I have a story in this week’s Time magazine about the ways in which parents are becoming environmentally active — not just buying green, but also acting green — in important ways. A longer blog on this to come, but the story is here.
I have a post up at the Huffington Post today, rather dramatically entitled, Raise the Price of Toys. My point, really, is that because toys have become so cheap, relatively speaking, we parents are inclined to buy more of them. This in turn, makes us value them less, but it also makes children value their toys less. The average American child gets 70 new toys a year. We are teaching our children to churn through their playthings, toss them aside, stomp on them… In short, not only are we teaching them that their toys and possessions are not something to be valued, we’re also inadvertently stunting their creativity. Think about it: If a child gets only 10 new toys a year, he or she will find lots of new ways to play with them. Especially if they are good, open-ended toys that allow for creative, imaginative play. Thus: the fewer toys, the more resourcefulness. And the fewer wasted resources.
Oh, and also: Remember puffy stickers? They tie into all this.
An early heads-up to my NYC-based readers: I will be speaking as part of a panel next week in Brooklyn’s Park Slope as part of the Adult Education series. Details are below. Hope to see you there!
ADULT EDUCATION PRESENTS: BABIES & AMERICAN INDUSTRY
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 – 8 pm (doors at 7:30)
Union Hall in Park Slope
702 Union St. @ 5th Ave
| Pamela Paul, “Baby Gear Your Mother Didn’t Have”
| Daniel Radosh,”Marketing to Christian Kids or The Secret
Identity of Bibleman”
| Charles Star, “A Short List of the Worst Children’s Toys Ever”
| Gary Drevitch, “How Princesses and Conquered America”
| Susan Gregory Thomas, “Barbie Goes Vertical: How the Marketing
Industry Brands Infants and Toddlers”
DANIEL RADOSH is author of the new book Rapture Ready! Adventures in the
Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture. He is a frequent contributor
to and a contributing editor at The Week magazine. His
writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including , Playboy, Esquire, and GQ. In the early 1990s, Radosh was a staff
writer and editor at Spy magazine. (http://www.radosh.net)
PAMELA PAUL is the author of Parenting, Inc: How We Are Sold on $800
Strollers, Fetal Education, Baby Sign Language, Sleeping Coaches, Toddler
Couture, and Diaper Wipe Warmers — and What It Means for Our Children.
She writes for and the New York Times Book Review, and is
the author of two previous books, Pornified and The Starter Marriage. She
and her family live in Harlem. (http://www.pamelapaul.com)
GARY DREVITCH produces the parenting Web site freelancedad.com,
contributes to magazines like Parents and Jewish Living, and writes
non-fiction books for children. He is also the senior editor of
grandparents.com. A father of three, he has become part of the
problem, and now seeks its solution. (http://freelancedad.com)
SUSAN GREGORY THOMAS is an investigative journalist and broadcaster.
Formerly a senior editor at and co-host of public
television’s Digital Duo, she has also written for Time, the , Glamour, and elsewhere. She has two children, seven and four years
CHARLES STAR is a sometimes lawyer, sometimes comic, and host of Adult Ed.
But he is mostly known for his excellent cat. (http://www.charlesstar.com)
Speakers will be on hand afterward to answers questions and sign books.
Little bits of news: The St. Petersburg Times printed a nice review of Parenting, Inc. over the weekend, written by a former teacher, so her praise felt especially good. Also, Nancy Schute published a Q and A with me in US News & World Report, viewable online here. And I’ll be reading tonight at Housing Works in New York City, for those in town and free this rainy Monday evening.
Sorry, folks, to do this again. It’s really not my fault, but the Early Show keeps getting moved and bumped. So now it’s not airing tomorrow, but will apparently air some time this week. I will post once I know.