I'm torn right now about whether to get my kids a Nintendo DS for Christmas this year. They have both been asking for one for what seems like forever. A lot of their friends have them; so they've played several games and really enjoyed them. I know it would be a gift they'd love and would play all the time, but there in lies the problem. They would play it ALL THE TIME. I already limit the amount of screen time they get each day, and we have a lot of screens. They play computer games, Wii games, old Nintendo games and Leapster games. Adding another screen then saying "No" when they ask to play it seems unfair. So I can get it for them and let them have unlimited access to it, or get it for them and tell them they can only play it a few minutes each day (which makes the big price tag seem even bigger), or I can not buy it for them at all.
Although I don't want to, I'm letting the fact that most of their friends have one influence my thinking on this. I don't want my kids to think that they get something because "everyone else has one", but there is some social acceptance component that comes into play here. If most of the kids in daughter's circle of friends are talking about something and she can't talk intelligently about it, that will make her feel left out of that social circle. Now, I didn't' have one of everything my friends had growing up and I think I turned out OK. So I'm trying to not let this line of reasoning influence me...but I'm not exactly winning that battle.
The other thing is that with a big price tag, they would only be getting a DS on a major gift-giving occasion like their birthday or Christmas. I also don't really want to get one for one child on a birthday then have to wait 6 months for the other child to get one simply because the fighting it would cause would drive me crazy. I'd like to get them one at the same time, which basically means Christmas. So if I don't get one for them this Christmas, it will have to wait a year until next Christmas before we'll consider it again.
So, I'm torn. Thoughts?