Recently the geekdaughter has been getting more adventurous in her use of the Internet. She’s discovered Safari on her iPad and has been Googling madly for things. As her seventh birthday is coming up soon, a lot of what she’s searching for is things she’d like as gifts. So she’s becoming an expert on eBay (but she’s only allowed to browse, not bid), and frequently brings the iPad over to me to show me her latest find. Mind you, she hasn’t quite got the hang of the whole “auction” thing yet – she keeps saying “look at this Mummy, it’s only 99p!”, and I have to explain that’s probably not the price it will go for in the end.
The other day her searching took her to the Toys R Us website, and she came across the concept of a “Wish List” for the first time. She asked what this meant, and I explained it was a way of keeping a list of things you might want as presents and sharing that list with friends and family to give them an idea of the kind of things you would like. She was very keen to set one up, and at this point I told her that she already had a wish list on another web site, and perhaps it was time I let her have access to that.
Both of my kids have had Amazon wish lists since they were born. With friends and family spread all over the world it was the easiest way to keep a list of things the kids might like for those who don’t see them as often as they’d like. It’s worked really well. So I decided, in the spirit of empowering my daughter and showing her some trust I would allow her to update her own Amazon wish list. I installed the Amazon app on her iPad, double- and triple-checked that her Amazon account contained no credit card information whatsoever, so she couldn’t actually BUY anything, and showed her how to add things to her wish list.
I went to bed that night thinking I was being a progressive parent, and feeling quite proud of myself.
In the morning I woke up to discover that her Amazon wish list now looked like this:
Yes, that’s right. She’d added a page and a half of make-up to it!!!
Cue next lesson about making sure that she had a balanced mix of items on the list, and not too many of one thing, because although she might want all of them, she’d probably be really disappointed if that was all she got for her birthday. We’ve worked together to tidy it up, and it now looks a lot more reasonable.
I must admit it does make me smile when I check her wish list and see that she’s added a few more things to it. It’s definitely giving me new insights into what she likes!
Have you got a wish list for you child? And if so, do you let them add things to it?