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Don't ask Mum what You want for Xmas

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Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

A marked increase in columns by mothers in online media newspapers surrounding which toys or games they should or shouldn't buy their children is in direct correlation with the nearing of Christmas. This isn't a shock.

It's not shocking either that parents these days come across as damn stupid, or make too much of something based on their own adult prejudices and perceptions and can't decide if their progeny should be exposed to such, well, products.

First up, this story here harps on about the message Bratz dolls send to young girls. You know, the make-up, the impossible plastic physique, the revealing clothes. The writer of this article states that her daughter is five years old and doesn't want to send the wrong message about women to her. I'm guessing the five year old just wants a shiny toy to play with. I'm no parent but I'd bet a Barbie townhouse that this child doesn't have the capacity yet to want to emulate the Bratz appearance. I'd also wager that the five year old doesn't want the doll to use as a centrepiece for an essay on how Bratz might push feminism back into the 1950s.

No, it's the parent that has a problem with it, the parent who is too self centered and too insecure about her own parenting. The parent who has to thrust upon her daughter her beliefs. If this parent was secure, she's have no qualms with gifting this doll then opening up discussion should it be required.

Then there's this story here which peddles the video-game old concern that games make people want to kill other people, specifically the first-person shooter video game genre. This mum is unsure if the game, Call Of Duty, Modern Warfare 2, rated 15+ is suitable for her 10 and 13 year old boys. With the black and white and red warning smacked on the cover of the game, this should be a no-brainer. I know parents lose all sense of logic and rationality when that bundle of “joy” arrives home, and is replaced with paranoia, fear and panic. I get that. But surely there has to be some semblance of intellect remaining, or at least literacy or numeracy skills, you know, 10 being less that 15 and 13 being less that 15.

What is truly remarkable is that parents seem to forget that they too were kids and probably played with toys and did things that back then were deemed objects or activities of concern. These days kids are spoilt with technology and choice and parents can't keep up as they cry time-poor in an effort to excuse their selfishness and ignorance towards their kid's world.

If a parent needs to call a help line for advice on a video game or if a parent is so concerned by a plastic doll, then perhaps kids aren't for them. Maybe they should have bought a cat first.

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