Monday, June 30, 2008

More Kid Advice

Yes, a little glut on the blogging. Well, you know, lots of free time... and, it does look like the home internet connection will be over after this week, so I'll almost certainly be a little more spotty. So get it while it lasts. Or something.

For Daughter's birthday (in August) I bought her a subscription to New Moon, an alternative magazine for girls. Alternative, that is, to magazines like Seventeen, Vogue, Glamour, whatever. I don't think she won't read these magazines (she absolutely loves Tiger Beat, for example) but I'd like to give her some other things to think about.

Feministe has a great series of posts this week about how to address these awful magazines with your teen and tween girls.

Today's advice:

* Ask her what she thinks is real and unreal in each issue. It can be a game to score how much fakery there is from month to month - is the magazine getting more fake or more real?
* Are the photos altered? (Show her this example of how photo manipulation makes an average looking woman into the fake perfection we see in magazines.)
* Count how many of the total pages are ads (often more than 50%). What are the ads selling?
* In its subject matter, does the magazine leave out things that she cares about and that are on her mind? What are those things?
* Ask her what effect she thinks an article or ad is trying to have on readers.
* Ask her how she feels (different from what she thinks) after looking at or reading an article or ad. Listen without judging or arguing about what she says.
* Tell her how you feel (give her your feelings - angry, sad, afraid, guilty - not your thoughts) after looking at or reading a different article or ad.
* Express your opinions (thoughts) about the articles and ads.
* Provide her with alternative magazines like New Moon and Teen Voices by subscribing and keeping them in the house all the time. Having them available is like having healthy food in the kitchen. Even if she might always want to eat pop tarts, it’s not the only food we provide!
I like it. Of course, you have to take the time to have these conversations, look your kid in the eye, and listen to what they have to say. If you're doing that already, even if you don't use those questions, your girl will probably be fine.


Dawn on MDI said...

Wow. Involved, responsible parenting. What a great idea. Too bad it will never catch on, though. Too many people prefer to let the video box do the parenting. Good for you!

Sandy said...

Hi -
So glad to hear you purchased a New Moon Girls subscription for your daughter!! As I was going through your list of things to talk to your daughter about, it just really struck me how we differ from other "tween/teen" mags - no advertising, no unhealthy looking models. Makes us proud to produce a unique product! Please suggest us to all your friends, word of mouth is our best sales - THANK YOU!!! And if you daughter likes to write or draw, she can submit her work for possible publication :-)
Sandy - COO - New Moon Girl Media


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