Saturday, December 13, 2014



I am normally a very accepting and low key person. But sometimes, I get a bit riled. It could be something simple - take TV. I watch very few shows, tape most to watch without commercials when time permits. But, once in a while a commercial sneaks in.

Last year - this one had small kids berating their parents for eating an orange supposedly made for kids. This year – kids are screaming, whining and mistreating siblings when these treats are not available on demand. First of all, clementines have been around for years. Small, easy to peel, no pits, sweet and juicy - a perfect snack for kids and adults.  Some marketing company has introduced them as a new treat for kids only, with a cute name.

I will only deal with last year’s commercial here, as the point will be made. This advertisement had a parent eating a clementine. The child "catches" him in the act and berates him for eating one of the kid’s snacks. Don't get me started. First, the box holds about 20. Secondly, and this is where I get riled - what message is this for kids (and parents)?

This kid is not cute. He is rude, demanding and selfish. Where did he learn such behavior? From the adults around him? As a parent, I am appalled when I see this behavior in real life. To glamorize it on TV is just wrong.

My scenario - the kid comes upon their parent eating one of the snacks. Even if the dad looks sheepish, the kid could say - "It's ok, dad. You taught me to share. Aren't they good? To which the dad could say, "Yeah", while handing the boy half of the snack. This would make me smile.

When I was young, I was taught to share andwhen  I raised my kids, I taught them to share and to use kind words and be respectful. As adoptive parents, we are especially vigilant about our kids being teased, bullied or treated differently because they were adopted or don't look like us. We help them create a strong self image and identity. By doing so, we teach them about diversity, kindness, tolerance and how to treat and talk to others.

I expect no less from advertisers and the media, who are such an influence on kids and parents.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001 and has a private practice in New York City. She has been Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA since 1992. You can follow her at or email her at