Weekly Thought | Is Steve Jobs the New Santa?

by Patrick on December 13, 2010

Illustration of Patrick

Nielson recently took a survey on the most in demand gifts for kids in 2010. Apple products overwhelmingly dominated the “must have” toys this holiday season.The results?

  1. I-phone G4
  2. I pod touch
  3. 3-I pad.

The rest of the list included the Harry Potter Lego Video Game, Kinect for X-box, camera videophones, and Barbie Video Girl Doll.

Technology, technology, technology.

Long gone are the days of wooden toys and stuffed animals. Forget about the toy trains and a new baseball bat. If it doesn’t plug into the wall, they don’t want it.

Kids don’t even want ponies anymore. They would rather raise a virtual one on the x-box!

The “Case of the (Technological) Gimmies” brings me back to my childhood trips to the video store. I would beg and plead for PG-13 movies, even though I was too young. My mother refused, despite my tears.

She even ignored the overwhelming pressure from countless other parents, who let their kids watch Coneheads and the He-man movie.

My mother always told me, “You’ll have the rest of your life to watch those movie! Now is the only time you can enjoy these other movies like a kid.”

It’s not altogether different than the technological Christmas of today. Sure they want the latest Apple product. And, yep, a lot of other kids have them too.

But just like those PG-13 movies, this is the only time in your child’s life when they have the chance to just, well, be a kid. To live life without all of the technological devices, and the obnoxious technical ache.

It’s funny that our children spend so much of their time yearning for the cell phones, computers or latest game. These are the same devices adults struggle to be free from.

How many times have you come into the office, filled with anxiety because you know a mountain of emails will be in your inbox that you’re going to have to respond to? That you’ve dreaded checking your voice mail? That you’ve stressed over how to respond to a text message or email?

Think back to those rare opportunities when you couldn’t access your email because you were camping, or the relief you actually felt when you lost your phone. I know I’ve personally treasured those rare moments, and commented on how freeing it felt.

For adults technology and its advances are amazingly helpful, but are also often burdensome. How many times have you struggled to be free from them?

And yet kids as young as seven are zooming towards the heavy burden of the technological life, and the responsibilities that come along with it.

When you’re shopping for Christmas this year, remind yourself, “My child will have the rest of their life to play violent video games, return phone calls, reply to emails. They’ll have decades when they’ll have to agonize over what to type back in an email response, or how to reply to a text.”

They only get be a kid once.

Let them. Give them that gift.

My mom wasn’t that popular with me and my brother when she chose to shield us from the stress that comes along with entering that world too early. And that was fine. She knew that she was actually giving us the greatest gift of all: the chance to be a kid.

If you need more guidance on how to help your child through this difficult transition, check out our new Ebook on Inventive Play. We offer the theory of why play is important, and give you a 30-day starter kit to help your family deal with the transition. You’ll get affordable resources, step-by-step instructions, and the theory behind why avoiding the “Steve Job’s Trap” is crucial for your child’s brain development. And, if it doesn’t work (which we believe is HIGHLY unlikely) we offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

Does Steve?


Beth December 13, 2010 at 8:23 am


I’ve enjoyed reading the posts on this blog for a few months now, but wanted to offer a little correction suggestion. You mention the top three prized gifts by kids, and they are all Apple products. However, you mention Bill Gates name, which is sort of confusing b/c he is the former head of Microsoft. Did you mean to reference Steve Jobs?

Queenie December 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Patrick this is a interesting topic to think about. Great post!

Queenie December 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Thanks Beth, Patrick is referring to Steve Jobs. We fixed the mix up.