Everyday, we are exposed to different types of advertisements promoting various products and services. These eye-catching ads are hard for adults to resist, let alone children. Rather than tell children to ignore them, parents can use the opportunity to discuss these ads with their children, and teach them how to make responsible purchasing decisions, such as buying what they need with consideration of the price. Also, by being able to differentiate between “needs” and “wants”, children can learn not to make impulsive purchases and avoid being influenced by ads or peer pressure.
Explain what ads are for
Tell children ads provide information about the advertised product or service, such as the brand and product features. Businesses may use various approaches to attract customers, such as celebrity endorsement or exaggerating the product performance.
Reconsider the ad content
As children are easily attracted by the ads, parents can discuss the content with them and help them judge whether the description is true or exaggerated. For older children, parents can encourage them to clarify with the merchants directly, or do some research online.
Assess your affordability
It is important for children to understand their needs and affordability before making any purchase. They should not blindly pursue luxury brands. Parents can suggest and discuss about other more affordable options or ask them to trade something off against the new purchase. Parents should also be frank with their children and tell them they may not be able to afford what their children want.
Compare price and quality
Children, depending on their ages and abilities, should be encouraged to study and compare different labels beforehand. Parents can show them that the “value” of a product lies in its function and practicality. For example, cheaper products are not necessarily of poorer quality as the merchants may have spent less on advertising. Are products offered by established brands always better in terms of function and design? Perhaps a cheaper one can already meet your needs?
If children really want an advertised product, parents should tell them to wait instead of acceding to their demands immediately. For unnecessary items, they can ask their children to buy them by saving up.
12 October 2018