Children's clothing, toys, and media matter. Adults sometimes think 'kid stuff' is trivial, but actually, children's pop culture plays an important socializing function in children's lives. From an early age, children look to parents, peers, and products alike to help them discern their place in the world. Today's parents strive to raise well-rounded children, but their efforts are often contradicted by the clichés that dominate children's culture, which teach children that girls and boys are expected to behave in gender-stereotypical ways, with rigidly differentiated interests. This can circumscribe children's play patterns as well as their future aspirations, and unfortunately, as I explain in 'The Princess Problem,' it can be incredibly difficult for parents to compete with billion-dollar brands. For this reason, I advise seeking out alternatives whenever possible. Independent brands like those in the Clothes Without Limits consortium are a great choice.