Kindergarten / OWTK Toy News & Reviews / Parenting Blog

The Intersection of Silly Bandz & Us

Silly Bandz have entered my home.

The Bear’s life, from an entertainment and culture standpoint, is decidedly outside of the mainstream.  This isn’t an accident. She probably wasn’t able to participate in some conversations with her kindergarten classmates, if said discussions were trapped inside the pop culture frame of a typical 6-year-old girl.  I’m cool with that and, more importantly, so is she. That said, I appreciate the difficulty of ALWAYS feeling like an outsider, especially at that young age, and she hasn’t yet befriended a similarly raised kindie kid to pal around with. It’s one of the reasons I don’t mind at all her excitement over her 3 dozen Silly Bandz.  Heck, maybe this rubbery fad can even teach kids a little something.

I swear I’m not THAT dad who needs to inject some education into every freakin’ thing my kids see and do and I’m totally not THAT father who retroactively convinces himself of a greater-good element to minimize parental guilt (ie: talking yourself into the benefits of all the Spanish your child is learning as they watch Dora 4+ hours a day), but maybe there is some good to be had in this Silly Bandz phenomenon.  The way I see it, since kids don’t trade baseball cards anymore – you know, because once your limited edition Steven Strasburg game used shoe lace, pre-game stubble embedded rookie card touches a human hand it’s value is diminished – 21st-century children lose out on that all important lesson of bartering.  Of course, trading a silly band or two isn’t going to prepare your kid for exchanging beads and fur along the Mississippi river, but maybe they learn something while giving up a sea horse for a cowboy boot, or a baseball hat for a dog bone; making choices, giving up something cherished to get something new, and real live social interaction (a commodity, these days). See it’s not all bad.

It’s likely that by the time school restarts in the Fall, this trend will have been dulled, leaving administrators and teachers something completely new to stress about.  In the meantime, I’m going to let both my girls slip on their silly shaped rubber bands everyday and enjoy being normal children.  Heaven knows that opportunity doesn’t come ’round too often in this house.

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