchase goods or influence their parents to purchase goods. The high pitched screams of a child in the cereal aisle of the supermarket is a common recurrence in the society and serves as a clear indication of the power that children wield over their parents. The parents try to avoid the embarrassment as the child continues to wail because he or she is not allowed to choose a particular item and so they give in to the advertised product that comes with unnecessary gadgets. Children also impact the spending budgets indirectly as parents see the comfortable family vehicles that they know would make their children more comfortable on long excursions. But, these comforts create long-term financial setbacks for the parents as they have to pay for these vehicles.
Children on the whole see advertisements as a tool to recognizing brands and companies even before they can read properly. In many instances, children “are bombarded with marketing messages from the day they are born,” (Hatch, par. 3). Many companies spend millions of dollars trying to influence new mothers with cute clothes and toys that grab the attention of many parents and encourage them to spend more than they should on clothes for children who will not use these apparels for lengthy periods of time. Hatch points to Weil’s review in her that more children are able to recognize Ronald McDonald more than the President of the United States, (Weil as cited by Hatch, par.4). Weil’s ideas that fast food giants prey on the minds of children comes out in the recent researches that show that children are the easiest targets of many brand messages, (Weil as cited by Hatch, par. 4).
Further statistics from The Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity showed that during the period from 2008 and 2010, “the children’s exposure to TV ads for full-calorie soda doubled, while another study released by the journal Pediatrics reported that kids are exposed to more than 40,000 ads per year on TV alone,” (Hatch, par. 5). As such, parents must recognize that the way that they react to the different brands will impact the way that children see these brands and the more they encourage and promote these brands will have an impact on the way the children see advertisements. Therefore, parents need to model the behavior and attitudes towards brands that they need their children to adopt. Interestingly, the epidemic of childhood obesity is a problem that continues to rise across the world. Many health organizations see the increase in the “morbidity, mortality, and substantial long term economic and social costs,” (The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity, n.p) as a threat to based on the fact that the “rates of obesity in America’s children and youth have almost tripled in the last quarter century,” (The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity, n.p).
Frighteningly, almost twenty percent of the youths become overweight from as early as the preschool age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded the pervasiveness of obesity has more than doubled in children who are under the ages two and five and six and eleven, (as cited in The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity, n.p). The numbers is greater in teenagers as the numbers triples and creates the children at risk of becoming obese adults with heart diseases, diabetes, or cancer, (The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity, n.p). Prevention efforts must focus on reducing excess weight gain as children grow up. The reality is that these advertisements present the alluring message that fast food is integral to the development of the social status of the child. Malls offer a variety of fast food stores that makes it easy to access these food and sodas and parents add to the package as many parents work tirelessly to survive the economic hardships of the country. Schools serve a wide variety of fast foods that children can easily relate to from the various advertisements on the television.
The fact is that less emphasis is place on healthy living and the schools and parents do nothing to promote healthy eating patterns. Where does this lead? Simply, children spend so much of their waking hours using the media and little time learning to sort through what is positive or negative about these advertisements, that they often gravitate towards the products that are advertised. Consequently, one finds that “product preferences affect children's product purchase requests and these requests influence parents' purchasing decisions,” (The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity, n.p.) However, through simple explanations from educators and parents, children learn the art of distinguishing that “commercials are opinions, not facts, and can be misleading,” (Bryson, n.p). Additionally, advertisers pay slim individuals who really have not even used their products to advertise a well toned body that the average teenager would “die” to have. Thus, adding psychological complications for a child who grow up eating fast foods and is obese. In both regards, the company pays for the product to be advertised and they win either way. Children delve in the world of fast food and become ashamed of his obese stated, or the child attempts to emulate the proper physique of the ideal model and suffers other eating disorders. The role of the parents and the educator is important her in building a positive self-esteem for the child as they explain that advertisements are opinions that serve to make companies richer.
