Heart Reflections Live
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The Effects of Fantasy on Children-Part 1
Part 1- Products For Girls
I thought it was apt with Christmas approaching to start a series on children & fantasy, to aid you with your Christmas shopping list.
My first point is applicable to both boys & girls toys- Keep it simple & don't get caught up in commercialism & marketing ploys. It will save you dollars too. The simpler a toy, the more a child needs to activate his or her imagination to use it( & you'll also find it will be used for play in many different ways.) Don't limit your shopping ideas to the well-known brand name products at Target, Big W or Warlmart, search the net for handmade wooden toys or puzzles-some homeschool sites are good for these;Steiner or Montessori products foster simplicity & imagination & don't forget your local markets. An unusual toy that none of their friends have can be a greater blessing to a child than playing along with the pester power that peer dependency can bring.
Little girls love playing Mummy & any toys they can nurture(especially baby or little girl dolls) are a good & healthy choice. They are playing out a future role & are modelling & learning things from Mum. So anything from toy baby accessories to doll houses are a great choice.
A word of caution about teen/adult dolls:
Anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time, will know that we don't buy any "Bratz" or "Barbie" toys or products for our little girls.I'm not out to tell anyone else what to do, but here are some of our reasonings:
-When a child plays with an older doll, they are usually pretending to be the doll in some way and are identifying with its characteristics as they are portrayed , often in associated books or movies.
-Bratz are very blatant. I'm sure I'm not the first Mum online to suggest they look like street-walkers- enough said.
-Barbie is more subtle & while some of the Princessy ones have beautiful gowns, many are far more skimpily dressed than when I was young. The whole "Barbie" image, is not one we wish to hold up as a godly example to our girls.Barbie has the perfect body, perfect house & campervan, buggy, the boyfriend she never married(Did I read somewhere last year that Ken's been "replaced"?)
We desire our girls to grow up knowing the importance of dressing modestly, being godly-not flashy or materialistic & to learn the principles of Godly courtship- not flirting or dating-a godly culture- not one of the nightclub. Sure, Barbie's just a toy, but children today are bombarded by her image & it's possible to become desensitized by some toys that have such a prolific image.Current affairs shows abound with Barbie obsessed teens becoming anorexic. These toys & associated products (including Bratz) can sexualize children, by causing them to desire to grow up sooner than is realistic.We had a fuss in Australia recently when Target starting stocking black bras & undies for children in the "Bratz" brand.
-Our little girls have a Queen Esther doll, a Singapore Airlines Girl & Jane from Tarzan -all beautifully & modestly dressed in different ways. I often say to Talitha,"Queen Esther saved a nation-Barbie's just a fashion plate. Who would you rather be?"
Of course we encourage people to stay away from any products involving witchcraft. These include: Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Winx, Charmed etc. They may just be fantasy you say; but why let your children become involved with something God clearly calls an abomination?
A word of caution about some cute & cuddly stuff!!
You as a parent should tape & watch some cartoons when the little ones aren't around if you want to check up on this-Care Bears & My Little Pony are strongly new age!! There are others too, but I've mentioned these as they are back in vogue.Keep an eye out too on any rainbows in cartoons-count the colours-God's rainbow has 7 colours, the new age one only 6. Why do I mention this? If your child has a Care Bear & doesn't watch the show or read the books, then it's just another Teddy Bear, but if a child starts enacting what they have seen in the show, they will get into some weird spiritual stuff.
Hope this helps-I'll tackle boy's stuff next week. If you have any questions, leave a comment. If I can't answer them, I'll consult my very knowlegable husband.If you have any info on anything really good or bad that has come on the market, keep the comments rolling...