Many commercials may seem harmless but can have lasting effects on on young minds. Intake of this repetitive and persuading programing can have many psychological repercussions.
Children cannot grasp such complexities as marketing and consumerism. When a six year-old is heavily engaged in a favorite cartoon and the screen changes to a commercial, often the child does not delineate between the actual programming and the advertisement. They do not understand who is communicating the message and they are unable to perceive that they are the intended target for a sale.
Children communicate their desires for the advertised product to their caregiver. Whether the item is purchased or not can vary due to the financial situation of the family. In low income homes these viewings would lead to many disappointments and feelings of inadequacy. Commercials can make children link self worth to material goods.
Media exposure is unavoidable; our children are exposed daily. Although commercials pose a lesser threat than most programming it is important to be aware of our children’s comprehension of these advertisements and discuss the meaning behind these intervals. We would not allow a stranger in our home to solicit our family so why allow them to do send messages while we are not looking.