Ad-Free Kids in an Ad-Addled World

Advertisers, beware. You are not welcome in our living room.

Product placement, please dump your products in the basement.

Because here’s the thing, you gargantuan monolithic companies. In a world defined by commerce and commercialism, I have trained my kids to avoid your commercials at any cost. (Which incidentally reduces cost.)

As soon as an ad starts, Greyson and Violet either cover their eyes or turn around while I hit mute on the remote. Sometimes they even playfully “hide” between the couch and the recliner. And every time they do I am as proud as a peacock, whose peachicks happily resist consumerism with their un-faded and un-jaded plumage held high.

We don’t have cable, just streaming platforms, so very few commercials cross our eyeline in the first place. But when we started watching YouTube videos, I trained the kids to do the “see no evil” hands (without putting it into those words). This was back when they were 4 and 2, and two years later they’re still doing it like champs.

Sometimes I ask them, “What are commercials trying to do?” And they say, “Get us to buy stuff!” To which I say “Yep… but we already have plenty of stuff!”

And they totally get it. They’re our mini-me-minimalists.

One benefit of this anti-ad regimen is that the kids have absolutely no idea what toys are out there beyond the animals and puzzles and animals and Legos and animals and markers and animals and other toys, most of which are animal-based, that we have given them. (Oh, and did I mention they like… animals?)

Every new expensive plastic toy that is created by a toy company is a toy that my kids are blissfully unaware exists.

Another benefit of avoiding commercials is that I don’t have to worry about questionable content. If you don’t let your kids watch ads, you don’t have to worry about them seeing the latest ruthless political attack ad, or the trailer for the latest ruthless Halloween movie. (And I’m not entirely sure which is ruthless-er.)

I like resting in the knowledge that my kids will only watch Puffin Rock, or Bluey, or Tumble Leaf, or bird videos and musical instrument videos on YouTube. Only what we have selected for them (or in the case of Peppa Pig, what they have insisted on selecting).

Not what gigantic corporations have selected for their consumption, to solicit their consumption.

There’s not much that’s ad-free, for free, in this world of money-mad men.

But my unbranded children are. And thus they remain free.

So I’m sorry, empire of capitalism.

But my kids are not for sale.

One thought on “Ad-Free Kids in an Ad-Addled World

  1. HAH! See – they got through to you anyway. “Peacock” is the name of one of the streaming platforms, taken from the NBC logo of said bird. The fact that you even mentioned the word shows THEY GOT YOU! OK, lame joke over. Thats an amazing and very difficult thing you have pretty darn successfully taken on there, giving your kids a commercial-free life. The part where it might get tricky is when they’re a bit older – just a bit – and go to a friend’s house and watch tv at their house. I’ll be interested to see – and yes, I’ll still be following – how that turns out. But anyway; BRAVO!


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