Raising your child to appreciate the natural life is not as easy as one would expect. In our society we have become addicted to chemicals and convenience. I have no doubt that this addiction, like any, will be the one to do us in. It's sad but true that advertising companies begin targeting your child as young as one and that by three they will be able to recognize the majority of brands and start asking for them. My child has never set foot inside a Wal-Mart and has eaten at McDonald's twice in all her five years but still asks me to frequent these places. It blows my mind. I feel for her. She is surrounded by toys and children who have easy access to these toys. She, however, is not. As a parent I believe it is up to me to put my foot down. And as bad as I feel for her when she has to hear no for the thousandth time, I know I am not hurting her. In fact I believe saying yes to everything they want is more damaging. We raise children today to be self-indulgent, gratification seeking and ultimately never satisfied adults. This is the me-me-right-now generation. And look where it's got us. We are the Prozac nation.
Raising my child to appreciate what she has and to place value in what she does is a struggle. But only because we live in a society that defines what we want and need for us so that a select few can turn a profit. I believe some people call this the economy. But if you truly believe that life wouldn't go on living without the shopping malls and credit cards, then you would, fortunately, be wrong. This world existed before we did and will after us. It's up to us to decide how we want to live with it before we're gone. And so for me, I want to love my time, my family. Enjoy embracing the seasons and the pleasures of baking cookies (from scratch, thanks anyway Pillsbury Doughboy, it's no wonder you're so plump). Relax in a book instead of a sitcom and bond over a puzzle instead of prime time.
These children are our future. Instilling in them a sense of self, responsibility and preservation will be just what this world needs to shift from these unjustified, unsustainable policies to a whole world attitude. The world will heal itself. But will we be there to enjoy it?

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Tags: children, consumerism, environment, green, health, kids, parent, safety, toy

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