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Consumer socialization of Jaden starts from me, his Dad

Jaden blurts his dislike for vegetarian food to the party hosts and we are left embarrassed. We would have preferred if he quietly left the food alone without an expression of distaste. Back home, we firmly tell Jaden to be careful about his utterances in public, especially those that may be perceived as rude.

Added thought on Jaden's public articulation has left me a li'l unsure on what's best when it comes to exhibiting personal preferences. Should it never be articulated in public, or is it about articulating public disagreements in a non-threatening manner? Meaning Jaden can say he doesn't prefer a certain food, but has to say it in a manner so as to not displease his hosts.

As I grapple with what's best in such situations, one thing is crystal clear, and sure to me. Jaden was articulating publicly what he picked from me. Here's the truth. I can't get myself to like vegetarian food. What's more, in some way I even think vegetarianism can be equated with 'ritualism'. A misplaced sense of 'animal care' that makes people feel they shouldn't be killed for meat that feeds, doesn't cut any ice with me. In fact I believe buying into such 'manufactured care' for the four-legged is daft. Just so that I am not misunderstood, let me repeat, I am only advocating animal slaughter for food. I am not the 'stone throwing at animals' kind of deviant.

Jaden's picked not just his food habits, but his mannerisms and attitudes too from me. So if he's getting it 'wrong' in the public space, and fingers need to be pointed, i'd say direct them at me.

Socialization of children is engineered most by family. Consumer socialization of children too happens most within the family. Consumption habits thus are passed down generations even. Sure, those habits may alter when the child gets exposed to other reference groups other than family, but the family still leaves the most potent consumption habit mark on children.

To get Jaden to be circumspect with his public utterances, I'd have to first do that myself. Now that's where I worry. At my age, I am not sure I want to.

I know, stupid me!


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