Saturday, December 13, 2008

iPod - to be or not to be - That is the Question.

December 12th, Friday night, my dear husband (dh) and I are just loving having the night out to be together and think about gifts to give to our precious tween/teen children.

And of course, we end up in electronic mecca of our city, the New Best Buys! (Didn't they get the largest chunk of last years Christmas budget? - just a disjointed thought breezing by- thought I'd throw it in)

DS lite games, Wii games, Music DVDs, mini refrigerators, CD Stero systems, video cameras.... you name it, they have it, and best of all (or is it worst of all) they have it in stock!!! Well, our middle son, 13, affectionately called Teddy Bear on this site, only listed two items that he wanted... a crash cymbal for his drum kit and a memory card. This is now fun. We get to think about our son. His likes and dislikes, his personality. What would he just love to be surprised with on Christmas? Isn't great to have a child that doesn't ask for so much?!?! It makes me feel great inside.

He loves music, and listens a lot to his radio. He also keeps it running all night and plays music while he does his school work. He loves to play when drums, especially if mom has just aggravated him (say this smiling). TeddyBear did you fold and put up your laundry....up the stairs, drum concert.... clothes get put up. Fortunately, I love to hear him play drums!

"What about an iPod?", says my dh. Hmm. I am in thought. "He would love one," I nod my head, "let's go see. where are they?" Looking up to the sky to see all the dangling signs hanging from the Best Buys ceiling.

We get to the iPod island. All colors, all sizes, all prices stare back at us. "Do we really want to do this?" my dh poses this question. He continues, "You really have to think about the gift. What we get will impact his life, his personality." "Oh, forgot about that you are so right," I reply, "No, definitely not! We made that mistake with ds 15 (SilverKnight) last year for Christmas. He is now much more unsocial, isolated, always has those freaking headphones on." "Yeah, we don't want to loose TeddyBear. He is still so connected with us and people."

Walking away we think about the MP3 player we got SilverKnight last
year. We were total MP3 player virgins, clueless. If I had the chance again I
would never, NEVER, have given this gift to my oldest son. He is so not involved
with so much conversation time because he has those crazy headphones in his ear.

It probably bothers me the most in short car trips. "Oh, look at the
goat with the llama." (Now don't laugh... animals are still fun to look at, stop
rolling your eyes.) Silence. "Would you like to stop and look for shirts
at Plato's Closet?" Silence. "Can you get my purse, it slipped into the back
seat and my phone is ringing?" Silence. "HELLO! TAKE THOSE THINGS OUT OF YOUR EARS!" I scream.

Now the mommy lecture of great wisdom and facts of life, "You are so
missing out on togetherness and family time. What if there was an emergency and
I had to yell, everyone, out of the car? You would never hear me. You are so
disconnected from us. Can you turn the volume down I can hear it and I don't
even have the headphones on?"

My sweet husband I and walk away from iPod heaven at Best Buys. "Do
you remember the day SilverKnight said he lost his MP3 player?," recalls dh. "Yeah, I was
hoping he'd never find it," I replied. "In a day or two he found it. You know I
wish it would break. I would never get him another one," considered my dh.

My mind drifted to ways I could just accidentally step on it... maybe clean his room and it falls into the trash...oops. Well, I am just being honest. I did go there in my thoughts but would not dare do it because I would have to confess my evil act to my son... and God, who'd be watching.

It is great to know your children. To be able to determine what "toys" are healthy for them physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and socially. Some, let's be honest, alot of electronic products aren't good for our children. All you need to do is walk down the aisle for games. It is hard to find one that is about beating up, killing, invading, crushing, shooting, or controlling someone else.

At least my 11 yo dd, Cupcake, is still putting Kirby and Harvest Moon on her Christmas list. Hey, my oldest 15yo SilverKnight did ask for a mini-fridge for his room. I like that! We are looking for gifts that are quality, that have long playability, that are positive, healthy, creative...worth our money.

So, iPod, to be or not to be? In our home, it is not to be. He can always get one when he is on his own. We want to have as much interaction with him as possible during these last few years we get to have before he goes college.

So, maybe you can glean from our experience, put a little thought into what you give your child this year. Consider how it will affect their mind, spirit, body and behavior. And learn from you mistakes. In this case, we did. Happy Christmas Shopping!


  1. I just tweeted you YES to the I-Pod and then I read this entry, I can see your point, but I think like with anything you allow a child to use you set limits and rules, and monitor how they are using it. But as a parent you make the decision as to what would work best with your family. I understand not wanting to help them distance themselves from you since they do that all too soon on their own. Enjoy all the close family time you can.

  2. I so agree with your comments. It is my responsibility to monitor. I just hate always having to be the "bad guy" telling them to stop doing something.

    I really think the iPod technology is great and would love to have my own, but I would limit it to times when I am along, running/walking, on long car trips when no one is talking, at times alone doing chores, and just preparing to nap or chill.

    It is not a very social tool/ gadget.

  3. Absolutely... not for social times at all!! I only use mine when I am alone. It is soo great when I am walking, or at home cleaning. I live alone, so have more alone time to use it.

  4. I agree. I do have an iPod, but only listen to it at work. (I clean houses.) It's preferable for my son to have a CD player.

  5. It is amazing how much we all agree that iPods are not for social times. I took my 15yo ds's away for a few days this week just to increase his interaction with us, not as a punishment. I am so glad we decided on a nice radio/DVD player for my son. It is still portable but a small "boombox"... if anyone remembers those (o:


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