Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review: Childhood Under Siege -- Motivation for Frugal Parenting

If you are a parent of young children with frugal parenting aspirations, I highly recommend you read the book Childhood Under Siege by Joel Bakan if you need some motivation. Frugal parenting goes against the tide of modern culture. Saying "less is more" takes energy and effort. I write from personal experience. Since my first child arrived just over 3 years ago we have had a constant battle with family, friends, and society overall in order to parent frugally. We've held our own, and now I have more ammunition in defending our stance thanks to Bakan's book.

What does frugal parenting involve? In my mind it is the same as simplicity parenting. A focus on a few quality toys, minimize or avoid TV and other media, serve healthy unprocessed food, and stay clear of corporate marketing bonanzas.

Even if you don't have young children, Bakan's book will fire you up to live a life questioning marketing. Why? It is full of stories detailing how corporations manipulate marketing to sell items to children. Please note that I do not hate Wall Street. I have investments. My kid's college funds are invested on Wall Street. I like shopping at Target. What I don't like are the allegations made in this book about expanding pharmaceuticals to children with little to no testing. How fast food has taken over the lunch room at the school. Or how video games and social media are designed to foster addiction in children, and they just have to check the site. Parents, or anyone wanting a frugal life, read this book for a dose of motivation. Corporate America has given us many great things, but sometimes too much of a good thing is not that great. Decide for yourself. Think before you consume. It's good for your wallet, your health, the planet, and your kids.

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