Since the festive season is just around the corner, I think this is just a great a time as any to talk about the issue of cute but thoughtless vs Cute & Thoughtful kids’ gifts.
I’m well aware that this piece will touch a raw nerve in some of us sensitive types. But what are good friends for if we don’t discuss sensitive issues with each other.
So let’s get to it shall we?
Our founding belief at StoneHouse Brands
As a parenting-centric company, one of our core beliefs is that every opportunity should be created AND/OR taken to build the foundation for a child to grow into a happy and kind human.
The earlier that foundation starts to get built, the better it is for both the parents and the child.
Because we believe it is our duty as parents to start as early as possible the work of guiding kids in developing good character, we don’t think buying kids’ gifts (especially clothing) with animals or some other imagery whose sole purpose is to make the kids look cute is very thoughtful.
It’s cute to dress one’s baby in a panda face romper, but thoughtless nonetheless.
Ok before you cuss me out, please hear me out.
Cute yes, but then what?
Please don’t get me wrong.
Images of pandas, monkeys, elephants or trees are indeed very cute on a toddler’s onsie, a baby bib, pj or crib sheet.
But beyond cuteness what other purpose do these images serve?
If your baby, toddler, tween or teen is like most human beings, the images or messages on her clothes are not primarily meant for her per se.
They’re meant to make her look good in the eyes of those who see her.
Clothing with a written message is meant to convey the message about the wearer to the world.
So when a baby is wearing a onsie with the image of a monkey, what message is being send about the baby to the world?
That the baby looks like a donkey or will grow to behave like a donkey?
I don’t remember the last time I saw a grown man or woman wearing a T-shirt with an embroidered image of a giraffe on it.
I do see many people wearing clothes with meaningful messages on them though.
So the billion dollar question is this.
Why, when they buy clothing or other products with images, do adults buy for themselves products/clothing with images that are not only cute/beautiful but also that carry meaning but when it comes to kids, they buy mostly products with no value beyond cuteness?
Winnie the pooh
I’m not hating here but honestly what does the image of say, Winnie the Pooh, do for a toddler, a newborn or the said child’s mother or father?
We can all agree that such an image gets a high grade for cuteness but then what?
I mean honestly, beyond cuteness, what benefit does a baby or toddler for example, derive from seeing Winnie the Pooh over and over again on, say, a towel or crib sheet?
Besides these images having no direct or indirect benefit on the baby or child in the near or long term, they do absolutely nothing to help the parent start the journey of preparing the young one for life in the world of the living.
This is what StoneHouse Brands intends to change.
Thoughtful Options…a new paradigm
At StoneHouse we believe that a smart parent creates and uses every opportunity to instill foundational life values in their child.
This is the reason why we have designed and are in the process of manufacturing children’s products that give parents the opportunity to instill values such as kindness, work ethic, the drive to win or persistence in the kids starting from the day the kids are born.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that messages or affirmations of health, wealth, success, happiness, compassion, strength or good luck that are said or written to be of effect on a child who can’t yet speak for him or herself have a profound effect on the said child’s life.
The positive effect of these kinds of messages combined with appropriate imagery is even multiplied when put on products used by kids who are able to read and beyond.
Give me the choice to buy a towel written ‘I’m A Winner’ or another with the image of a monkey or panda.
I will choose the towel with the message “I’m A Winner’ each and every time.
Because as a parent I want my kid to be a winner. Plain and simple.
Looking at my daughter wearing a tank top with the words ‘Boss lady’ subconsciously leads me to guide her towards the development of character traits that will make her grow into a boss lady.
It also makes me expect her to act like a boss lady.
Wishing only vs action backed wishing
Every parent wishes the best for their child. I know I do for all my 3 kids.
I know you do too.
You and me however, know that wishing alone is not enough.
There has to be intentional action backing up those wishes.
I’m totally convinced that buying kids gifts with messages that promote the kids becoming winners or the best they can be is way more thoughtful than buying them products/gifts with animals or some other dumb images like that.
StoneHouse Brands’ not alone in this thinking
Just the other day I was watching a YouTube eposode from one of my favorite mommy vloggers, Gabrille Rader of GabeTV fame.
Gabe and Chad were celebrating their daugher’s Reagan’s 8 month birthday and Gabe had dressed their daughter in a top with the message HISTORY MAKER.
Now that is thoughtful.
Thoughtful not only on the part of Gabe and Chad as well as on the part of the company that designed that piece of baby clothing.
I was gratified to see that StoneHouse Brands is not alone in the war against thoughtlessness.
Why the imagery & messaging on kids’ products is important
Affirming positive things into a child’s life also works to help you, the parent, to develop high expectations for your kids.
Like the Pygmalion effect says: “what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy”
Because the StoneHouse Brands products are made out of premium quality organic fabrics, parents and other adults will have more thoughtful options to choose kids products from.
In the meantime however, I encourage you pick your Christmas gifts carefully.
Please be thoughtful.