Mothers’ Union revamp safety guidelines to protect chilldren from commercialisation

Mothers' Union have today launched  an updated version of our Labelled for Life resource - designed to help parents respond to the rise in sexting, online advertising and commercialisation of children and young people.

Labelled for Life: Managing the Commercial World as a Family, builds upon our successful Bye Buy Childhood campaign and addresses the proliferation of online advertising, user generated content and includes updates to marketing and media regulations that have been made following recent policy changes. Labelled for Life offers a practical and accessible guide to parents and carers to help them understand and ensure the safety of their children amid the latest developments in technology. 

Speaking at the launch, Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton, will highlight how half of parents in the UK do not feel equipped to deal with the commercial world, with over a third feeling they have little or no control over the content their children are viewing on mobile phones and social networking sites. She says, “We have all benefited from advances in technology in this generation but parents often feel ill equipped to ensure their children can engage with this new world in safety. Labelled for Live provides a starting point for both parents and carers to begin that conversation”.

As well as advice to combat online commercialisation, Labelled for Life also provides practical tips for parents and carers on talking to children about money and budgeting, peer pressure and bullying, sex and healthy relationships, and where to go for further advice in the event of serious complaints or criminal activity. 

Labelled for Life works on the basis that while the commercial world is now part of life, rather than shield children from it, they need to be equipped to manage it and engage with it safely and securely. Labelled for Life recommends that parents spend responsibly, put in place sensible safeguards and manage children’s expectations around what they can consume. 

Rachel Aston, Social Policy Manager at Mothers’ Union, and author of the guide, said; “Our intention is that children won’t feel that their value and identity is tied up with big brands, what they look like or what they own; but instead that they understand and feel secure in their own inherent value.”

To view more information and resources to help combat the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood please visit www.mothersunion.org/childhood.

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