A number of countries have place bans on advertisements that are harmful to children. The European Union now considers placing a ban and regulation on advertisement that target children as there is an increase in the rate of obesity in children across the world. Still, advocates against the ban on advertisements, The Responsible Advertising and Children Program (RACP), argue that there is a way to educate children and self-regulate against harmful advertisements. Educating children to recognize and understand the reasons for communicating through advertisements. Advertisements help individuals to increase the skills that help one to interpret the critical commercial communications as it impacts their daily lives. Educators can use these advertisements to teach lessons in the language and the art of persuasion. Children learn the art of persuading others from the techniques that these advertisers use, but in many cases children learn the art of manipulate others in their way of thinking. Arguably, this is crucial to the preparation of interacting with the actuality of a world that centers on the media.
Parents, on a whole, play and integral role in the development of the child and the way the child perceives the world. There are cases where children watch advertisements alone and cannot understand the true meaning of the advertisements and the value in the advertisements. Parents and even educators can guide students as through the crowded messages in the marketplace, (Hatch, par. 8). They can make the process a game as children point to the advertisements and explain who are the creators and what the advertisements are actually saying, (Hatch, par. 8). In fact, parents and educators can teach children that there is a motivation hidden in each advertisement and that is to sell a product or idea. While television advertisements are often direct, the Internet advertisements are a bit more technical in terms of the messages they present. The best way for educators and parents to educate children on the negative impact of these advertisements is to guide children in looking at the wording of the advertisements as this adds clarity to the meaning of the advertisements. In recent years, many schools have developed courses in media literacy to help students assess the different methods that advertisers use to persuade consumers, (Elliot, n.p). Of course this is an excellent move on the part of educators as it helps children to become more cognizant of the need to assess the message that advertisers present. Elliot further adds that the program Scholastic In School is a joint effort with Toyota motor to help teenagers to learn about the world the live in and teach children about the dangers and benefits of advertising and the need to make informed decisions. Such a move is remarkable and parents should ensure that they enforce the program.
In addition, the excessive spending that adults carry out because of their children can be fixed as parents do not want their children to adopt their poor spending habits. Parents can explain the purchases that they make even those they appear to be clear. Conversely, many adults believe that children understand their reasons for buying a product, but the truth is that children often see adult purchases as strict and unexplainable. Nevertheless, if children learn from an early age the benefits of applying values and needs to their purchases, then they understand that advertisements are merely a toll for motivating individuals to overspend. A child may want a watch, and is fascinated by the glamour of the new Apple watches, should parents buy a watch that costs over three hundred dollars simply because the child needs to tell the time? The lesson here is that the brand does not make the watch better than other watches. Of course, Apple is one of the trademark brands, but the value of the watch takes away from the necessity of buying a time piece and leads to the need to buy what is a leading brand.
In concluding, parents alone cannot teach children the value of separating the truth fro, opinions in advertisements. Educators too can teach the idea of applying conscious reasoning to deciding which advertisements are misleading and which advertisements cost more than the product advertises. Teenagers, in particular, represent the “problem” group as peer pressure often influences their choice of products and services. Most teenagers today gravitate towards Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone simply because the advertisers skillfully include the same benefits of any other brand in their advertisements. But, it is the society on the whole that keep Samsung and Apple at the top of their game. Individuals buy these products for exorbitant fees and help to continue the advertisement. What message then is the public sending to children? Parents neglect other needs to purchase expensive products because they see it as a traditional purchase based on the opinion of others. The harsh truth is that a simple explanation to the necessity of purchasing these items would break the future traditions of these telephone giants.

Works Cited

Bryson, Carey. "Combat Commercials - Teaching Kids about Advertising." Viewed at
http://kidstvmovies.about.com/od/healthytvhabits/a/combat_commercials.htm. N.p., n.d.
Web. 01 Mar. 2015.
Elliott, Stuart. "In a World of Ads, Teaching the Young How to Read Them." The New York
Times. N.p., 26 Apr. 2010. Web. 21 Feb. 2015.
Hatch, Amy. "How to Teach Your Kid About Advertising."
http://www.learnvest.com/2012/03/how-to-teach-your-kid-about-advertising/ N.p., 13
Mar. 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2015.
Knorr, Caroline. "Selling to Kids Tips." Common Sense Media. N.p., 19 Nov. 2010. Web. 07
Mar. 2015.
Shah, Anup, (2010, November 21) “Children as Consumers,” Web. Viewed at
http://www.globalissues.org/article/237/children-as-consumers
"The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity." Viewed at http://www.apa.org/topics/kids-media/food.aspx N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2015.

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