How To Be A Critical Back-To-School Consumer

The end of summer signals the onslaught of ads targeted at both parents and kids. Check out tips to help you shop smart, avoid consumerism, and still get what your kids want (and need!) this school year.  So, How to be a critical back-to-school consumer

* Have a game plan. Expect to encounter lots of kid-targeted advertising, and figure out your stance before you get to the store. My backpack mantra was “no characters,” but you could also use “no words or logos,” “no violent images,” or any simple phrase that you won’t mind repeating a hundred times but that clearly articulates your limits.

* Seize the teaching moment. Discuss the tools marketers use to influence kids to buy or beg for something. Turn it into a game where kids try to figure out what product an ad is representing or what symbol marketers decided was popular with kids this year (rainbows! skulls! owls!).

* Look for alternatives to big box stores. Online stores, mom and pops, thift stores, Etsy — any of these choices offers the chance to find something unique, creative, or even personalized.

* Talk to other parents. Ask other parents for tips on where to find certain goods and which stores to avoid.

* Prepare for disappointment (or at least compromise). Some kids may be so focused on a Barbie backpack or a LEGO lunchbox that they’re willing to throw the mother of all tantrums to get it. Only you can decide which battles are worth waging. Remember that kids move on quickly — almost as quickly as they lose backpacks.

Good luck!

Source : Common Sense Media

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