How to limit the effect of ads on your child’s spending

Kids are constantly bombarded by advertising. It can be direct advertising like the internet or television, or more subtle like windows displays or their friends telling them to try a product.

So, keeping them away from ads to limit the effect of ads on their spending might be hard.

Instead, you could teach your kids about advertising. Once they understand advertising, ads might not affect their spending much.

Teach your kids to identify ads

Start by identifying ads to your kids on the TV, and on your computer. You could also show them ads when you go shopping, including outdoor ads and those placed in-store – make a game of it by seeing who can spot the most ads.


Ask questions about the ads

Once your kids can identify the ads, start asking them questions so they learn to think about the ads.

For example, you could ask a young child:

  • Do you like the ad?

  • What do you like about it?

  • Do you think it’s a good product? Why or why not?

  • How do you know they’re not lying to you?

You could go into more detail for older kids. For example, if an ad shows a mobile phone with a fantastic new camera, you could ask these questions:

  • Do you think having a great camera is important?

  • Does your phone have a great camera?

  • What feature of your phone do you think is the most important?

  • Do any of your friends’ phones take better photos than yours?

These types of questions could also help your kids realise they might not need the features being sold to them.


Explain these five marketing techniques

Here are five popular advertising techniques you could tell your kids about:

  1. Branding everything with a popular character, including toys, stationery, clothes and even snacks. If you’re in a store, you can make this fun by seeing how many items you can find that display a certain character.

  2. Placing products in TV shows or movies. Turn this into a game by seeing who can spot a deliberately placed item first.

  3. Making products look better than they really are. You could show your child an ad for a hamburger next to the actual hamburger.

  4. Using peer-pressure in a negative way, by trying to tell teenagers they should have perfect skin, or they’ll only be cool if they use a certain product. Tell your kids they’re wonderful the way they are.

  5. Having someone famous sell the ad or making the product seem extra fun. You could explain that they might be acting and not actually use those products themselves.


Use the FLX card and pocket money app

FLX is a prepaid card and pocket money app that helps kids manage their money. Kids can set savings goals and make purchases safely, while parents monitor their purchases with real-time notifications.

To help your child understand the effect of advertising, you can ask your child to think of the last time they saw an ad for the product they just bought. They can then discuss if the ad impacted the child’s decision to buy the product. 

Help your kids manage their money with our FLX prepaid card and pocket money app. Find out more here.

This is general advice. Read the PDSs & TMDs at before deciding if FLX is right for you. The FLX Services & Flexischools are provided by InLoop Pty Ltd ABN 27 114 508 771 AFSL 471558 (trading as Flexischools). The FLX Prepaid Mastercard is issued by EML Payment Solutions Limited ABN 30 131 436 532 AFSL 404131 pursuant to license by Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd.


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