I am a Hypocrite

For a few years now I have been yammering on about how I will never buy my children any video games or hand-held electronic devices such as Gameboys. I believe that children should read lots of books, engage in imaginative play with Waldorf-approved toys and run around outside. Yoshi thinks that children should run around outside and watch educational TV shows. Anyway. This year, what Jio wants most in the world for Christmas, what he has, in fact, already demanded of Santa, is a DS Lite game. All of his friends have one, and then there is the barrage of TV and print advertising meant to brainwash seven-year-old boys. After much soul-searching, and also finding out that some of my most-principled mother friends have permitted their children to have Nintendo DS games, I talked Yoshi into getting Jio one for Christmas…only to find that they are not available! I wasted an entire morning last week driving from mall to electronic superstore. Yoshi searched auction sites. He asked his fifteen-year-old niece if she would sell us hers, at a cost above the market price, if we couldn’t find one before Christmas. Last Saturday morning, a newspaper flyer announced that DS Lites would be available at the mall. I sent Yoshi to get one, but he was too late. The store opened at 9AM, but a lot of other parents got there before him. We wound up buying a couple of used Nintendo DS games (not the coveted Lite, alas) so I can somewhat assuage my guilt by the fact that we are recycling.

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4 thoughts on “I am a Hypocrite

  1. I finally let my son get a Gameboy after we moved to Korea because literally every single kid at his school had one. I didn’t want to get one, but the turning point came when I watched my son with two of his friends who were both playing on their Gameboys and my son was peering over their shoulders asking over and over, “Can I have a turn? Can I try?” while they ignored him and focused on the game. I felt bad for him and finally caved in. I have to admit it is great in restaurants and long car rides and on the plane.

  2. I had no idea they were that hard to get. I’ll have to tell my friend who has been telling her daughter for the past six months that she would get her one if she did ‘X’ amount of chores, etc. The daughter’s fulfilled her side of the bargain but I don’t know if my friend will be able to do the same – whoops!

  3. Sandra, my son had basically the same experience. One of his friends brought a Nintendo DS to a playdate at our house and then wanted to play it the whole time! His mother was here, so it was hard to tell him to put it away.

    Jean, I’ll bet those DS Lites will be available after the holidays.

  4. My son’s grandfather wanted one and spent many a month searching our town. His son in Nagoya ended up sending him one. For some reason they had a bunch there. I am not sure if they still do or not.

    And hello, Jean introduced me to your blog. I am a fellow expat. Congrats on the book as well!

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