Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not so sure that sponsors/advertisers influence kids?

Two posts on Blogher reminded me to share this:

Maya came home with a sample of kids' toothpaste and a new toothbrush. She informed me that it was the best kind, and the kind we use is no good. She may have added that we should throw away ours and buy a tube of the sample. I said "Really? Did Mrs. D say that this was the best kind?"

She thought a second and said no, she didn't tell them that. I explained that all toothpastes work pretty much the same, and that I feel good about the kind I buy for the kids.

It's great that they are reinforcing dental hygiene at school. I'm just not comfortable with my kid getting a sample of something and internalizing it to mean "this must be the best, because why would my teacher give it to me otherwise."

Our school has a lot of freebies for the kids- the Pizza Hut Book It program gives kids a free personal pizza when they read at home all month, good grades get them a free "all American" meal at Mc Donald's with their report card envelope, and you can even buy Orlando Magic tickets at a discount when you are on the honor roll. This stuff has always made me vaguely uncomfortable. Partly because my parents believed that learning was its own reward- no money for grades at our house. ha! But more deeply because of what Maya made so clear to me this week with her free toothbrush.

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