Don't Bother Buying an iPad for Your Kid

Jeanne Sager
14

iPadIf you've been wondering if today's kids are really getting brattier or if you're just getting old, here's a little food for thought. Parents are actually buying little precious iPads for Christmas.

The $500 goodie that adults like me didn't dare put on the wish list because we figured paying the mortgage in December might be a good idea is apparently one of the "hot ticket" items for kids.

And according to a press release forwarded to our offices last week, they're OK with it because "there has been an uptick in parents purchasing insurance on those tech gadgets."

"iPad insurance," we're told, "covers natural disaster, drops, spills, theft, and more, which are all typical mishaps for young kids."

Hey parents? That's the sign of you being total hypocrites. Don't say we didn't warn you.

When The Stir shared the news awhile back that kids want electronics this year instead of toys, we were heartened to hear parents agree with us that they'd be telling their kids where they could stick that "want" this year.

So why are you doing an about face? Has there been some mysterious uptick in the economy to jive with that uptick in insane purchases? Or are you just way too much of a pushover to put your foot down to a 7-year-old?

I'm not buying my daughter an iPad. Not now and probably not ever.

I probably should have prefaced that by mentioning my daughter is 5; by the time she is old enough for an iPad, I'm pretty sure it will be outdated technology. But that shows you it will be years before we get there. She's also pretty content with $6 My Little Ponies at the moment, and I'm content getting them for her. 

We'll spend more than $6 in total, but I wouldn't buy her a more age-appropriate gift with a $500 price tag. At this age, she doesn't have the responsibility to take care of it, and she likely won't for years to come. Buying an insurance policy is a cop out, Mom and Dad.

Ask yourself: if my child loses or destroys this iPad, what is the insurance policy going to teach them? Not responsibility, that's for sure. The broken iPad will be replaced, good as new. Way to go, Mom and Dad! Way to drive home that lesson in taking care of what's yours. Just wait till you get them their car to drive to college, and they practice off-roading with their buddies because "hey, my Mom will buy me a new one when I tear out the transmission."

You have to ask yourself why you're buying the policy: is it because you know your kids probably won't take the best care of this expensive item? If that's true, you have no leg to stand on. They'll destroy it; but you knew it would happen.

And why are you putting that kind of pressure on your kid?

At 5, my daughter has responsibilities commensurate with age. Brush your teeth in the morning without me asking. Let the dog out to go to the bathroom. Let her back in. Put your dirty dishes in the sink. Next year we'll up it to include moving the clothes in her hamper to the big hamper in the bathroom and other 6-year-old things.

We're not putting her in charge of the dog's life. Or expecting her to wash her own clothes.

If you want kids to grow up, you have to let them. Don't bombard them with expectations and then wonder why they can't meet them.

What's the most expensive present you'll buy for your kids this year?


Image via Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr

Read More