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What Are They Selling? Helping Your Kids Say "No!"

Deborah Taylor-Hough
Category Parenting

Do you ever feel helpless in the face of the massive advertising campaigns directed at your children?

While watching television, our family has found a way to educate our children about the advertising methods used in commercials. We play a game called "What Are They Trying to Sell Us?"


Whenever a commercial comes on the air, we ask our kids to tell us what's being sold, and we also ask what methods are being used to convince us to buy the products. The kids love this game because the answer is not always obvious. Sometimes the commercials are subtle, and it can be challenging for young children to identify what's being sold.

By becoming aware of the methods used, our children are finding themselves amused at attempts to convince them they will be more appealing, smarter, etc., by purchasing various items. Rather than passively watching television commercials, this game helps teach that commercials are trying to manipulate people's behavior through the media.

By becoming aware of the subtleties of advertising, children and adults alike can become stronger to withstand the commercial onslaught in our daily lives.

About The Author: Copyright 2002/2004 Deborah Taylor-Hough
Used with permission. All rights reserved.

--Deborah Taylor-Hough (free-lance writer, wife and mother of three) is the editor of the Simple Times ( and Bright-Kids ( email newsletters. Debi's also the author of several books including "Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month" and "A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity" (Champion Press). Visit Debi at:

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