Have you noticed how quickly something can become a hot trend? Especially with kids! And it seems kids pick up on how popular something is no matter how much or how little exposure to “that thing” they have. I can’t say that I am surprised really. Kids are like sponges. They see a toy’s commercial a few times and they just have to have it, Mommy!
In fact, I think back and recall that Hatchimal trend that went around. All I remember thinking when my kids all jumped at trying to persuade me to buy it was “you want to care for and hatch a fake bird?” All I could respond with was “we will see.” As time went on they talked about this thing more and more; at times begging me for one. Disregarding the cost and difficulty in locating one, my answer quickly became a big NO due to this growing obsession my kids were developing. Sure I had pouty children! Broken hearts, no matter how many times I explained that there were more important things than “that thing”.
Lately the new thing is the Fidget Spinner. These things are everywhere, I mean absolutely EVERYWHERE. Even the drive by ice cream man was selling them! Now all four of my kids are asking for one every time they see this thing and my answer has quickly become a NO!
Honestly, of all the big hit toys that have come and gone, this one really bothers me. You see, this device was originally designed with a purpose. It was to help those experiencing extreme stress to be able to fidget and focus. It was especially meant to help those with disorders such as ADHA, Autism, Anxiety, etc.
Sounds good right? Well, it was originally. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about buying one for my son. Although we have not taken him to receive any diagnosis, I believe he may be near the spectrum. His concentration and amount of fidgeting can be incredibly excessive sometimes. It has been challenging. I have scoured the internet for ways to help him stay focused during our lessons. Another thing I see often is the medicine ball-chair; so that the child can move around at the desk while working. This is supposed to allow the child to channel energy into the ball as needed and therefore focus and complete work.
That is what the fidget spinner was meant to do and I think that the idea and execution were great. However, I think the marketing went in the wrong direction. So in this case, I refuse to buy a device that has turned into another trend… a toy at this point.
Today, however, was just like any other when we come across one. We were shopping at our local outdoor supply store when at the register my daughter saw a bin full of Fidget Spinners for sale. UGH! I already knew what was coming. Sure enough, I was asked greatly for one by my eldest daughter. Instead of saying no the words “why do you want this so bad?” came out. The response I got was:
“It helps you concentrate”
Really? It helps you concentrate! I couldn’t believe the innocent ignorance in that statement. I couldn’t, for the life of me, think of a time when this daughter of mine had a hard time concentrating! However, trying to explain to your child the original concept of a fidget spinner, why I refuse to buy this particular “thing”, and being in line attempting to pay do not mix well. So I dropped the topic.
I have been thinking about this incident all day now and honestly have become quite bothered by the response I received from my daughter earlier. It has solidified my reasoning for not giving even a dollar to this toy. At what point did my daughter feel like it is only because of this toy she would be able to concentrate properly? Is she having doubts about the quality of her work? In herself? Does she feel not smart enough because “with this toy it will help me concentrate?”
So at this point I may be off on a personal rant, but it is because of this that I will definitely not be giving in to this new craze. There is so much more for children to get caught up in instead of a toy or a trend. God has given us the world to explore, enjoy, and even study so why should we give in to the worldly focus of these things.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t always say no to my children; especially when they ask for something. It really just depends on what that something is and why they want it. I have tried over the years to instill in my children not to “follow the trend”.
Okay, not in those words! But it just goes back to the phrase I hear so often from my kids: “well so-and-so did it”. That is one phrase that drives me absolutely nuts! My response is always the same “well if so-and-so jumped off the roof would you?” It is the same thing with them wanting something just because “everyone wants it”.
So in order to keep this lesson going, I never give into “that thing”.