Columbia, SC (WLTX) - It's the season of 'buy, buy, buy' and one media consultant says along with their parents, kids should be smart holiday consumers too.
"My message is to view critically," said media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker. "Our young people sit in front of the television and they see commercials during the Saturday morning television, and immediately go to mom or dad or grandma and say you've got to buy me this for Christmas."
Baker says kids, like their parents, need to know what to look for in ads that promote certain toys because products that sparkle and swirl on TV won't come out of the box that way.
"Ideally we want parents to sit down and watch television with their children. We know that's not always possible, but it's called co-viewing." said Baker. "The parent begins to demonstrate what I like to call some healthy skepticism."
According to Baker, ads often use older kids as actors in commercials and sometimes embellish the size of an actual toy.
He advises to check toys out by looking for specifics on sites like Amazon or reading reviews on parenting sites.
"The media literacy lesson is never that media are bad," said Baker. "It might be, but that's a valued judgement."