They had a brand called Rock Angelz and they come with a groupie van. It had a bar and hot tub. There’s nothing subtle about it and they’re calling them toys – toys for what? … From our workshops, teachers really do question why parents buy this stuff. It’s easy to get into simplistic judgment but we hear from moms that it’s hard to say no. It’s a constant barrage and the cross-marketing is complex.
How is this script affecting their relationships?
Some immediate effects are a disruption between girls and their parents, who report a lot of conflict and pressure. Regarding friendships, teachers report these themes disrupting classroom learning and play as early as Grade 1. This sexualized curriculum disrupts important opportunities to develop social skills and self-esteem. The implications relate highly to the development of a relationship with the self: knowing who you are and what your value is, regardless of style, accoutrements, social status, attention and posing. I’m interested in knowing more about how fathers, stepfathers and grandfathers are making sense and responding – or not – to all of this.
What are you hoping to change?
We’re curriculum theorists. For schools and teachers, we want to position these issues as a curriculum that we can think critically about. The next step will be setting up a blog space where the teachers who have been involved can continue to be co-researchers and contribute to a tipping point.
What’s your advice for parents?
We caution against sticking one’s head in the sand and figuring, ‘This is just a free-for-all.’ But we also wouldn’t suggest banning pop culture texts altogether. What we know is that children learn about themselves and the world in the context of their family, school and culture. When we engage with our kids about this stuff, we create opportunities to communicate our own values. We secure our position as role models when we engage.
Parents and Their Role in their Children’s Education
From: Social Science Research Skills
The purpose of this activity is to:
– describe the diverse ways in which aspects of the school environment contribute to the socialization of individuals at various stages of the life cycle
– demonstrate an understanding of the impact that parental involvement in schools can have on a child’s growth and development
– describe creative approaches to fostering parental involvement in schools
- You will work either individually or in a small group (three to four people) and then each complete an individual report to summarize your results.