I want an iPad for Christmas

English: A 1st generation Apple iPad. This is ...

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The latest Nielsen consumer reports states that 44% of kids between 6 and 12 want an iPad for Christmas.  This is not surprising. If you’ve ever watched young kids playing with the devices, they regard them as some of the coolest toys to have and a lot of them hate to deal the occasional interruption from daddy or mommy when they want to use them for strange activities like calling.

The interesting thing is, there are a lot of adults who have the device as the number one item on their Christmas list as well. I don’t have anything against technology (I work in the field), and I have to give Apple a lot of credit for coming up with a highly complex technical device equally capable of keeping a 3-year-old and 30-year-old entertained for hours. Absolutely brilliant!.

The iPads are not cheap, and at a cost of about $500 each, this should be a well thought out buy. If you can get past the price tag and you have enough money to buy everybody else on your list a decent Christmas present, but are still struggling with whether to buy your 5 or 6-year-old a iPad, consider the arguments marketers are using to push the devices to the younger set. As you go through the list remember that money decisions say a lot about you and even more critical, they define the values you are passing to your children.

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The Tooth Fairy and the iPad

Tooth Fairy, Where Are You?

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We had a bit of excitement last night, our youngest lost her first baby tooth, and following the time-honoured tradition, the expectation was that the tooth fairy would drop by and leave some money behind in exchange for the baby tooth.

During the day, I’d overheard my two girls discussing this tradition and the conversation went something like this:-

“Sometimes she brings you toys instead of real money”

“I wonder what else she can bring you?”

“Maybe she can get me daddy’s computer and we can play ‘Angry Birds’ on it?”

I silently wondered if this was a setup since I was sitting in the room with them reading a book, and I have learnt not to underestimate them. I also  suspect my oldest is getting wise to some of this things, since she asks a lot of questions, but I’m not one to burst  anybody’s bubble.

I kept my thoughts to myself, but I had to smile, as I imagined the excitement that would prevail if the tooth fairy left an iPad to play “Angry Birds” on for a first tooth. I wondered how she’d top that on the second tooth, but more importantly what would happen if word got out? Would this raise the stakes for all the neighbourhood parents?

Since my oldest lost her first teeth, we’ve had several discussions about the tooth fairy. The girls were very surprised and felt sorry for me when I casually mentioned that the tooth fairy never paid us a visit when we were kids, but instead we threw our baby teeth out over the shoulder as we made a wish for new ones.

This was yet another opportunity to expose the girls to a different culture. I found a great children’s book that does an amazing job, of opening kids eyes to other cultures, via the baby teeth loss.The book is Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby Beeler. In the book we learn that the tooth fairy has some stiff completion from other “tooth fairies” in other parts of the world, as well as other traditions. It’s a book kids and adults will thoroughly appreciate and is worth a read. If you’ve never introduced your kids to other cultures, this book gives you the ideal mechanism to do just that.

Question: What’s the tooth-fairy etiquette for your family? Does this change with age?