Is that toy a good idea?

Studies show that children's toys are seriously negative.

Barbie causes self esteem issues.

In 2006, a study conducted by UK professors Helga Dittmer, Suzanne Ive, and Emma Halliwell called "Does Barbie Make Girls Want To Be Thin?" (published in Developmental Psychology and part of the American Psychological Association) looked at the effect of experimental exposure of images of Barbie to girls aging from 5 to 8 years old. This experiment used a total of 162 girls, some exposed to Barbie and others not. In the end, it showed that girls exposed to these images "produced lower self-esteem and a greater desire for a thinner body shape than in the other exposed conditions."

Psychologists also say that Barbie is to blame for women developing Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). BDD is a disease that causes a person to obsess over something they dislike about their body. Journalist Rachel Rettner said that in 2008 “an estimated 750,000 cosmetic procedures, 271,000 of which were surgical, were performed in people aged 20 to 29, according to theASPS. And 81,900 surgical procedures were performed on children and young adults aged 13 to 19." These statistics are a great representation of the effect Barbie has on young women, making them feel the need to change their body to meet unrealistic standards set by a doll.

(The Negative Effects of Barbie on Young Girls an the Long Term Results." Divine Caroline. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.)

"It's not the toy guns that cause the problem, but the way they are taught to be played with?"

It's no surprise that with walking into a toy store or down the right aisle in your local Target or WalMart that you will come across a grand variety of toy guns. These are some of the most popular toys with young boys. In an article written by Sara Ipatenco, she states that "the toy guns themselves aren't really the problem, but the attitudes and perception of guns that children receive from parents and other authority figures are the problem. The toy guns themselves don't necessarily pose a risk, it's the way that toy guns are used and how children are taught to play with them that can become a problem." But is this really the case? Some might say it's perfectly reasonable to put the blame on whomever has taught the child, boy or girl, how to play with their toy gun. However, in my personal experience, when my 2-year-old nephew was asked what he wanted for Christmas this past year, he responded with the (probably typical) airplane, helicopter, cars, things of that nature. He had never been exposed to toy guns, but he asked for one of those, too. Before even being presented with his first toy gun by Grandpa, he was already using his fingers as guns, accompanied with "pow-pows" and "bang-bangs." So can we really put the sole blame on the person that teaches the child to play with the toy? Even if the blame can be put on something other than the toy guns themselves, I really don't think it's the wisest idea to give our children these toys in (almost) support of the violent nature they come with.

( Ipatenco, Sara. "Are Toy Guns a Bad Influence on Children?" Everyday Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.)

Video games are popular amongst all ages, but does that mean our children should be playing them?

"Video games are most often focused on negative behaviors such as the killing of people or animals, the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, criminal behavior and disrespect for authority and the law. Video games sometimes also promote sexual exploitation and violence toward women; racial, sexual and gender stereotypes; and foul language, obscenities and obscene gestures."
How true do you believe this is? Honestly. Think about the last time you actually saw a video game that didn't fit that description somehow. Maybe you saw a Nintendo game somewhere, like Super Mario, or a game based off of a television show like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Pokemon. But those aren't really that much better, in my opinion. Kids don't learn anything from them. Not violence, surely, which is great, but they're also not learning anything. At all. Two of the most popular games that were recently released are Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Ghosts. These also happen to be two very popular game series, and they fit the above description to a T.
A study over at ESRB shows that in 2010, only 25% of those playing video games are under 18, and that parents report watching their children play 97% of the time, but we're gonna assume these are based on polls, and polls only reach the masses, not everyone. Even if you're watching your child play the game, who's to say that you're not watching them play a CoD or GTA game? These games promote and support violent actions and activities, even if the creators say they don't.
You might be sitting there, reading this, saying to yourself "Okay, but I don't allow my children to play those games." Good for you. Seriously. But are they learning anything of worth from the games you do allow them to play? Sure it helps hand-eye coordination, but is there anything else? Unless they're playing one of the new Leap Pad games, which do focus on education in reading and math skills, I doubt they're getting anything out of it besides a few hours of amusement.

("Video Game Violence and Children." List of Books and Articles about. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.)

In a nutshell-

Think twice before you allow your child to play with certain toys. Be it a Barbie doll, toy gun, video game, anything. There are negative sides to everything and we should be incredibly careful with what kids at such vulnerable and fragile ages are exposed to.