Google+ Authentic Parenting: Indoctrination, Alienation, Violence and Consumption (rerun)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Indoctrination, Alienation, Violence and Consumption (rerun)

As heavy as that title may sound, this post is about something as light as toys, cartoons, kiddie books and children's songs... But are these as light as we think they are? These are the things our children are confronted with on a daily basis, often without supervision, without additional explanation. Still think they are really that harmless?

Toysmith Doll StrollerEver walked through a toy store and looked at it from a peaceful parenting perspective? Notice how many dolls aren't attached dolls? With their strollers, cribs, bottles, pacifiers and what not. Do we really want to indoctrinate our children into that culture of detachement and alienation from the first doll they play with?
Ok, you can get round the bottles by saying thet they're just for water, that the doll will still get her milk from her mommy's breast. But still! I want attached play-parenting, thank you!
How many toys - mainly aimed at boys - are violent? GI Joe, tin soldiers, toy guns... Even pretend play is violence infused (cowboys killing off Indians ring a bell? Hey, at least they're reenacting history, right)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Original Series (Volume 1)Cartoons and TV shows
Cartoons are another vehicle for the propagation of violence. Think about teenage mutant ninja turtles (or whatever it's called), even though they are fighting crime... they are still fighting! Do we want to teach our children to cure violence with violence? And there are many other examples of this kind of TV shows.

My goodness, what text do they have? My daughter has a couple kiddie song CD's and they contain everything from stoning to hitting animals with sticks, putting children in bags... (they're in French and Dutch, so it must be a general thing).

In this list, I think books are the lesser of evils, moreover because you can really pick and discard the bad ones (and there are really bad ones when it comes to alienation and violence). But still, there are way too few attached peaceful childrens books.

My advice to you: think twice when you buy books, toys or sing songs together. And for TV, watch with them, or at least be present, to shed some light on the subliminal messages. We can't shelter them their entire lives, true, but we can at least spare them the indoctrination at an early age. And hand them the right tools to critically evaluate the input they get later in life.

If you did come across some nice AP toys, books, songs, cartoons, let me know, I am always eager to hear from you and to discover new things.
I have come across a blogpost that summed up some AP-friendly childrens books, you can find it at The Baby Dust Diaries.

Images courtesy of Amazon, so if you click on them, I will be rewarded ever so slightly.



  1. I agree on the violent toys for boys. It must be really hard to buy a toy without a violent bent.

    I also read the book Nurture Shock (really good I recommend it) and they talk about how even non-violent, PBS-style cartoons are teaching relational aggression (e.g. being mean, leaving people out, name calling, etc.). It was because the kids watching didn't have the attention span to connect the name calling with the resolution at the end. TV is just such a time bomb. I mean we watch it but ...ugh, so hard to find something truly wholesome.

    Thanks for the link!

  2. Thanks for the book tip, Paige!
    We decided not to have cable or sattelite, because first of all it's expensive over here nad secondly, it makes you watch useless thing just because they are on. Instead we buy what we want to see on DVD.

  3. My SIL is a year 6 teacher and she has said that you can tell the difference between kids who have been "sheltered" and the ones who have been exposed to violent movies etc. Some of the kids in my daughter's class (she's in year 1) went and watched Alice in Wonderland...I found that movie scary for me so I'd hate to know what it is doing to the kids!!! I'm very glad that my 6 year old still loves Playschool :)

  4. Really thought-provoking post - thank you.

    I've linked to it from my weekly links post today:


  5. I made a little sling out of a receiving blanket for my daughter to carry her baby doll around in. She loved wearing her baby like mama wore her brother. And a ton of people asked me where I got it. Could be a market. They also make little toy Ergo carriers for you little ones.


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