How to have a happy holiday, Brain style!
First off…relax! A happy holiday is not just Christmas, it includes Birthdays, Anniversaries, Hanukkah, and just about any day we stop and think about one person or couple in particular.
In the early 60’s almost every toy that any kid wanted had to have a battery. I remember vividly walking up to mom and dad and asking for four D cells to power my mega robot. I also remember the blank stare they passed to each other when they realized that they had forgotten to buy any batteries. Poor mom and dad had to listen to me complaining until the next day when the stores were open again and dad could go down and get some. Being 50’s parents they felt terrible for spoiling my Christmas. Batteries were very important and today almost every fridge has a shelf full of them.
Today every child wants the electronic toys. These are the same toys we as parents already have: cell phones (with keyboards), gaming consoles (you can use your bottom to play), laptops, desktops, and more. Parents have to decide if they intend to get the kids a computer or pass their computer down to the kids and get themselves a new computer. I know, your thinking no parent would ever be as selfish as that, but some do. Here are some basic guidelines for handing technology down the family ladder.
1. Cell phones: Yes you can pass them down. The only thing is, if the screen has a crack you must take it back. If it is working fine your child will be glad for the improved technology and you won’t feel so bad when they lose it (and yes they will lose it, or drop it, or run over it with the car or whatever). Hint: add a texting and photo plan to your phone contract. Even my mother in law has become a texting maniac.
2. Game Consoles: No you can’t pass them down. Your loving child does not want your N64 and frankly your child will be tormented for having a lame game system. This year the WII is my hands down favorite. Reason, it is the first game console that gets your lazy bottoms off the floor or out of the chair. This movement is a great way to not feel so bad when your kid wants to play video games for 4 straight days. There is even a controller that you sit on to use. It’s not as good as a trip to the gym, but it is better than watching TV.
3. Computers: Yes if your child is young (under 10). No if your child is older. The biggest reason is the software your children want to run. Young children love Disney, Dora, and I think Blue’s Clues is still in there. Most of these games are written to run on the older PC’s and will be fine for the younger kids. But believe it or not the Pentium 3 and 4 will not run the latest games your older children want to play. Don’t worry there are a couple of things you can do to still get a new toy for yourself and keep the kids happy too. Consider upgrading the old computer before you pass it on. More memory, a faster CPU, and a new video card can go a long way toward helping the computer run the new games and applications your older child wants and it won’t break the bank.
4. iPod’s, MP3 players: Yes you can! (as long as it is their first one) Any MSPD (music storage and play device) will be welcome. It allows them to express who they are by selecting their own style of music. WORD OF WARNING: Don’t pick it up and play it..you won’t like what you hear and it may damage your hearing…Remember, if it’s too loud your too old.