Did you know that the most conservative statistics say the average American is exposed to 247 advertisements per day (from Consumer Report)? This morning my pastor articulated what I have been feeling for a few months about our society and advertising. What is the purpose of advertising? Feeding discontentment. We have 247 voices telling us each day that we need something else for our lives to be more complete. If you had this or that you would be much happier (thinner, stronger, prettier, more organized, whatever). Of course, he relayed it back to nothing solving the problem of contentment but Christ. Go read Philippians 4: 10-14.
In December we canceled our satellite. Our TV is 10 years old so we get NO channels. The kids still watch some movies and cartoons on DVD but with NO COMMERCIALS. This has made a huge difference in our lives. I would hear about all the stuff they saw advertised on TV. We had to talk about their immediate reaction to these things. It was often, "I need that!", or "I want that!", while I tried to let them know it was OK to like the things they saw but none of it was a need, and to think if they really did want it and why.
I don't want to raise kids that want a lot of material things
but raise kids that know they don't have to have a lot to be happy. (And yes, I try to model this myself :)
Our oldest daughter's birthday was earlier this month and do you know what she asked for? Nothing! It was plain and simple. She hasn't seen commercial after commercial telling her what great toys are out there that she just had to have. When asked, she couldn't really think of anything that she wanted. What is that? Contentment. Beautiful!
When we recently went over to my in-laws the girls turned on the TV and not five minutes later I heard, "Mom! Mom! You just have to come and see these (insert cute toy marketed for my wee ones)....". Sigh. I know I can't shield them from it all.
You know what works for me? No TV on a daily basis. What a blessing!
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