Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I just read...The Case for Make Believe by Susan Linn

I didn't realize until I'd gotten home from the library with this book that it was written by the author of Consuming Kids, which is an amazing book that I still think about often although I read it a couple years ago. I enjoyed this book as well, but I don't think the author supported her case in this book as well as in the previous one. I felt like she repeated her argument many times without giving good strong evidence to support her beliefs, and her advice for parents on how to save make believe filled only a few pages of the whole book. I also feel like she might lean too far to the extreme for the average person, advocating that parents wait as long as possible before introducing the screen to their child, which for most of us is just not possible. (For example, what am I supposed to do with my baby while his two older brothers are watching a video. I'm sorry, but the simple fact that he's the third child automatically means he's going to be introduced to the tube from a very young age.)

Despite these criticisms, though, I found this book thought-provoking, especially the case studies that she includes from her puppet therapy sessions. And even if I don't agree that children should have zero media access, I do believe that parents should responsibly limit and monitor their kids' TV and computer time and be actively fighting against commercialism. Overall, this book was a good refresher of why Consuming Kids was such a great book, and if nothing else, it resparked my interest in this subject and commitment to raising consumer savvy children.


  1. What?! Keeping a kid from the TV is a good thing? I still hold a huge grudge against Mom for making me miss the very first episode of Animaniacs because I hadn't done my homework or chores.

    Amen to fighting commercialism. My kids will all wear their t-shirts inside out, just like their dad. I will not have walking billboards! I suppose I could just buy blank shirts...

  2. I took Cole shopping for a hat recently and couldn't find one without a cartoon character on it, so finally I let him get one with Bumblebee from Transformers. When we got home, he excitedly showed it to Michael and exclaimed, "Look, Daddy! Momma said I can be a commercial!"


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