These three commercials from the 1960's suggest the roles popular culture played in promoting some of the core premises of what I am calling Permissive Child Rearing Doctrine, a set of ideas most closely associated with Dr. Benjamin Spock, but which were shaped by a much broader array of post-war advice literature. Writing in the 1950's, Martha Wolfenstein saw the shift from a culture of production (with its demands for discipline and regimentation) to a culture of consumption (with its expectations of a "fun morality") as a major force shaping child-rearing practices in the twentieth century. The emergence of permissiveness in the postwar era, she argues, was partially a response to the expansion of the consumer market place and the prospect of suburban affluence, both themes which should be clear from these sample commercials. Permissive conceptions of the child embraced pleasure as a positive motivation for exploration and learning. The home was being redesigned to accommodate children's impulses and urges. The family was being redirected from a Father-Centered to a Child-Centered model. Fathers were being taught to become tolerant and indulging playmates for their children. Mothers were being instructed to deploy pleasure to get children to do what was expected of them. All of this is wonderfully summed up in this Madison Avenue fable of a mother who sees her pogo-stick-playing children as kangaroos bouncing through her kitchen. A previous generation would certainly have believed that they could, in fact, "change" their family through discipline and regimentation; she's being told, instead, to change her floor wax and otherwise create a space which can tolerate their rambunctiousness. Similarly, consider the ways that Trik-Trak assumes the children will be able to play "all over the house" and that their father will be happy to have their toys racing under his feet even as he reads the evening newspaper. The Dick Tracy radio watch commercial extends the children's play environment from the home into the entire suburban neighborhood, reflecting the freedom of movement experienced by the post-war generation. Sociologists in the early 1970's estimated that suburban boys enjoyed a free range of 1,200 yards while their sisters might travel only 760 yards without adult permission. By the end of the decade, conservative cultural critics, such as Spiro Agnew, will be blaming Spock for the counterculture's anti-authoritarian views, suggesting that anti-war protestors should have been spanked when they were little boys and girls. Later child-rearing experts have rejected "permissiveness" in favor of more "authoritative" models for the relations between children and adults, insisting that adults need to set firmer limits on what happens in their homes. But, in the early 1960's, these commercials were selling permissiveness as much as they were selling particular toys and products. We can see these assumptions at play from a historical distance. But, how are contemporary models of child-rearing impacting the ways children's toys are designed and marketed?