Buying gifts for kids was never an easy task. There are so many possibilities. You can buy something useful like clothes. But they will only appreciate it when they grow up. You can buy books. But that works better if you know the kid and whether his or her hobbies include reading. Food can work too, especially sweets. But then the parents might frown upon you (if it’s not your kid, that is).
Recently, I had this problem myself. Spending Easter with boyfriend’s family meant I will meet his niece. 7 years old girl is charming. When you don’t know her well enough.
As I don’t have kids of my own, I recollected my childhood. Always used to get a lot of books. Pictures, colours, text with a lesson encoded – sounds about right. Barbies worked well too. But I don’t know this girl good enough. So, why not asking someone who does?
“What should I buy for your niece?” I asked cheerfully.
“Don’t bother. The only thing she’s interested in is smartphone games”.
Easy Way Out?
Technically, this piece of information supressed in one single sentence was giving me an easy way out. Buying an app is simple. Activity I did multiple times for myself. I always had a tendency to play some silly games on my phone as well as something more “sophisticated” and “adult-like”, for example, pay by phone casino games. Don’t judge – when you play smart, you can win a lot. But that definitely not a game for 7-years-old.
Either way, I could easily buy an app. Suitable for children, of course. But do I want to?..
Our society is spending so much time on their phones already. I mean, you’re probably even reading this on one, right? It’s fine up to some degree. Reading news in the morning. Way faster than getting a newspaper or going online on your laptop. Playing games on your phone is a good way to kill time during the commute to work. Phone keeps you updated about your schedule, calendar, tasks, perhaps even encouraging healthy habits such as drinking enough water or walking/exercising more.
But is it really healthy for a primary school pupil to spend free time on smartphone playing games? It might be fun and fine for some time. Especially if the games are educational. But reading books, playing outside or even inside with some more common toys can be so much more fun. And not that much addicting or damaging eyes.
Call me old-fashioned, but I won’t buy the app. I will probably buy some toy that she will never use. Or perhaps try to play with her myself to distract her from smartphone games.
Game apps are fun when you are adult and know your limits. No matter whether it is FarmVille you play or slot machines for real money. Childhood is the time when we form our habits. They might change over time and evolve but if you spent all your innocent years playing games on phone, what’s to say you will want to do anything else later on?