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The kid got no i-Anything for Christmas

My kid wanted an I-Pod 5 for Christmas. Before this he wanted a new computer for Christmas. But, then his only waking thought became an I-Pod 5. My kid is 9-years-old. He asked me many times. He sent me links to where I could get an I-Pod 5. He told his Granma that he wanted an I-Pod 5 for Christmas.

My son-in-law also wanted an I-pod. He’s 24. But he did not ask for one for Christmas. I just knew he wanted one since he had lost his I-Pod that he purchased three years ago.

My twins, age 15, have I-pods, second generation. And all of their friends and many of my 9- year-olds friends have I-pods of various generations, my 9-year-old reminds me constantly. In fact, these kids have I-Everythings. I-Pods. I-Pads. I-Phones. You name the I, they have it. DSC_0332

I hesitated as I pictured my son addicted to more electronics, like he needs help in that department. Another thing for me to take away from him, or to be frustrated with, that it is consuming him. I want to try to keep my son young for as long as possible, if that is even possible with four older siblings. My husband agreed that our 9-year-old does not need an I-Pod. He needs to focus on reading and creating and other things, like, oh yeah, playing outside. The I-Pod will take over his life, we both agreed.

Then I was at Target and just for fun asked the salesperson to show me the I-pods, and as he guides me to the I-Pod section in the store, he begins talking about the I-Pod 4 and how for about half the price, I should consider the I-Pod 4. The salesperson was very convincing; telling me one of the only differences was the addition of Siri, a voice-command option. The guy was convincing, so I bought one for my son-in-law, and thought about one for my 9-year-old after all.

But, when I got home and fished around for comments on how my 9-year-old felt about the I-Pod 4, he said, “no way, that one sucks.” Got to love the honesty of 9-year-olds. (Now you see the language in our real-life household used by my fourth grader. I’d rather have nothing, he informs me.)

Oh? He said, he’d save up on his own to buy the 5. Or wait till his March birthday.

Okay. What have I done here as a mom?

When I asked my daughter what her husband, my son-in-law, would think about the I-Pod 4, rather than the I-Pod 5, he was fine about it. He did not need the I-Pod 5.

Hmm. Comparing the two generations. This young generation of kids wants the best and the newest and the most elaborate techy things.

Reminds me of another conversation I had with my 9-year-old around the phone I own. That conversation  went something like this:

“Mom, I’m really embarrassed,” my 9-year-old says to me.

“Why?” I ask.

“It’s your phone. It’s really old. Why don’t you have an I-Phone?”

“Well, I don’t really need an I-Phone and I don’t want to pay the 30 dollars per month data fee since I do most of my internet research on my articles from home on my computer where I have all the data I need,” I reason with him.

“But, it’s just so embarrassing seeing you with your old phone. Even the neighbor has an I-Phone and he doesn’t make as much money as we do. It shows we are poor,” my 9-year-old concludes.

Okay, so that is how my 9-year-old views the technology we have at home. It’s about status and what that represents to the world.

When I told my pediatrician (who’s a friend of mine) at my kid’s next appointment about this comment from my son, she laughs and pulls out her phone, which is even older than mine. It does not even have a 26-letter keyboard on it like I have.

So, the kid got no I-Pod, no I-Pod 4, no I-Pod 5, no I-Anything for Christmas. He got a coin counter and Star Wars Legos and an airplane making kit and a basketball and an automatic umbrella DSC_0339(so, there’s a few techy things after all). And my son-in-law got the I-Pod 4, but we don’t tell my 9-year-old since we don’t want any comments from him, or any comparing, even though he made it clear he did not want an I-Pod 4 anyway.

My 9-year-old eventually figures out we gave his brother-in-law the I-Pod 4 and now he wishes he had one after all.

But after a few days that wears off. And, my 9-year-old is in his bedroom, using his coin sorter to count money and building forts with his friends and crafting Star Wars ships out of his Lego set, and he’s outside playing basketball with his new basketball he also got.

That is working for now.

He does remind me that his 10th birthday is coming up and that is where we can “focus all the money on him.” Man, this kid is smart.

For now, I am happy to see him playing LegosDSC_0358 and basketball. And, counting his coins.

And wishing for what he might get for his 10th birthday.

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Posted in Children, Culture, Family Life, Gratitude, Kids, Life, Moms, Parenting, Real LIfe, Slowing Down, Technology, Writing, Youth.

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5 Responses

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  1. cathie ericson says

    I absolutely love this. Similar story in my house, right down to my 14 yo saying he’d rather have nothing that an iPad 2nd gen. Ok, enjoy your nothing, my friend!! that’s not a threat that is fruitful in my house ;0

    My 9 yo had nothing so earlier this fall, my husband got him an iPhone 2…no service. He can put music and apps on it play games, and it was about $50. He is thrilled with it! :)

    I have a nice phone with data, but it’s a windows not an iPhone, by choice. I like the keypad. My kids wish I had an iPhone Great oppty to teach them about marketing. My phone was just as expensive, and frankly a lot more practical… just doesn’t have the cache. I told them there is nothing “magical” about iAnything. It’s all marketing.

  2. Cornelia Seigneur says

    Julia – Thanks for your thoughtful response to my blog post- I really appreciate it. So much of parenting is done on our knees and prayer and instinct and wrestling and in the end Love- . . . blessings, cornelia

  3. Julia Steuart says

    This is excellently written about your thoughts and your perspective as a responsible and loving parent! Thank you for considering what is most important mentally and emotionally and most importantly spiritually impacting your son today and his future! Your perspective is God inspired and motivated by His love He has for you and your son! Children are a heritage of the Lord, and a gift from Him! Thank you for giving your son limits for technology! He will grow up to have self restraint and delay hasty gratification for his own desires! He will thank you someday and will be grateful for the self discipline and self control that you are demonstrating in your choice to not buy him what he thinks he wanted. I am reminded of the scripture that says,” Correction and discipline are good for children. If a child has his own way, he will make his mother ashamed of him. Discipline your son and you can always be proud of him. He will never give you reason to to be ashamed. That was written in one of the most insightful chapters of the Holy Bible by one of the wisest Kings of our Christian Heritage,” Solomon,” King David’s son and King of Israel. To help us understand God’s wisdom and good advice for every question we have in our life experiences is written there! Thank you for being transparent and sharing your parenting insights and real dilemmas! Love and Hugs, Julia Steuart

  4. Cornelia Seigneur says

    Megan- is that not the truth- keeping electronics away from them allows them to still be kids!!- thanks for writing-

  5. Megan says

    Love it Cornelia. I’m glad you were able to resist and he is allowed to be a kid for a little longer.

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