Watching the fads go by

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website (  She owns The Paper Trail of St. Louis, a financial and legal concierge service. Laura is married and the mother of two middle school age children.

By Laura K. Silver

As parents, we don’t want our kids to be left out.  When the latest and greatest thing comes along, we feel pressure to partake in it, not only from our kids, but from ourselves. 

We should know better–we’ve been around this block a few times.  In fact, we do know better, but we get sucked in too.  How many parents do you know who become just as obsessed, if not more, than their children when it comes to the latest fad?  Whether it’s  Zhu Zhu Pets, or Pokémon cards or Silly Bandz–parents drive all over the place to get the coveted item, to really ring their child’s chimes.  Or their own.

Right now, my daughter is into the Rainbow Loom.  She spends hours making bracelet after bracelet.  This too is a fad.  My instinct is to go and find every cool color of rubber band–glitter, glow in the dark–and watch her face light up.  But I’ve decided to wait.  I don’t need to be THAT parent.  The items are only going to become more expensive as time goes on and I don’t want to create a child who expects this “run out and get it” type of behavior from me.  She can purchase it with her own money if she really wants it or she can wait and get it for an occasion.  There’s no need for me to rush.

With its latest product–the iPhone 5C, however, Apple is banking on all of us to be THAT parent.  Hmmm–neon colors, plastic, less expensive–I wonder who could possibly want this phone? As cute as it may be for adults, let’s face it, Apple’s no dummy.  This is the first smartphone marketed specifically to kids.


Let’s just hope it doesn’t end up next to the WebKinz in a few years.